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Joy Comes ... In All Shapes and Sizes

I braved the blustery late autumn storm we're having in the Pacific Northwest today for two reasons. First, I had to stock my pantry for Thanksgiving dishes I'm already planning ... and secondly, I needed a little Christmas cheer, and Woodinville's Molbak's Garden center was just the place. Bringing my three and two year-old niece and nephew, we browsed and shopped and listened and smelled ... Christmas.

As the days are getting shorter and the storms are coming more frequently, I'm reminded again of how much I love this season and the coming days ahead. It's a time to nestle in, a time to prepare, and a time to be grateful for what we've been given in this life. Sometimes what we've been given are big and glorious gifts ... but sometimes, they are small gifts, even insignificant to others, but immeasurable to us.

I know you're life is busy ... as is mine. How many times do we forget to pause, just for a moment, and savor or even acknowledge those small blessings as they fleetingly come our way? The elderly man who waits to hold the door, the barista who smiles into your eyes while handing you a steaming cup of coffee, the parking spot that opens up at the very last minute when you're late for an appointment, the busy mom toting two toddlers who runs after your shopping cart that gets loose in the parking lot ... the smile of a stranger. When I stop to think of the small blessings and moments of Joy life has brought my way, even in the last few weeks, I can say it has been a season of immeasurable blessing for me. Not in the size, or frequency ... or even significance; but in those rare moments when I've stopped that running list in my mind and savored the little things in life that when added together, are making a beautiful whole.

As we open our homes during this coming season and share the bounty of what we've been given, I'm reminded again of how blessed I am with amazing family and dear friends. In "Home for Christmas," Savannah is reminded that it takes more than "things" to make a home. It takes people to fill empty spaces with laughter and memories ... and especially Joy. It is those people that make our fondness for home so incredibly alluring.

May we continue to reflect and recognize the small Joys of our lives and count them all as blessings.

Merry Christmas, a little early.


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