Heart Choices: The Blessings of Christmastime -->

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The Blessings of Christmastime

This Christmas season has been a blessed one for me. Although it was fairly quiet, I was still able to talk with my loved ones far away and take time to ...be still!

My two week break from work started with me getting sick. But it was short lived and actually a way to force me to rest. I caught up on much reading. I read many of my favorite Christmas devotionals, including A Christmas Longing by Joni Eareckson Tada.

Thankfully, I was well enough to accept an invitation from a good friend to go to The Phoenician for their amazing Christmas tea. Terri has graciously invited me for at least 16 years. We began the tradition when her dear mom Eileen was still alive. So many memories of seeing her mom walk up to the piano player and sit singing familiar songs.
The food at this tea is absolutely amazing! I was definitely  not watching my calories as I accepted seconds. :)

I love my church! And I especially love my church at Christmastime. We have a wonderful choir with many talented singers. I love singing many of the familiar Christmas carols.

Greg and I had a quiet evening on Christmas Eve and then awakened to have our traditional bagels and lox for breakfast. I'm not sure how we got started with this tradition but we always look forward to it.

Of course, I always keep Norwegian waffles on hand though. There's something about the taste of cardamom that reminds me of home.

Although our condo is small, I do believe we've created a very warm and inviting place to live. Sometimes I think back on previous Christmases in our beautiful large home and feel a bit nostalgic. But then I quickly remember how far we've come these last few years.

I realize it's not so important as to where you live. It's really what's in our hearts that we bring to any home.

I love this photo provided by Edie Melson of The Write Conversation.
I came home from work loaded with so many gift bags and goodies from students, parents and co-workers. I felt blessed!

One special moment for me was when I was called out of our preschool classroom to see the faces of five preschool teachers. They welcomed me to their team and handed me a gift. It was an Origami lanyard locket to hold my work keys and photo ID card. Each teacher gave me a charm to place inside. One was a camera charm. Another was an apple, books and a cross. They knew me well! How special and touching this gift was to me and I will be able to wear it around my neck each day at work.

I am so glad that I was able to keep the focus on Jesus this Christmas season. After all, He is the reason we celebrate Christmas.

I have less than a week before returning to work full time in a new classroom filled with little mini-mustangs. I want to spend this time reflecting on the lessons of 2014. I always look forward to a new year and this one is no different. I want to learn from the past; both good and bad. I want to make wise choices.

Last Sunday, Pastor Scott Savage preached a wonderful sermon on John 15. The bottom line to his message about the new year was this ...Be With God.

How was your Christmas this year? Did you take the time to be still and focus on the reason for the season?

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. As always, your own heart's choices are sweet & inspiring. I know so well how many difficult roads you've traveled to arrive at so lovely a locale. Gratitude is the best heart choice ever!

    Huge hugs, my sweet friend.


  2. Glad you have enjoyed your break. I will look forward to reading about your new adventures in the new classroom.

  3. Your Christmas sounds wonderful, Debbie. The highlight of mine was Candlelight service on Christmas Eve. We have so much to be thankful for. God bless!

  4. Enjoyed your Christmas reflections. Hope your New Year is filled with the blessings you so richly deserve.

  5. Sounds like the perfect Christmas my friend. Looking forward to all God has for us in the new year!

  6. Your Christmas has all the warmth and peace we long for at this time of the year---and always. Blessings on your New Year.


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