Christmas tea party.

A few days ago, my dear friend Melissa invited Luci Belle and I to her cozy, Christmasy home for a traditional tea party. 

Can you believe this?  It looks like a page out of Country Living...

Since I met Melissa in the fall of 2004 when I was a part of a Bible study she was leading, she has been a friend, confidant, and spiritual mentor to me.  I sat on her sofa multiple times sharing my heart, sharing things with her that few others knew. 

In her home, everyone feels comfortable.  People feel special.  As you can see from the tea party setup, she doesn't hesitate to light the good candles, use the silver tea service, the china, the vintage place settings...all for just an "ordinary" weekday. 

When we arrived, Luci Belle started exploring right away...this place was a toddler's wonderland!  Lots of things to touch and explore...collections of Santas, plush sheep, wooden nativities, angels, and lots of ornaments.  And the best part?  As a mother of three grown children, Melissa doesn't put anything within a child's reach that could be easily ruined or broken.   Ahhhh.  So I could relax, too.

What I love the most about Melissa is that she's a servant who walks with Jesus.  Two things she taught me that I try to constantly remember...

1) Always be thankful.  This is the only way to live and have joy amidst any kind of circumstances. 
2) Never talk negatively about your husband to anyone. 

Wise words from a wise woman.  I hope I can bless and encourage others the way this woman has blessed my life!