Books, Blessings, and Oprah’s Favorite Things!

We just arrived home last night from a poorly-timed, yet necessary, business trip to Washington. It turned out to be a delightful little family holiday.
I came back with much “blog material”… but am going to try to condense it to a few points of randomness from my heart…
The highlight of our trip was a visit with some friends in the Vancouver area. The wife creates a cozy home filled with love and hospitality…and fed us a delightfully delicious meal! I share with her a love of reading and crafting and always go away with a list of “must-reads”. Her husband is a gifted photographer who patiently talked me through the grueling process of choosing a new camera (more on that later)…and then took the time to explain how to use it!
I left their home feeling inspired to bless others with hospitality, as they had so blessed me.
As we were journeying home, I found a gem of a book in the BC Ferries gift store. “God’s Guest List” by Debbie Macomber. It is a non-fiction that talks about “welcoming those who influence our lives”. When I picked it up, I immediately thought of the friend whose house I just left. She introduced me to the author earlier this year. (Her fiction book “Christmas Letters” is hilarious!).
I read the book like a vulture and finished it this morning. Again, it sparked inspiration in my heart.
Last month I went over to my friend’s house to watch Oprah’s last “Favorite Things” episode. We’ve done that over the years. We sit in her family room drinking coffee and pontificate over what it would be like to be one of those people in her audience receiving all those things!
This year I thought it would be fun to actually BUY one of her things as a fun memory of our “Favorite Things” parties. Most (read “ALL”) of her things are out of my price range… but I had great hope when she held up a candle. I got all excited thinking, “A candle! I think I can buy one of those!” But, alas, the thing cost $50!!! (Are you kidding me?) AND she gave everyone in the audience 18 of them! O-key Do-key then…
Little did I know, I would end this year with not 1 , but 2!, of her favorite things!!! My husband squirreled away money for over a year in a secret account and presented me with the money on my birthday in August to buy a new camera. I’ve found the process of choosing one difficult…as well as dealing with the guilt of spending that much money on one thing (we ARE missionaries, you know!)…but alas, we just picked up this beauty…
Oh, my…it’s now my new favorite thing!:) I’m on a mission to learn to use it on settings other than “automatic”! Ha!
And the place we stayed at in Washington left this sample for me:
Oprah’s “Hope in a Jar”!! (What a hilarious name!) Now I can try it out and see what the hullabaloo is all about!
These last few days I’ve been pondering “gifts”. Right now my heart is so full. Of gratefulness. To God. For His amazing gifts: His Son, a family who loves me, friends who encourage me, and gifts of extravagance – those “unnecessary for survival” items. They are blessings that are “abundantly above all I could ask for or imagine.”
If I’m completely honest here, I’m going to admit… I miss my family right now (understatement!). However, through God’s precious gifts to me, I feel his presence and love surrounding me this Christmas season.
And to you, my blogger friends…THANK YOU! A fellow blogger once told me that comments are “a gift”. So thank you for the gifts you’ve sent my way through your words of encouragement.
You have blessed my heart. Merry Christmas to you!

***Disclaimer: I have not been paid by Oprah, Nikon, Philosophy, or Debbie Macomber to promote their products. However, I have pondered how I could get them to do so! tee hee!:)


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One Comment

  1. Merry Christmas, Rita! I've just discovered Debbie Macomber this year, too. You'd like her book "One Simple Act", another nonfiction. She's a great writer!
    Enjoy your camera!

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