If you follow Advent you know this is week three, and that tomorrow we celebrate "joy" in preparation for the celebration of Christmas in just ten days.
When this day started, little did I know what a day of joy it would be - perfect preparation for my heart during this Advent.
Dave and I picked up Claire in the city last night and brought her out to the suburbs where we're staying. She's studying for finals at Moody, and thought she'd get more done in the quiet.
I'm not sure that exactly happened, but we sure experienced a lot of joy today!
Awwww, these two girls!! How I love them! Hayley Ellenwood (Claire's childhood friend from Czech who is studying here in the Chicago area as well) joined us for lunch in Wheaton.
It could not have been sweeter spending time with these two, talking non-stop with much laughter and smiles all through lunch.
Having grown up in Czech, a culture where tea is an essential part of life, these two had a great time visiting Serene Teaz downtown Wheaton, sniffing and sampling all sorts of delightful teas while I did my normal thing: snapping photos of them!
Christmas music was playing out in the open air as we walked downtown Wheaton, popping into cute little stores here and there. It could not have been a more idyllic afternoon setting, soaking in the Christmas cheer and joy.
But...as if that wasn't enough: the joy continued!
Claire's other best childhood friend from Czech, Lucy Rose Till, came to meet us downtown Wheaton (she studies at Wheaton College), along with her friend, Sheldon. What a sweet time connecting with them. I was in mom/aunt/friend bliss being with all these precious ones I have known for years, and love dearly.
So my heart is ready for week three of Advent, having just experienced a day so full of joy that my heart is nearly bursting!
Come Lord Jesus! You are my reason for joy in this world.