Presence = Presents

I enjoyed today. How about you? What did you do that made you smile?

I got up early and enjoyed a cup of coffee in the stillness of my living room, with the sunlight streaming in, all by myself just reading and playing on my phone. I love this time of the day.

We made the time to go to church today, which sometimes is a challenge. Again, I enjoyed the stillness of sitting quietly for an hour with my family and listening to music, watching the little children, and appreciating the art and Christmas decorations. I know a lot of people probably don’t go to holy places as much anymore, but for me, I find joy and peace in sanctuaries.

After church, Julie and I played tennis in the freezing cold sunshine. Sounds like an oxymoron. It was so cold and it took us awhile to warm up on the courts, both literally and figuratively. Our oldest boys joined us and I enjoyed seeing them reconnect and play together, as it’s been many years since they’ve hung out. It was great to get outside and to get some exercise.

I rushed home to change and then Juliana and I were off again to bake with friends.

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It was fun to spend some time with girlfriends and to share stories and to hold my friend’s baby. I did not feel rushed and I was happy to be enjoying some “quiet” time without rushing through the malls and trying to shop for Christmas. There’s still time, right?
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For dinner tonight, I made a tortilla chicken soup/stew with rotisserie chicken. It was so hearty and warm and delicious. Most everyone loved it. We wanted a quick dinner, so that we could go out one more time, to walk through Bethlehem.

A local church performs a reenactment of what it might have been like in Bethlehem when Mary and Joseph were looking for a place to sleep and to have Jesus.

20131208-212223.jpgThe Inn that was full.
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I got to stomp grapes to make wine.
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The show is amazing, with talented and loving actors, amazing props and stage sets, singing and dancing, and live animals including a camel.
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You truly get a feel of what it might have been like the night Jesus was born.

20131208-212359.jpgMary holding a live baby in a manger.
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Every time we attend, I feel something magical.

20131208-212509.jpgThe star light shining in the sky over the manger where Jesus was born.

The Wise Men followed the star and brought gifts to present to Jesus, the new born king.

I wish everyone could go and experience it. Tomorrow is the last night of performances and it is truly worth seeing if you are nearby: http://www.bethlehemsc.com/

Merry Christmas. Enjoy the season and be present. xo

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