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Christmas.

Immerse yourself in the word. What images come to mind? What are you feeling? What are you remembering?

I see colorful lights, glowing stars and snow angels. I hear childish whispers and giggles, voices raised in praise, murmured conversations around a crackling fire whilst others around us nod off, content after eating far too much turkey. I feel the tight hugs of excited children, waiting for the end of the evening, anticipating a visit from a jolly bearded fellow in a red suit. I feel the warmth in my husband’s eyes as we share secrets and set up surprises.

I remember days gone by when we were woken at five in the morning by kids who couldn’t wait a second longer. I remember my own excitement as a child.

I remember school concerts and church pageants. I remember visits from far away relatives come to spend the season with us. I remember the roaring fire, hot chocolate and Jingle Bells. I remember my mother’s smile and the way her eyes lit as each day grew closer. I remember the hospital visits when her last Christmas was near. I remember good times, fun times and very sad times.

I remember Jesus. And I thank Him for loving me. For giving us another year to celebrate His birth and what it means for us.

Often we use this time of year to reflect and count our blessings. To take stock of the things we have done, the things we didn’t do, and the things we still want to do. This year is no different for me. I have received many blessings. I have also been challenged in ways I can say I don’t particularly enjoy.

I am still learning how to navigate the waters of the publishing ocean. I am still learning to be patient, because as of yet, no miracle has occurred and I have not discovered the secret of waiting in peace…but I am determined to learn.

I have a feeling it may take a while.

I have made some mistakes, but I have no room for regret. Lessons are learned and I move on.

I anticipate the coming year with great joy. Our daughter will walk down the aisle and marry the man of her dreams. We will celebrate with family and friends.

I will continue to write, continue to seek God’s will in my writing career and in all areas of my life. I will continue to seek joy and peace, and simply enjoy the journey.

Those are my thoughts today as I consider Christmas.

What about you? What do you remember and what are you thankful for?

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