Some straw would look pretty, 
but this way it's always there 
for the grandangels to play with - 
without the mess!
And yes, the Wise Men are much
further away as they come to
visit the Christ Child later
when He lives in a house!

166. Christmas memories – actually all life’s memories – good, bad, sad, fun etc.! Working with seniors with various degrees and varieties of dementia has given me a heightened sense of appreciation and gratitude for the memories of my life. I hope you cherish your memories and always look forward to creating new ones!

167. Advent Calendars – the countdown to Christmas for me always begins with the 1.Advent. I fondly recall the beautiful calendar my parents pulled out each year. Here is the story that goes with that.  

 168. Gerda – a lady I met last week at the German Grocery store, which I visit once a year to buy some specialty food items, especially for Christmas. She was ahead of me going through the check out counter. She had four big bags full. She asked the clerk to call her a taxi. She was hard of hearing and lots of miscommunication was going on – she speaking German and the clerk being young having limited knowledge of German. To top it off it seemed the cab company was not answering the phone.

I still had my identification tag from work around my neck and introduced myself. Showing her my tag, I offered the lady a ride home and wondered if she would trust me! No hesitation on her part – she lived in a highrise tower on my way home. We piled her heavy bags into the trunk and were on our way. She chatted and asked questions while I drove. When I answered she couldn’t hear me well at all. She asked what church I was with. She thought she had seen me before. We hadn’t. She complimented me on my excellent driving. Out of the blue she told me that she stopped going to church because someone said that she could not bring her young disabled son to the church with her. Misunderstandings perhaps? Disruptive child? Mean-spirited people? I don’t know, but God knows and cares. With tears in her eyes, she told me that she was a believer, loved Jesus and that she especially loves Christmas. Her son is 60 and still lives with her. No one ever thought he would live that long. Gerda is 95. I wrote down my name and number as she requested should she want to keep in touch. As we hugged good-bye, I still shared words of comfort and encouragement with her. As I drove away she blew me a kiss! I think I got a special Christmas present early!

169. A cup of hot cocoa on a chilly night.

170. A friend’s heart in prayer – nothing is more encouraging and a heartfelt joy in my journey of faith!

171. Christmas music – read some interesting articles about the theological and biblical correctness of some of the music we sing. Lots to think about!

172. Always learning new things! Someone wrote in my autograph book when I was in grade 8. “I used to think I know; I know I must confess, the more I think I know, I know I know much less!“ Love visiting other people’s blogs and learning something I had not known or thought about before.

173. Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I have a wonderful feeling that God will bless us today!

174. Staff meetings – ok, bear with me here, I’m trying to convince myself, lol!!

175. The remote control – sometimes I get to use it! I’m really very good at it. I especially love the little red button. When I scroll through the guide and find nothing view worthy on, I actually know how to turn it off! I just know the choices won’t improve if I go scrolling through again and again. 

176. Candles – they create a warm, peaceful glow and I do put them on throughout the Christmas season. Then, that’s it for another year!

177. Knowing how to drive. Gerda never drove a car in her 95 years of life.

One of the drivers next to us on a parking lot,
taking a rest waiting for his wife to bring out the coffee!

178. Public transportation – for people like Gerda and for the many years our families were dependent on it.

179. My house plants – I’ve really scaled back but have put my Norfolk Island Pine in the spotlight for Christmas. I’ve got a box of mini-mini decorations that maybe the grands could put on the tree when they come - even if it's after Christmas!

180. The photos of my grands on our fridge! Here’s hoping we’ll get the newest photos as a gift for Christmas! 

When you look at others 
with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you 
His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. 
Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, 
nor your home on high.


Deb said...

Karin, I am so glad to have found your site. It is a beautiful blessing. Come over and visit Counting My Blessings, we share a love for the Lord and a passion for blessing counting. I love it!!

Lady Dorothy said...

What a blessing you were to Gerda, and as always, you got blessed right back!

pam said...

What a wonderful post. I love Gerda moments...what a privilege to be available.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I always love this post, Karin... Every week, you truly bless my heart when you talk about the things which are blessings to you.

I had to laugh at your staff meeting comment... OF all of my years in church work, the hardest thing was all of the staff meetings... YUK.... ha ha

Thanks be to God that you found Gerda and she found you... I'm sure you will help her again now that you know her and she knows you... What a blessings.

Thanks for sharing... Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Your posts always uplift me Karin. Loved the story of Gerda especially. Enjoy your week.

ellen b. said...

Love your thankful list. It is good to look beyond this life to our Hope!

Karen said...

What a beautiful list...I am truly touched...your encounter with Gerda was a special one indeed....

George said...

I always look forward to your Counting Blessings posts. They help me to remember how blessed I am. I really like your story of Gerda.

Bernie said...

I love how you drove Gerda home Karin.....I hope she calls. Perhaps you could make arrangements for her and her son to go to church at Christmas.
Love your thankful post as always.

Ginny said...

Betcha thought I wasn't dropping by today! No, I just had a busy day and am very late with quite a few comments. But I never go to bed without visiting you! You have your very own Christmas story. But you were not visited by an angel, you WERE the angel!! A Christmas story kind from the other side of the coin, and just another thing to be thankful for, that you were the one being able to help and not the one needing help!! I just loved it, let us know if you hear from Gerda again!

C said...

hahahahahahahahhaaha! "one of the drivers in the parking lot" .. hahahahahahahhaha! :) :) That's funny! :)

I wish my poodle Taylor could find a boyfriend like that (a big dog who drives a car) but she's just too much of a snob! hahhahahahaha!

How are you? It is almost Christmas, I can see you have it with you, already! I am here to wish you joy, peace, happiness, and much magic,this Christmas season, and beyond! Happy Holidays to you, Karin! I am thankful for our friendship! ♥

Jan said...

Wonderful to read your illustrated thankful list, Karin...and you made Gerda's day and got blessed yourself!
Blessings and Hugs,

Connie Barris said...

you are awesome... I loved reading this...


Wendy said...

That was no coincidence that Gerda could not get a taxi. She was meant to drive with you! And she was meant to hear your words of comfort concerning her dear son. Disabled or no, he should be allowed in church. That's awful. I hope it was just a matter of miscommunication, but then 50 or 60 years ago, things may have been different.

I hope you do stay in touch. It was a blessed meeting for both of you.

Louise | Italy said...

Love No. 168! Nice story.

Marg said...

I love the divine story of Gerda. Your blog is always an encouragement corner for me to sneak into and see what God's been doing in your life.
Such a beautiful quote at the end...
I understand about that wealth..Restored Relationships cannot be bought.

Joy said...

Oh I really enjoyed reading about how you met Gerda and what a blessing you were to her.
I hope she keeps in touch with you. Bless her heart.

Great idea to keep counting. I know the count never ends.
♥ Joy