The Gifts of Christmas are made of the Little Things

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1. My mom brought some crafts over for the children.  The colors of the tissue paper were just so pretty, I had to sit down and make a star myself.  I love to create all kinds of arts and crafts, but I have so little time for that these days.  I gained the joy of being crafty and a brilliant sun-catcher at the same time.

0022. Chris had gotten me some socks at Costco which turned out to be the most wonderful socks I have ever owned!  Chris bought me more colors of the same kind, just because he loves me.  An added bonus is that they actually match my clothes.  I love to match!

 

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3. Our church receives donations of food quite often.  Sometimes we check to see what is available.  We found bottles and bottle of kombucha.  I just love kombucha, but I rarely buy it at the store because it is so expensive.  Maybe no one else took it because they don’t know how wonderful it is or what it is.  Are you in that boat?  Click here to learn more about it.

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4. I took some greens from our tree, winter berries from my mom’s yard, and this burlap star she found, and I got a rustic wreath.

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5. I love receiving Christmas cards in the mail.  I love to see the pictures and think about the person who sent it.

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6. My mom found these magnetic picture frames.  Now I can see my friends and remember to pray for them all year long without  the mess of little magnets that keep falling off the fridge and the smudges of little hands.

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7. Because I picked Ireland to learn about this Christmas, I have a whole new country full of recipes to discover!

december 2015 0078. Little boys who are eager to go Christmas shopping for their family make very diligent workers around the house.  Our house gets so clean around Christmas time with the incentive of earning dollars.  I love a clean house and I love to see my children considering how to purchase gifts that will bless others.

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9. I asked my daughter to find some Christmas music to play and she found Michael Buble’s entire Christmas album on YouTube.  I received the gift of wonderful music filling the kitchen thanks to my daughter, my phone, a purple cable, and our stereo.

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10. My mom discovered my little, wooden rocking chair and brought it over.  I received the joy of seeing my two youngest sitting in the chair that I used to sit in when I was their age.

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11. So many of these gifts originated from my mom.  (Thank you, Mom!)She is a wonderful gift and being at the women’s breakfast at church with her this Christmas was icing on the cake.

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12. Caroling with friends and their children around the neighborhood and signing about the joy of Jesus!

13. My children keep reminding me that Christmas is not about the presents but THE PRESENCE.  How thankful I am for the wonderful children’s ministry at our church and the fact that my children listen, remember, and take it to heart.  How thankful I am for God with us, Emmanuel!  I love his presence and in his presence is fullness of joy!  I am realizing that at any moment I can enter into his presence and feel that joy and begin to see all the gifts that are always around me.

 

 

I Love February!

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I have always loved February.  I know that many people would not agree with that sentiment, especially in frigid Pennsylvania, especially this year.  This could possibly be the coldest February on record with subzero temperatures, ice, and snow.  Yet, I still can say, “Isn’t February lovely?”

My birthday is in February, on the very best day, the 22nd.   That  is also George Washington’s birthday.  As a child, February was full of joyful anticipation of celebration centered around me!  My little head was filled with visions of ice cream cakes, presents, games, and friends…maybe even a pizza party.

There is also Valentine’s Day to brighten things up.  Forget about the silly relationship drama that depresses the immature around this holiday.  Think about the beautiful Victorian images of pretty ladies surrounded by flowers and chubby cherubs holding hearts.  Smell the roses that show up everywhere in February and defy the chill outside.

It is still the middle of winter.  My children don’t even want to play outside because it is too cold.  Yet I can feel spring!  I can feel it in my heart.  All of my 39 Februaries on this earth have given way to spring in March or April.  I have deep confidence that spring will come again because it always has.  Nothing can hold it back!

In fact, it is already here.  I feel it in the morning sunshine that arrives earlier each day.  I hear it in the songs of the birds twittering away as though they had green trees to play in.  Around my birthday each year, the crocus would begin to bloom.  This year I thought that surely they must be delayed.  The ground is still like the frozen tundra.  How could they possibly break through with their tender leaves?

I checked the spot in the soil where they had laid dormant for so long.  And guess what I saw!

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I saw spring!