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What a surprise blessing!

As I sit in my swing under my favorite grand old oak, I breathe in the cool misty air and imagine myself sitting on some misty moor in Scotland or Ireland. And who knows? I may get there someday.

Is my tree really grand? Well, I suppose it’s all in the way one looks at it, and today it is. It’s a grand day for sitting and watching the water fowl splash around happily, and relaxing in the pleasant breeze. I love my home state, and the South in general. One of the many reasons for my love of home is the wonderful weather this time of year, and another is the genuine kindness and consideration of southern folks.

But wonderful people may be found in all parts of the country and world for that matter, and I met one such lovely stranger at the holiday open house Mike and I participated in. Wanting the true meaning of Christmas to be represented in our home I went to great lengths to incorporate the message of Christ in all my décor, but I kept Santa out of one room.

I love Santa, but the small study was dedicated to the story of Christmas. My dear elderly cousin from Denham Springs loaned me the most beautiful handmade ornaments depicting the birth of Christ. They were placed in order so that one could look at the tree from top to bottom and see the story unfold.

Lately, a few people have been asking me about the book that I started and never finished. It made me think that perhaps I should focus my energies on my writing, and try to complete a few things, so I prayed asking God for direction.

Christian music floated softly in the background, and many guests took a moment to reflect on the majesty of that special night when God kissed the earth with the greatest gift of all. Literally hundreds of people attended, and I was in and out of this room while replenishing goodies in the kitchen and hugging friends.

A little group entered the room, and I began to explain why this was my favorite when a woman from Croatia began to share her testimony of the power of prayer. She spoke from her heart of a wayward child, and the many tearful prayers sent to the Father on her child’s behalf. Long story short, her prayers were answered, and today her daughter is happy and whole with a strong faith.

It was wonderful to hear her testimony and those of all the other people who told encouraging stories of the power of love and prayer. The Croatian woman gave me a little gift bag explaining that in her culture it is traditional to bring a gift when entering another’s home.

Later on, when the crowd died down I opened the little gift. Imagine my delight and surprise when it contained a writing journal. What a blessing!

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at lilsisjan@yahoo.com.