charging the in hand...

#645 ~ chocolate - in any form
My eyelids are heavy this morning after a night of much needed sleep. Life is full these days with the holiday spirit moving quickly through our home engulfing each of us in it's heady elixir of joy. This is my absolute FAVORITE season of the year...Advent...waiting for the Christ Child...the baby boy who comes to save us all.

The tree is up but waiting for decorations. The stocking have been hung with care. The kitchen is my special place filled with the scents of the season. Cinnamon, cloves, sugar and sweetness. You have embraced the 25 Days of Christmas Treats here in this space. Thanks so much for your love and encouragement. on all fronts. You have stopped and read my memoir, leaving me comments of love and inspiration. How is a girls supposed to thank you all for that?

#650 - Nap time with Daddy
So this morning, I embrace the blessings that God continues to bestow upon this household, event he ones that most don't see as a happy event. It's in those darker moments when I am asked to dig a little deeper to look for the true meaning for the season and praise the Lord for the gift of the struggle. It's in that struggle, that we bend a knee, bow our heads and humbly ask Him to carry us through once more.

#656 - spiced apple cider just like George Washington had
Blessings in My Life this week:
#645 ~ #685
* chocolate - in any form
* my mother's generous spirit and wicked sense of humor
* listening to stories of "loof teef" and kindergarten triumphs by my sweet niece
* watching my mother with seventeen of her nineteen grandchildren, her face alight with pride and love for each and every one of them.
* visiting one of our countries most prized landmarks, Mount Vernon
* nap time with Daddy
* sitting across from my beloved during a family meal, reveling in his attention
* spending time with my brothers reminiscing about the Christmases of our youth
*Christmas decorations that make me swoon
* Virginia Ham and Cherry Pie
* AJ's "very powerful" sneakers that launched  him in the air <g>
* spiced apple cider just like George Washington had
* traveling back in time, appreciating the convenience's of modern life
* watching my nieces and nephews love on Miss Courtney helping where they can

#653 - Christmas decorations that make me swoon

* my son sitting at the adult table...strange but very fun
* book arriving in the mail that I KNOW will make my guys smile on Christmas morning
* repairing church vestments, all the while praying for those who will wear them
* 2nd week of Advent candles lit, prayers said
* "and with your Spirit"
* new church embroidery patterns to keep me busy on a cold winter's night
* critique partners who believe in the promise of a story
* specalatius
*holding babies 
* helping little learn to tie their shoes
* special blessings from Father B.
* confession to clean the soul and clear the mind
* watching young love blossom, praying for their future together
* washing windows, scrubbing floors preparing for company
* celebrating friend achievements
* morning prayer with my husband

#657 - holding babies

* rosaries said for those in need while driving Miss Courtney to school
* 1st class relic of the Wood of the Cross blessing my daughter
* watching Miss Courtney struggle for breath during a seizure with the full assurance that God is breathing for her
* the first Christmas Card arriving in the mail...Maria J. you win!!
* comments, emails and letters sent in love and encouragement after my memoir went live. 
* prayers continually said for my daughter, for me
* the privilege of offering up a hardship for someone else's need
* hot soaks in the tub
* hot chocolate and sweet treats before bed
* The Holy Book...words to live by
* Doctors who care and take the time to listen
* confidence that God has it all under control, because I certainly do not!

Head on over to Ann Voskamp @A Holy Experience to be inspired once more