the joy project december 6 This will be our fourth Christmas in Florida since moving home from North Carolina in 2011. This time of year, I often miss the first snow of the season, Christmas tree farms with fresh trees, daily fires in the living room, and friends who lingered in the yard visiting while our kids played. Truthfully, there is a lot I still miss about the life we left behind.

This weekend we spent the day at a community wide event for our small hometown. We visited with friends from our childhood in 80 degree weather and sunshine. We saw grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as we walked around the event. We came home and spent time on the lake and dinner surrounded by family. This is December, now in Florida. There is so much to be thankful for. I know that this is right where we need to be and I am grateful for God’s provision.

Perhaps, you are also missing a place or a person during this holiday season. I would love to say there was a magical way to make that pain or void go away. Instead, I urge you to look around where you are, see who you are with, and find the beauty in this season of your life. It isn't always easy, but it can totally change your perspective. It can totally change your life.

(On a side note, if you look closely, you will see our daughter is almost in tears in this picture. Yes, this is the reality of this time of year; busy days, not enough sleep, and sometimes extra grumpy children.)