I'll Be Dreaming of You This Christmas



I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dreaming of a warm Christmas. The past few weeks in Florida have been downright cold with lows in the 40s at night, and the temperature struggling to reach the 60s during the day. 

I don’t care much for this kind of weather. Even though I grew up in Pittsburgh and loved the one or two snowy Christmases I remember, I prefer a balmy Christmas. 

When my family first moved here years ago, we wanted to spend the holiday in ways that were unconventional to us. 



So I’ve spent Christmas Day at the Magic Kingdom eating hamburgers instead of ham. 

I’ve skated on fake ice on a temporary rink outside Universal Studios, while the sun blazed down, making puddles around my blades. 

I’ve found myself on a boyfriend’s ski boat in the middle of a lake at Christmas, needing sunscreen and watching families gather under the decorated trees on their docks.

After so many Florida Christmases, about the only kind of cold weather I can tolerate is watching snow fall on TV.



So every year I watch my favorite holiday movie, White Christmas, where I can dream of ski lodges covered with snow while my air conditioner blows a cool breeze over me as I’m tucked up on my couch.

Wrapped around plenty of singing and dancing, the story unfurls some lovely gifts of truth to savor all year long. 

The characters selflessly give of their talents to help a friend, persevere to make their dreams come true, and even welcome the adventure of a train ride from Florida to the mountains of Vermont. 

And even though it’s warm and sunny once they arrive, they keep right on dreaming of a white Christmas.



I watched it again {well, maybe for the hundredth time} last week and my favorite part of the movie is the sister act, where Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen sing and dance their way into the hearts of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. 

Although my sister and I can’t dance or sing to save our lives, we’ve quoted the lines of the song and written them in cards to each other as part of our sister code for years. 

So when I was in St. Augustine for Thanksgiving and saw a picture frame with the words to the “Sisters” song scrolled across it, I had to have it. 



Just like the sisters in the movie, my sister knows me better than anyone else does. 

She’s my truest confidante, my biggest cheerleader and my wisest advisor. She also accurately sizes up my motives and can set me straight and call me out because she knows what I’m thinking. She is the one person whose judgment I trust completely because she wants nothing more than the best for me.

Why wouldn’t I trust the one who knows me best? 

I ask myself the same question about God.



God has known me from the beginning and can see the entire span of my life from the past, the present, and into the future. 

I’m not sure I would have imagined that my future included writing a blog and having you join me every week, where you are so kind and gracious with your encouraging comments.

Three years ago when I felt God stirring some interest in me to write a blog, I couldn’t understand it. I’m reserved and reflective, and writing a blog feels a lot like going to the grocery store in my pajamas and slippers.


I had no idea how to create a blog. When I mentioned it to a few friends, they confidently told me they’d have me and up and running in no time, and all of a sudden I found myself gasping for air as I was pushed into the blogging pool.

I posted a photo a friend took of my living room, wrote a few paragraphs and hit publish. I calmed down after I realized no one was actually reading my blog except for my mother and my sister. 

But God sees me as I was meant to be, and he calls me what I am not yet to show me what I could be.


He is helping me discover the gifts he gave me and how to pursue the dreams he’s planted in my heart. 

He’s giving me opportunities to live with courage and perseverance, and showing me how to enjoy the adventure of whatever this life may bring. 

And, friend, this is what I’m praying for you too. 

Whether you’re dreaming of days that are warm with sunshine or white with snowflakes, I’ll be dreaming of you on Christmas. 



If you’re experiencing circumstances that threaten to swallow your hope, choke off your faith and shatter pieces of your heart, my prayer for you is that God will open the eyes of your heart. 

To see your life as he sees it and know that your heart matters so very much to him and that he cares deeply about your circumstances.

I pray you’ll feel wrapped in God’s extravagant love, and that your heart will be filled with hope and love and peace and joy.



I’m going to be wishing for a warm day here in Florida on Christmas but I’ve just heard that some members of my extended family are spending Christmas in Paris this year. 

I wonder how cold it gets in Paris in December? It rather sounds like an enchanting idea for Christmas that I might be able to warm up to. 

I think I'll ask my sister if she wants to go with me.





I'm linking up with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart and at Kelly Balare's place with Cheerleaders of Faith. Will you join me and click the image to read more holiday cheer?




Comments

  1. Valerie, My girls and I were just watching that movie. They are 5 and 6 and actually begged to finish it when I thought it was over their heads. First of all, I love warm weather. Its actually been warm here in Virginia for the last four days and it is wonderful. Playing outside and light jackets. I would love to have a deeper South Christmas. Where I needed sunscreen :) Totally agree! I love the thoughts about your sister. I have a sister like that. It was just two of us and there is no bond ever like it. When you were close and just kept getting closer. I don't think I have a fiercer defender then the one in my sister. Seriously.
    I am so glad you have one.
    I loved your thoughts about your blog. Especially your description of how it made you feel. Perfect summation of what it feels like. Like putting an X-ray on your brain and letting people see the beauty and crazy that goes on. Yikes.
    I am always blessed by what I read here. Always. I'm very thankful for your courage to do so. Hope you do get to go to Paris. What a Christmas Treat, Valerie!

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    1. Summer,
      I love that your girls loved White Christmas - -those memories will stay with them forever and I hope they grow to love the sisters number too! The sister bond is like no other! :) I'm so grateful for your encouragement and count you as a kindred in my life! :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your visit, so happy to have you stop by!

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  3. This was great! Thanks for helping me to remember to see my life as God sees it! It has been difficult for me to do lately and appreciate this lift! Thank you!

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    1. Susie,
      Praying for perspective and hope for you . . .

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  4. I miss Christmases in Florida! It's so cold here in NY. I especially miss the temporary rink they used to set up at Downtown Disney that had real ice. So fun!

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    1. Amy,
      So nice to hear from you, friend! :) Yes, those temporary outdoor rinks hold the fun memories for us, don't they?!

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  5. My sister is one of my best friends! It is hard to hold anything back from her. :) I pray one day my girls will have the same strong relationship-despite the bossiness of my oldest. Ha!
    I love Christmas in the south too. Snow sounds good, but it is all cold and stuff.

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    1. Sarah,
      I pray your girls will have a strong sisterhood connection too --it's the greatest gift! :)

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  6. Hey Valerie ... Florida's looking pretty good right about now. And I LOVE LOVE your wire basket filled with those precious old ornaments!

    So fine to rub shoulders a bit with you this week online. Have a wonderful Christmas ... and I look forward to visiting with you again in the new year!

    ;-}

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  7. Hi Linda! So nice to have you stop by! Happy holidays to you too!

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  8. Valerie, this was such a great post. It definitely put me in a festive mood. Merry Christmas to you and your family :)

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    1. Kay,
      I'm so enjoying getting to know you through all your social media channels! :) And I'm looking forward to more in the new year!

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  9. Beautiful. I love this prayer: "I pray you’ll feel wrapped in God’s extravagant love, and that your heart will be filled with hope and love and peace and joy." Thank you for the encouragement and perspective this Christmas. You convey your story beautifully with images. Much love, your cheerleader

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    Replies
    1. Kelly,
      Thank you for asking me to join the link-up! So grateful for the cheerleading! :)

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  10. Glad you took that plunge into blogging - and you have such beautiful photographs! Merry Christmas to you!

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    1. Kathryn,
      Thank you for reading -- Merry Christmas to you too, friend!

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  11. Well, I think your blog is lovely! I cannot imagine running the AC for Christmas. Here in north Georgia we usually have at least a bit of heat on at Christmas. So nice to meet you. Popped in from #RaRaLinkup.

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    1. Hi Leah!
      So happy you stopped by from the link-up! Merry Christmas to you!

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  12. She’s my truest confidante, my biggest cheerleader and my wisest advisor. <--- This is truth for me too Valerie! Thanks for reminding me of the gift of sisterhood. You are a sister in Christ (and blogging)...thanks for being one of my top commenters! Love the wordpress summary stuff...kind of a virtual cheerleader to keep blogging! Happy New Year! Love your photos and words...keep them coming! Jenn

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    1. Jenn,
      Thank you so much for encouraging my words! I love reading your words too and I'm so happy to be a top commenter over at your online home! :)

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  13. Wonderful article - as always. Hope you had a wonderful holiday and that 2015 will hold many blessings for you!

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