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Finding Joy

As I drove up the hill from an early morning school drop-off, followed by a "Starbucks-In-A-Red-Cup" run ... and a quick stop at the grocery store; I was reminded yet again about finding small joys.

The rain is pouring in Seattle today, the streets are wet; but in our neighborhood, while most trees are bare and ready for winter snow (hopefully), some are still dotted with a few golden-russet leaves, tenaciously clinging to their dark branches. Those streets and sidewalks are lined with golden brown leavings making perfect autumn rimmed lanes. It reminded me of a Thanksgiving postcard. And all the while, with the sounds of windshield wipers on a rainy window mixed with XM Radio's Holiday Traditions softly playing those beloved and quintessential Christmas tunes with their tight harmonies … I was once again reminded of finding joy.

I promised to highlight a few landmarks woven into the storyline of “Home for Christmas.” I’m excited to share soon the inspiration for the house. But today, I wanted to share a few pictures that reminded me of joy.

Artist Watercolor of Sanctuary on Christmas Eve: View Source
Seattle's University Presbyterian Church is the church mentioned in the book. It's located very near the University of Washington campus and is a church with a deep and rich heritage. I remember attending some Christmas services way back when I was a student at Seattle Pacific University, very near the U-District. This church was a church plant from Seattle’s First Presbyterian Church back in 1908 to serve the university community.

Today, the church continues to be vibrantly active in its community and serve the needs of people. I encourage you to check out their website … here.

Excerpt from Home for Christmas as it describes the beautiful UPC sanctuary:

“She let her eyes roam the beautiful sanctuary; the tall stained glass windows lining its length on both sides and depicting stories of Jesus’ life in gloriously warm hues, the glass hurricanes and candles at each base, lit for evening services and would cast a flickering glow, creating an almost tangible feeling of warmth, the pair of pointed arched paneled doors at either side of the platform. The chancel had an angled back and housed the towers of cascading pipes, leading upward to a central focus of a trio of stained glass windows representing the resurrection and sitting atop a stunning limestone carving of The Last Supper, a simple yet masterful piece of art … She let its beauty wash over her; the Christmas decorations – the advent wreath, the garland swags embellished with red velvet bows draped the chancel and balcony, candles lit on the altar and in every corner served only to accentuate her church’s beauty and the holiness of the season.”

And while I’m not a photographer, the above is a snapshot I took on my phone while visiting the church on a rainy, stormy weekday morning, much like today.

The day is marching on and I’ve got some baking planned … and a few Christmas presents to wrap … and yes, some sticky, syrupy plates leftover from a hurried breakfast, run-out-the-door-before-you’re-late-for-school kind of morning. And yes … while my fingers feel yucky … and the wet morning seems particularly cold and damp … I will remember the small joys of the morning … and be ever thankful for them.

Have a great and joyful day!


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