Showing posts from December, 2014

A Holiday Toast

Somehow we've made it to the end of the year and Christmas is here.  Nearly all the preparations are done.  (Aren't there always last minute things that need doing even with planning?). This Christmas Eve, I've got my day all planned out.  After an abbreviated work day (and I am BLESSED to have a job), I will hurry home and pick up my guys.  My little guy (who is not so little...I'm thinking by this time next year he may be taller than me!) will be singing and kinging at our church's 4 o'clock service.  It will be joyous chaos as it always is. Afterwards if it's not too wet (I'm not adverse to the warm, but the wet I could do without), we will drive around a bit to see the holiday lights.  (And if it is too wet, I have a contingency plan to do this Friday evening...always the planning mom.) We will go home and have an early and light dinner.  During which I have a suspicion that a certain stuffed animal (which I am guessing will be named Snowy)


"Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine, Love was born at Christmas, Star and Angels gave the sign." The fourth Sunday in Advent brings to mind one of my favorite hymns/anthems which takes its lyrics from a poem by Christina Rossetti.  It reminds me that Christmas exists because of the birth of a child.  To me, a child means love.  When I became a mom, I found a love that I had never experienced before and never expected to experience.  It's amazing what love a child can bring. Unlike adults, young children love unconditionally and wholeheartedly.  Does anything feel better than a hug from a child? Biblically, God gave us love in the form of the baby Jesus.  If that doesn't tell us how important children are/should be, I don't know what does.   Another one of my favorite holiday anthems is "One Small Child" which says:  "Share the joy which comes this night, in the love of one small child."  Christmas means lo

The Last Month of the Year

Here we are at the end of 2014.  How did we get to December so quickly?  (How did it get to be the middle of the month?  Or since we've passed the 15th are we already rushing to the end?) Why do the months that preceded it seem like years ago? I remember the long hard winter we had (and fear for another one). Spring and summer seem to have tumbled into one and autumn didn't seem to exist (maybe because I spent pretty much all of September and October and part of November/December visiting hospitals and care centers with my father being so ill).  2014 seems to have blended into a mass haze for me and somewhere in my brain we've already morphed into 2015. So what can I do with the rest of this last month?  I (and you) can do my best to enjoy it.  To try and slow down a bit and maybe catch up on what the past 11 months have all been about.  I want to make this month count and not be a blur like so much of the year has been for me.  That may mean that some stuff that i


The third Sunday in Advent brings us to joy.  Advent and Christmas SHOULD be full of joy.  Most of the trappings of the holiday as we currently know it SHOULD bring us joy.  The smells (holiday cookies, pine trees), the sights (the lights, the decorations), the sounds (the carols, the bells), the tastes (chocolate candies, peppermint candy canes) and even the feel/touch (the fresh chill of the air, the warmth of a fire); they should all fill your heart and soul with joy. But do they?  Do we allow ourselves those moments of joy or do we rush by them? Joy is tough for me this Sunday.  Not to complain (although I do that a lot!), I and my family have been through a lot this year.  And sadly, this week was no exception when a dear friend and neighbor, lost her battle with cancer.  How can I find joy when this woman, the "mom" of our block is no longer around?  I am sad; my community is upset; a family is devastated.  How can I even think about joy? But by not allowin

No Spirit This Season?

Maybe it's just the grayness of the days that we've had, but for someone who known for her holiday spirit and "Christmas-ness," I'm just not feeling it.  Yes my tree is up as are the rest of the decorations.  I've done most of the holiday cards. Presents have been bought and wrapped (or at least placed into gift bags).  Christmas tunes are playing on my radio.  Christmas is only a little over 2 weeks away.  But something seems to be missing for me. There are plenty of reasons why I'm a bit down in the dumps this year: My dad is back in the hospital (he was admitted the day before Thanksgiving).  Though it looks like he will be out this week, it's been a very trying time. Our special music service at church has been postponed/canceled as our director's son is seriously ill. A good friend of mine is on hospice care A couple of recent financial opportunities that looked very promising turned out not to be. Volun


The second Sunday in Advent:  Peace. A fitting topic the day also commemorates the 73rd anniversary of Pearl Harbor; a day where peace was shattered.  A day when we should remember the past and pray for peace now and in the future. But the question for me personally is, do I have peace?  With Christmas less than a month away how can I find peace?   Even as I sit down to write this, my mind is running in a million different directions.  There is so much I have to do and not just for the holiday season.  How do I make time to fit it all in?  How can I find peace in my heart when my father is in the hospital?  How can I even address the bigger question of who I can make peace in the world?  If I don’t stop the chaos that clutters my mind and my life, there can be no peace. There's the wonderful song/hymn "Let There Be Peace On Earth “which says "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."  I take that as if I want there to be peace on earth, I first

I like Ralph

It's that time of year again.  Yes, it's Elf season.  Elves are popping up everywhere (though mostly on Facebook).  It seems like half the world LOVES Elf season (plenty of cute photos of those little guys and gals posing) and the other half ABHORS it.  Each side has their reasons for their opinion and each side is certainly entitled to that. As for me, I'm in the middle of the road.  Hard to believe, but I can see where both sides are coming from. We have our own elf, named Ralph by my son when he first arrived at our house Thanksgiving evening several years ago.  Since then Ralph has been showing up at our house every Thanksgiving (after dinner).  He usually knocks on the door; although no one sees him come in when we open it.  He must be quite quick because after knocking he'll appear somewhere in the living room or dining room without anyone seeing him move.  This year, perhaps knowing that Thanksgiving wasn't going to be the same this year with my parents

One Step Forward, One Step Back. Now We're Doing The Cha-Cha?

Step forward, step back and cha-cha-cha.  Seems like my life has become this little dance.  Or that's how I'm choosing to look at it. My family took a big step forward in early November when my dad came home from the rehab center and seemed well on the path to recovery.  Then we took the step back...and boy was it a big one! Right before Thanksgiving my father got ill and showed all the symptoms that had plagued him when this nasty roller coaster ride of an infection started.  Being the smart woman that my mother is, she took him to the hospital (which is where he was heading later that day anyway for some follow up at the wound care center).  He was readmitted. That in itself would be a step back, but not a big step back.  The big step back was to follow, but that comes later; after my MOM was admitted to the hospital the same day.  No, I'm not kidding.  While in the hospital my mother had "an event".  She heartbeat was irregular and she nearly black