Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Spirit.

It's here! It's here!

And how did I welcome it?

Well first... With some early morning black Friday shopping and some wonderful friends.

Next... (NOT on the same day :) )
We piled into two cars and drove a couple of hours to Big Bear to touch snow and see Santa. It was all glorious except there wasn't a single snowflake to be found. But SANTA WAS THERE! And Mrs. Clause too! They were stinkin adorable.

(Fortunately I DID touch some fake snow... So that will hold me over until I go to Michigan in a couple weeks for the real thing.)

Anyways... the skaters loved the lake. We girls loved it too... But mostly we EXTRA loved the Christmas decor, the warm holiday coffees, and the beauty of being in a mountain town.

So here is a bundle of photos from our time there. It would have been great for you to join us... But we would need a bigger car. Maybe next year! ;)

Ps. You will notice there are lots of photos of me and Dorothea... That's because she is a treasure... And because she moves back to Switzerland in a week so I am soaking up my time with her.

"Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O Lord.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights." psalm 36:5-8

My thankful heart...

Has some more thanking to do.

I woke up at 6:00am in Manhattan Beach earlier this week to move my car, so i wouldn't get a parking ticket. I got a bit lost so my five minute run outside... Turned into a twenty minute early morning walk in search of my friend's apartment. As I was walking I decided to pray because I was starting to get a bit frustrated at the situation.

I asked Jesus if there was anything He wanted to speak to me... and I felt like I heard the word, "Thankfulness".

Okay. Thankfulness.

So I just started to thank Him. "Thanks Jesus for a car to move early in the morning. Thank you Jesus for the beach near me and for all of the exercise I am getting on this walk to find the apartment. Thank you for my friend who let me borrow her beachside apartment...." I continued until I found the apartment and fell back asleep.

Later in the day as I was leaving the beach and driving to work, I commented to my friend about all of the people who were blessed enough to live by the beach. She said responded, "I bet they don't even know how special it is... Because it is so familiar."

I kept thinking about that idea all morning...

Familiarity breeds discontentment.

That must be why God wanted to remind me about thankfulness!

If I'm not thankful for all that I have been given in life, I will grow discontent with even my most favorite gifts, because I am so familiar with them.

I've met people in third world countries who have ridiculously less than me, and yet they are both happy AND willing to share what little they do have.

My friend posted recently, "It's not happy people who are thankful, it's thankful people who are happy."

So I have been on a kind of thankfulness mission. Which I felt would an appropriate way to introduce the photos from our Thanksgiving. So fun! All of our skaters were invited to join a pastor and their precious family at their house for the day. The pastor's wife is beautiful- a mother of 6, an actress, model, and a minister. (She has been teaching me a lot.) She prepared a gorgeous feast for us and after dinner she led us in a big performance in her backyard. The winners of the backyard show got dessert first.

My team won! Hooray pumpkin pie!