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I absolutely love my Christmas tree.

Ben picked it out and I wrapped it with lights and hung all the ornaments. The needles are shorter than I usually like, but it's still soft to the touch. Our tree skirt is red with little wooden buttons sewn on it.

I turn the lights on just as soon as I can open my eyes enough to see what I'm doing and they stay on until the last second before walking out the door or heading to bed. I literally have warm, fuzzy feelings every time I see our little Christmas tree shining in its' corner.

I have a few of my favorite Christmas cards that I put out every year and some childhood craft projects that are fun to display. Ben has a beautiful nativity set that his mom painted and we got our first ornament together. God is good in this season and others.

We leave for North Dakota on Friday, so I'm savoring Christmas at our house for just a few more days. This will be my first Christmas outside the Pearcy clan. I'm excited to discover what a Striker Christmas is like and have some quality time with Ben's family. Our first two meetings were full of activity and commotion. This was fun, but not my ideal environment for connecting deeply. I'm hoping for conversation, laughter and a chance for our relationships to continue growing.

I'm looking forward to 12 days off all in a row. 12 days to be with my husband, to rest, to play, to read and to talk. I know there will be delicious coffee because we are carting our Nespresso machine with us. I have saved my most recent Real Simple magazine to read on the plane and I'm going to select one or two books that I want to focus on during my vacation. I'm doing laundry tomorrow so that all of my favorite clothes will be clean and trying to figure out how I can fit one or two games into my suitcase. God is good in my relationships and in my activities.

Until then, I'm purposing to see every day this week as a gift to enjoy. Yesterday, God sustained me to see all 10 of my clients and be fully engaged with each of them. Today, God blessed me with 2 cancellations and a no-show. This made it possible for me to go to the Rock River House of Prayer in the middle of the day and practice playing the piano for an hour. This is also what makes it possible for me to sit and write right now. God is good when my schedule is full and when it is empty.

I'm fighting a cold that has settled in my chest. The coughing fits are intense and inconvenient. They seem to occur most when I am sleeping or meeting with clients. I was up several times last night and have had to excuse myself from sessions because I was coughing so hard that I was crying and feared I would throw up. I was feeling angry this morning because I am still sick and did not sleep well. But, I was convicted by 1 Thessalonians and the command to "rejoice in the Lord always." I chose to start thanking God for everything that I could think of and I asked Him to help change my feelings about today and my coughing. He did. God is good when I am sick and tired and when I am well and rested.

God is good in all circumstances and in every season. His goodness is toward you today.

Still Counting Gifts:

  • #929: God loved on me today and I was able to recognize it
  • #930: I am being healed from my cold
  • #931: God is giving me supernatural strength in my physical weakness
  • #932: My dad showed up while I was practicing the piano and surprised me
  • #933: A really, fun, ugly Christmas sweater party
  • #934: Winning the prize for the ugliest outfit
  • #935: Celebrating one year since Ben and I started dating
  • #936: 2nd annual coffee social for Rockford Roasting Co. at Rockford Art Deli
  • #937: Seeing Ben drum with Lights of Albion
  • #938: Holiday mint m&m's


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