Little Advent Blessings

“Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

IMG_2999During this Advent Season, I am slowing down and concentrating on preparing for Christ’s birth. I don’t want to be so busy and so stressed that I miss the little blessings all around me. Baby Jesus was not surrounded by all the stuff and the noise that bombard my life. So, I breathe. I want to ponder the small things of my everyday Advent journey. The birth of Jesus, our Savior, was the greatest gift ever, one to never be overlooked even when the Christmas season passes.

I am thankful for many small blessings this month. Here are a few. Perhaps you can make your own list as Advent approaches Christmas Day.

  • a cup of hot tea, cider, or chocolateIMG_3004
  • a favorite ornament
  • an inspiring book
  • a warm blanket
  • Christmas cookies
  • a nativity
  • string of lights
  • wreathes
  • Christmas cards
  • candles
  • Advent wreath
  • shiny bowsIMG_3003
  • Christmas carols
  • the Christmas story
  • Christmas Eve candlelight service
  • Hallmark movies
  • my sleeping cats
  • children’s laughter
  • visits with friends and family
  • cold weather, maybe snow
  • jingle bells

I’m sure I will think of more, for little blessings are everywhere. Let’s concentrate on them this season. They bring me comfort in a crazy, chaotic world.

Merry Christmas!

 

Importance of Community: Family and Friends

This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”               John 15: 12-13

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I have always been surrounded by family: a house full of sisters, grandparents not far away, then my own children and husband. With three sisters now married with children, our gatherings at special occasions consist of lots of relatives. I love it! For the majority of my adult life, I’ve lived a few hours away from my parents and siblings. The time together seemed so short but packed full of memories. I’ve been blessed with my large family. Today, I’m still hours from my sisters, yet I’m only a few hundred yards from my parents. I love it!

IMG_0699Family, and friends, form an important circle around my life, encouraging me with love and support. The bond is firm, strong, and unwavering, one I can’t imagine living without. Through the years friends have come and gone, leaving me now with the ones to see me through the rest of my life.

I enjoy my community of family and friends. Even when I am alone, I know I have the love of many who challenge me not to give up, to face my days with hope and courage.  Even though blessed with a close family and a few dedicated friends, I know God is always with me giving me my community of family and friends.

070.JPGI hope you have your own community of family and friends. God’s blessings!