It’s Sunday morning. I’m not rushing anywhere this morning, and I have to say that feels wonderful.

I love our recliner that I’m relaxing in this morning. This was Mom and Dad’s recliner. Many an evening my dad was found sitting in it, watching t.v. It’s pretty precious to me. (Below is a picture of Dad and Alissa when she was 17 months old in this recliner. 🙂 See why it’s so precious to me??) I’m snuggled under a warm blanket, and sipping my coffee. It seems to be a perfect morning.

Our Christmas tree is lit, and a few presents lie beneath it. The aroma of apple spice fills our home from my Scentsy warmer. The house is quiet as Bill is sleeping, recovering from his shift at work last night, and Zach is at a friend’s this morning.

It’s starting to flurry outside, which is the beginning of the 2-4 inches of powdery snow we’re to receive today. I’m reminded that many people I know are living out in this weather. That thought burdens my heart. But it sure is pretty falling from the sky.

I’m recalling the experience I had last night as I facilitated Mission of Hope’s Worship Service for the very last time. It was a nice service, and I left feeling very encouraged by someone who has been a friend and supporter of the Mission for years. He shared some thoughts with all of us in attendance during the service about praising God in this Christmas season. He shared how he has known me through the Mission for many, many years. But what he said next, I wasn’t prepared for. He said he knew my father. He mentioned how Dad used to farm. I heard nothing else come out of his mouth after that. My mind began to race with thoughts of “I didn’t know Richard knew Dad!” “How can this be?” “Did Richard tell me this once and I forgot it?” “How does he know Dad used to farm?” “Someone here at the Mission knew my father??? The man who was my first protector, guide, example and love?” And then the tears came.

And then more thoughts of Dad filled my mind. I was reminded of his gentle, quiet and loving spirit. I guess it shocked me to realize someone whom I wasn’t aware of, who was right in front of me, knew my father. I really can’t describe it now, but it was such a strong, overwhelming emotion that welled up inside of me. And I felt God was encouraging me with thoughts of how proud Dad would be of me for how I’ve handled the circumstances of leaving Mission of Hope. I chuckled silently as I thought about how differently he probably would have handled them, however. (My brothers and aunt know exactly how he would have!) And that made me smile.

What a gift that was to me last night…having my mind filled with thoughts of my wonderful father and how I was encouraged through them at the very last service I will ever facilitate at the Mission! That kind of thing happens to me all the time at Mission of Hope, and I trust as I leave this ministry, that God will continue to reveal Himself to me and encourage me in ways that are just as powerful and meaningful.

And as I relax here this morning, filled with God’s indescribable joy as I recall this experience from last night, I pray God blesses you today. I pray He reveals something to you to encourage your heart in a way that only you would understand. And I pray you become so filled with joy that you won’t be able to contain it.

Blessings to you on this Sunday!

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