Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A break for now......

I have been thinking about this and thinking about this and thinking about this…….  And I think I have come to the decision to put my blog on hiatus for a while.  I don’t want to walk away completely- but I feel the blog has sort of fizzled out.  I am not posting much, when I do- my posts are a little flat and dull.  

The truth is, I am not enjoying writing my blog lately and though I still feel I have a million posts I could write- none of them seem meaningful when I actually sit down to type them.  Anyway, I pray a little break will do me some good.   I think I will take the time to concentrate my writing efforts on fiction or personal journaling or even just keeping in touch better with friends through e-mails or letters.

For now, I am off.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Blog Reading!

Monday, December 17, 2012

O come, O come Advent

My oldest daughter and I were talking last night about how so many of the traditions from the Advents of her younger days have not been quite the same as they used to be.  We have not been visiting Santa Claus the last two years (because the “real” Santa retired and it is just not the same experience without him).  When we went to see our favorite Christmas lights displays last year they had scaled things way back and the experience was a huge disappointment.  And, most of all, she is well past believing in Santa.   

We talked about how the magic of the season feels somewhat diminished.  I reminded her that it is really about Jesus and not about Santa or fancy light displays anyway.  But then I felt guilty because even our spiritual preparations have been somewhat diminished this year…. 

This Advent, like everything else in life this year, has been overshadowed by busyness.  Our celebrations and observances have been sort of thrown together.  I hate that it is this way but I am not the most organized person and distractions keep finding a way of getting in the way of life and wrecking havoc on my very best intentions.   

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that this is life.  Busyness is a part of the chapter of life I am in- with five children ranging in age from 14-3, and three jobs between Tim and I, and home schooling, and the few extra activities the kids are involved in, etc., etc., etc….. And I am learning to find God in the midst of it all.  I am beginning to understand that holiness is serving Him as best I can despite the distractions and struggles.  

Anyway, what I really wanted to share though was that this morning as the younger kids and I were working on an "O Antiphon" craft that I threw together, I decided a little music would set the mood.  I thought a little music might help us to appreciate the O Antiphons and the last little bit of Advent and the special time of preparation and contemplation this time of year should be.   

I was right!  This song by Matt Maher (my very favorite Christian musician.  I love his voice and his songs and, most of all that, he is Catholic) immediately cut through the distractions in my heart & mind.  For a few moments, as I listened, my heart stirred with hope and joy.  And the spirit of Advent came alive for me.  I had to share…..I hope it touches you as well.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

How my Grinch plans got stolen!

            What a week we had last week!  Sick kids, changing work schedules, and not one night where Tim and I were both home together with the kids.  We so rarely have this happen.  In fact, a month ago my eleven year old son overheard a conversation Tim and I were having about statistics we had heard concerning the importance of families eating dinner together, and my son asked, in confusion, how a family could possibly avoid eating their dinners together!  Unfortunately, this week, he had the chance to find out!

            As if the busyness and unpredictability of our days  was not enough...  I had seen something on Pinterest I really wanted to do.  It was a recipe for a dessert using lime sherbet and the suggestion to have it while watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.  Now, that is one of my favorite Christmas movies (the old half hour animated one, not the newer live action one).  And, my daughter had been requesting sherbet for dessert for a while.  I thought it would be fun to buy the kids the green dessert (skipping the fancy recipe and just having the sherbet plain) and curl up as a family with the movie.  I thought it would be even more fun to surprise the kids with my plan.  

As SO often happens, my plans did not work out as I hoped.  First, I wanted to have our movie/dessert night on Tuesday evening, but the aforementioned sick child and changing work schedules prevented that.  Wednesday was out from the start. So, Thursday was my second choice but-- did I mention changing work schedules?  Thursday did not work out.  Friday did not seem an option- I was “on call” at work and would likely have to help close the store that night.   

It was beginning to look like our Grinch movie and dessert surprise was doomed to failure.  But then it turned out, I was not needed at work on Friday and would be able to spend the evening with my family.  Finally, a night that we would ALL be together.  I decided we would load the kids up in the car and swing by the store to buy our treat, then watch our movie before bed.  

            A perfect plan, right?   But on the five minute car ride home from the store with our sherbet, my daughters got in an argument.  My nine year old let her temper get the best of her.  Her behavior was such that she did not deserve a special treat and was told she would have to go right to bed without dessert or movie when we got home.  

I hate, sometimes, having to follow through on discipline.  Our daughter came to us, in tears after putting her p.j.’s on and brushing her teeth and apologized, begging to be included in the fun.  We felt bad.  But, Tim and I try very hard to stand firm, in order to teach our children that their choices and actions DO have consequences.  So we sent her off to bed alone while the rest of the family shared a special evening. 

Our dessert was yummy, and the movie was cute and meaningful, as always.  But, without the whole family in on the fun, our night was not as special as it was supposed to be.  So much for my plans……


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