It's really cold outside--hasn't gotten out of the thirties yesterday or today and Johnny Mathis is entertaining us with "It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas." Anticipation is mounting.
I am missing posting Advent devotionals this year, but I simply didn't start writing early enough to meet the deadline to have them printed. I have been using a booklet my one of my favorite writers, the late Henri Nouwen and today we went to the noon Advent service at our church. Each Tuesday during the season there is a service featuring special music and a guest minister. Today our organist presented the music playing an original composition and two hymns he and the guest minister had written. After we had sung the hymns, he improvised on the tunes. He closed with an arrangement of "Joy to the World." It was a special worship service followed by a soup luncheon in the fellowship hall.
Little by little I've been getting out our Christmas things and am surprised almost every time I open a box. Last year I didn't feel like getting out much, then Tom went to the hospital and I was glad I hadn't. I had forgotten where I had stored some things and in some cases, even forgotten I had something I found. We love our old decorations and the memories they hold, but it's fun to add new touches too. The hard part is remembering where things are! If I put something out everyday, I should be through decorating by the time it's time to put it away again.
Yesterday I made a family favorite, cherry refrigerator cookies. They aren't necessarily just for Christmas but are full of red and green candied cherries so they fit the color scheme. Traditionally, I make stollen and lemon muffins for Christmas breakfast so will probably do those next and put them in the freezer. If I cook something everyday, we should have lots to eat and lots to share. That works for me.
Our front bedroom looks like the North Pole with piles of both wrapped and unwrapped gifts. Liz does the Black Friday thing, making periodic stops throughout the morning to drop off her "finds." This year Marty had some of her gifts sent here for me to wrap and they add to the piles. Somewhere in all of that are the things I have to get in the mail. If I wrap a few everyday, we should be organized and ready.
Had the oncologist not given me a month free of treatment, not much of the above would be taking place. What a gift! It adds to our anticipation of the celebration of the birth of our Saviour. We are full of hope, peace, joy and love: hope because of God's grace; peace as we trust Him for our every need; joy that comes from knowing that we are God's children; and love for all our family and friends. We wish for you those things as well.