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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Advent day 25

Karlavägen, one of the streets that we like to walk with Tanner.

Humlegården park...near our house, another Tanner playground.

The Christmas tree at Karlaplan.

It is the day before Christmas eve. Today was a bit pressure packed but once everything I needed to do got done, I felt so happy and content. It's been a very different advent season for me as I've continued to battle health concerns. I'm still not back at 100% energy and am struggling with some continued issues with my throat and sinus. Energy remains a bit elusive. The up side to all of this is that I'm not a frazzled mess heading into Christmas. I've had to choose carefully what I can do and let the rest go. In some ways it's been rather disappointing to not be able to do everything that I would've liked, but on the other hand, it's also been a bit freeing to just accept some limits. It feels good to be heading into Christmas Eve with a bit of a calm. I look forward to our service tomorrow evening and we're starting to gear up for the big open house on Christmas day night. We bought all the food today and I've got a few lists going with things I need to remember to do!

The wintry Stockholm harbor.

It seems inevitable now that we are going to have white Christmas. It's been a long time since that happened...I believe it was 8 years ago actually. The city is so lovely and charming. The cold and the snow have created quite the magical atmosphere.

My beautiful city...no matter what time of year.

Not being swept up into the bustle of the season has given me some time to ponder the ways in which love is shown to me in my life. I have a truly loving and caring husband who I also dearly love and deeply appreciate. I'm thankful for my parents and the ongoing relationship we continue to enjoy. I am grateful for Doug's family and the ways in which they care for us. We miss these folks at Christmas but feel so glad to know that they are sharing in many of the church traditions that we do and that their celebrations are rooted in the celebration of the birth of Christ. I am very grateful for our church community and the amazing love and support our congregation shows us. I am thankful for friendships that sustain me even at a great distance. And I'm thankful for Facebook, which has enabled me to re-connect with old friends with whom I share an important history but with whom I had lost touch. The gift of my relationships is on my heart tonight as I consider what my loved ones will be up to in the coming days.

I hope that as people begin to celebrate and enjoy the outer beauty of the Christmas decor and soak in the fun of the traditions they will share in with loved ones, that they also pause to consider the inner beauties of the season as well. I am amazed once again to consider that God sent his son Jesus to dwell among us so that we might know God and His love and grace in a tangible and wonderful manner.