The Christmas season is upon us. I love Christmas. It is a time when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We think of others and spend time with our family and friends. The sights, the sounds, the smells, and the flavors of Christmas all form a backdrop for that Christmas magic that can bring people together in a way that might seem impossible during the rest of the year. Keep your eyes open! You might just see a Christmas miracle.
As I look back over the course of the year, I am thankful for the blessings I have received. I am particularly thankful for two events that have helped me put myself in the shoes of my clients and customers, helping me to do a better job of serving them and meeting their needs. The first thing is that early in 2019 I began to be plagued with arthritis. Starting in January, I had joint pain and inflammation that made it very difficult to carry out my daily activities. I couldn’t sit for more than an hour without stiffening up but standing and walking was painful and difficult. I was in too much pain to get any significant amounts of sleep. I was in need of the very home modifications that I routinely install for others. I am happy to report that through the application of much prayer, daily walking, drinking lots of water, and herbs, I have recovered and am able to carry out my daily activities as before. This experience (I refer to it as my wilderness experience) has taught me several very important life lessons. I learned how much I need the hand of God in my life and I learned how much I need the help of other people. I have always been a very self-sufficient person, preferring to do most things myself rather than asking for help. When you rather suddenly find yourself unable to do the things you are used to doing, it is a very humbling experience. The situation of many of my customers who struggle with health and mobility issues took on a whole new perspective. I have a new empathy for the difficulties that many of them face with tasks that most of us take for granted. The ability to empathize with others and put ourselves into their shoes is a great gift that helps us to serve others better and be a more compassionate and loving person.
The second event that happened this year is that we bought a house. After 30 years in the same house we are moving. We are currently scurrying around trying to get moved in before Christmas. Throughout the last several weeks as I have had painters, tile setters, plumbers, electricians, and others working on the house I have often thought, “What is going on at my house right now?” and “Are they being as careful with my house as I would be?’. This is giving me a new perspective on how my customers feel when I am working on their homes. I have always worked hard to protect my clients’ homes and create a memorable remodeling experience, but will work on it even harder in the future.
In summary, this year has taught me a new perspective. As we enter 2020 I hope and pray that my vision of how other people feel and compassion for their situations will be 20/20. I hope and pray that each of you will have 20/20 vision in 2020 as well. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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DEDICATION: TO SUSANNA