Jay spoke at church last week on Contentment.  It got me thinking.  Am I content?  Really CONTENT?  Do I pay lipservice to that concept or DO I LIVE IT?

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Upon deliberation, I've decided that I really am content.  In a situation that could create unbelievable levels of discontentment, I'm strangely OK.  I know that this is nothing in my own strength, but rather a gift I have received from the only true gift-giver (not Santa FYI).

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I have felt a deeply joyful-feeling recently.  I'm not sure what it is, but I think it's a combination of many things in my life.  These don't equal contentment (it's not based on any circumstances/happenings anyway), but this feeling won't stop.

I almost feel like I did when James was 1st born.  I can remember waking up to a cry in the middle of the night and leaping out of bed to run in and see that adorable little creature who now lived with us (that jumping-up excitement only lasted a few weeks--haha--exhaustion set in soon).  It was an unexplainable joy, though.

* This time of year could be very hard for me, I think--unmet expectations of what "supermommy" should do to prepare for Christmas; the cold weather is tough on my subluxed shoulders; I can't even host a table at my church's Christmas Tea (I used to love doing that); holiday air travel with a wheelchair and a stroller is pretty tough, etc., but here are a few reasons why I think I feel so good:

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1.) The Holidays make me feel joyful ever since my stroke.  (I actually didn't used to care much for them, particularly Christmas--all the materialism, consumerism, stress on my Mom, etc.)  Now, I LOVE this time of year!  Almost dying cured me from a distaste of this special season.

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2.) My eye surgery will not be reversed!  Finding out about these new goggles has been like finding the Golden Ticket in "Willy Wonka".  My eye has been a huge stressor for each and every day since my stroke, so finding a moisture solution is like being alone in a room with a dozen Sprinkles cupcakes!

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3.) I'm headed to the South soon!  I love our "Southern Fried Marathon" each year.  We will be in Athens, GA, then Montgomery, AL, then Florence, MS and then onto Atlanta for the Passion Conference.  As it was last year, it is a blessing to be with so much family.

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4.) As I reflect more on my little getaway to Maui, I am just blown away.  Jay is so fun!  I mean, who does that?  I am so grateful that my Mom was able to keep James while we were gone (which he always loves!)  I am also so happy that the trip didn't break the bank (I really am going to post our budget travel tips soon).

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5.) The Marriage & Family Community that we help lead at our church is so wonderful!  While there have been many glitches to work out and new learning opportunities to experience in this transitional change from several, separate groups to a larger, linked group, it has truly been great.  I feel deeply blessed that we GET to be a small part of something incredible for Christian families in LA.

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6.) I recently spent some time reading the Katherine Wolf CaringBridge webpage from the very beginning days.  WOW.  It was like a suspense movie or something!  Each day was such drama and the qustion loomed -- would she live or die????? Well, she lived!  WOOHOO!

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7.) My guys!  I love my little immediate family (I love my extended family too, of course, that sounded kinda funny).  Jay and James are 2 of the most phenomenal people in this world.  I get to live with them everyday!  YAY!!!

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8.) CBS!  Community Bible Study in Santa Monica is so, so wonderful.  I love it and I love going there every Thursday morning.  I also love the teaching that the kids are getting, as well.  James busted out "Away in a Manger" the other day and I could have cried.  CBS--I love you!  I am blessed to have my sweet friend, Brook, as my leader and tons of friends doing it--Mia, Cora, Hillary, Allison, Charlotte, Cathy, Julie, Gretchen, Kristi, and many, many more....

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I was writing about contentment and somehow I ended up writing an appropriate week-before-Thanksgiving posting.  Well that's not a bad thing, I guess.  Gratitude in one's life is worth noting because it fills hard times with hope.