I LOVE the buzz in the malls...I love the lights, I love the ribbon, I love the MUSIC!
But MOSTLY, I love the Christmas SPIRIT. The feeling of Love that intensifies, even between random strangers.
One of my friends posted on her FB today that she went to the Starbucks drive through and the person in front her bought her drink...so then she bought the persons behind her!:)
THIS is what Christmas is about. Reaching out to others, those you know, and those you don't. Showing others the Love of Christ. He who LIVED his life for us...as we celebrate His birth, what a perfect time to try Harder to live as He lived.
This year, I feel VERY blessed.
I went to my bishop to ask if there was anyone in need this year...he gave me some information about a family with some children. I was very excited that we would have the opportunity to help. I have always wanted to do this. The girls and I went and bought a whole bunch of stuff for this family and when we were done shopping, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of sheer joy!
My whole life, I have prayed to the Lord that I would be blessed financially so that I could use it to bless OTHERS.
I am a gift giver. Funny, it's not necessarily how I receive love but it is often how I show love. I LOVE to buy things for people who have needs or just wants but can't get them for themselves. Not b/c I want recognition for doing so but just b/c I love to bring happiness to others and make them feel loved. It has always brought me so much joy to be generous in this manner.
So when we had the means to do this this year....I was BEYOND THANKFUL. I want to do this every year!!!
(and this was done ANONYMOUSLY by the way...I didn't want this family to know who it came from.....actually they don't know us, but still).
When we went to our first place to shop, the girls and I talked in the car about WHO we were shopping for (not them!lol) and then we prayed. It was such a wonderful experience and the girls felt so happy to know they were bringing joy and love to some other childrens' lives who might not have had Christmas otherwise.
When we got home, they both helped wrap the presents:)
Megan wrote all the names on the gifts and
I feel like Christmas is already complete for me. I think it is the best gift I will recieve this year:)
onto other blessings:
I feel so grateful lately to have Stephanie and Amanda to run with! we had a wonderful 13.5 miler last weekend together and another 12 miler together this morning. what wonderful women. Women I have been praying to find for a while. I will NOT take them for granted:)
On Tuesday I came home to These:
I was very surprised to learn they were from my friend Becky! she was thinking of me b/c she knew how heart broken I was over Lacey leaving. how very sweet.
Becky, by the way, just ran 3hrs flat at CIM...and that was with a potty break and stopping to attend a blister!!! what a speedy girl she is!!!
and of course I'm thankful for this little monkey who lost her 2 front teeth! she has been singing the infamous, "all I want for Christmas....." all week lol
I feel STRONGER than I have ever felt right now. I am realizing the value of BASE building!
I have been running consistenly since last september and I realize now that I never did a base building phase. I jumped right into training after about 3wks and kinda skipped having any real base building/mileage building phase. so NOW I have been running over 40 miles a week for the last 3.5 mos and it feels AMAZING! this week I am planning to finish with 65 miles! 65 MILES!!!! that is HUGE for me!!! small for MANY of you, I know.....but big for me:). I feel strong and ready to start training with John on January 2nd. we met up yesterday and drove around to find a hill he approved of to do 2min hill repeats on and it just started to get very REAL. I am going to be doing this and very SOON!
as I contemplate this season and my savior more, I am reminded of all the miracles I have experienced in my life. One very special one came to mind today when my friend texted me to let me know she miscarried on her 2nd pregnancy. It was very early, but still, sad to say the least.
I told her that I too had miscarried on my 2nd pregnancy and she asked me what I did for comfort?
well, after I miscarried, I went to the Temple. For those of you who don't know, I am Mormon or as we prefer to say I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I joined the church when I was 18yrs old. It has been a life changing decision and has meant the world to me. I love my Savior more than anything. The following experience is very very sacred to me and I don't often share sacred things, but I share this today to hopefully remind everyone of the miracles God brings into our lives and the Love He has for each one of us.
So, I went to the temple alone a few days after my miscarriage.
When I was at a certain place in the temple, one where I was not expecting to receive any type of revelation, I heard a clear audible voice say to me:
"There is another little girl waiting to come to your family... and everything is going to be okay".
I immediately felt a calm and peace come over me and all my sorrow was gone. Not only did I know everything was okay, I once again was reminded that God knew ME. He knows Nicole Wagner and has a plan for her life. This knowledge changes everything. Everything.
I also knew it was just not her time to come yet.
I also knew it was just not her time to come yet.
the thing was...as Steve and I had prayed about getting pregnant again, I kept getting the feeling it wasn't time. I even told him that 2 or 3 times, but I ignored it in the end and thought I was just being silly. OF COURSE God wants me to get pregnant again I told myself.
I came home and calmly told my husband that the Lord had told me we were going to have another little girl and carried on with our night. He didn't really take me that seriously but it didn't matter to me. I knew. I heard what I heard and I felt what I felt. I knew.
6 mo's later, with one try, after praying and receiveing confirmation the time was right, we conceived Erika.
It has always been so special to me to know that He knew she was coming to OUR family, before we even conceived her.
In my faith, we believe that we lived before we came to earth as spirits. That we knew each other and I certainly believe that I knew her long ago before I came to earth. it was a very special experience.
Again, I LOVE my Father in Heaven and I love His son, Jesus Christ. when I was 18, they literally pulled me out of the depths of darkness, alcohol abuse and depression and brought me into a world of light and life. For this, I am eternally thankful.
Here is one of my favorite Nativity paintings. The man and women who sat as models for the painter in this picture were the sister and brother in law of one of the Elders I served with on my full-time mission when I was 21. They are from England. Pretty cool:)
I want to know...what are You thankful for or excited about this Christmas?