Christmas has arrived! That magical time of the year when all seems to be at peace; when nature seems still, wars have paused, enemies have celebrated together, kids believe in magic and the hope of treasure. A time when most of us recall how we spent the season as a child, longing once again for that simplicity of life. Amidst all the secular commercialization, this time of the year still seems to hold a special place in our heart and mind.
In a little town in Italy, named Greccio, in the year 1223, St. Francis of Assisi, led an evening prayer service for the townspeople. To make the event meaningful he decided to recreate, live, the nativity scene of the birth of Jesus. Prior to this event, the displaying of nativity scenes was unheard of. But for St. Francis, the importance of the nativity event was in his belief that it was a real event. Historically, in the town of Bethlehem, a child, later to be named Jesus by his parents, was born. Francis, believing that this child was the son of God born into our world, wanted the people of Greccio to fully understand that our God is approachable…Write comment (0 Comments)
As a child, I recall Christmas Eve as one of the longest days ever! As an adult, I find this day filled with anticipation and excitement, for spiritually I know that tomorrow we commemorate the birth of Jesus my Lord. But today the birth is not my focus, rather, my focus turns to His mother, Mary. She was an unwed teenager from a small town in a desert who was asked the impossible; to trust so deeply in God when asked to bear God's son. I have no doubt that Mary's "yes" came with some hesitation and trepidation. And I'm sure she did not always have a pleasant time of it when dealing with her future husband, her family, and just the fact of being pregnant in general. Yet, through it all, Mary never gave up.
Jesus was born to this poor teenage girl in a stable in a small town in the far reaches of the Roman empire. He was born to a girl who took a leap of faith and trusted in her God. She persevered, not knowing the outcome. Onward she traveled, despite hardship and fear.
For me, Christmas is not only a time of celebration and…Write comment (0 Comments)
I don't think there is any other time of the year which evokes such strong emotions as does this time of the year. For some of us we are excited, joyous, filled with wonder and anticipation! We visit family and friends, host parties and gatherings, spreading joy everywhere we go! But yet there are some of us who feel quite the opposite this time of the year. I think of those who recently lost a loved one, suffering from physical or mental health issues, separated from loved ones, and even estranged from family. There are those who past experience of the holidays wasn’t pleasant, and those who feel trapped in life situations.
“It's the most wonderful time of the year!” While these song lyrics may be true for some, they’re not necessarily true for everyone. I'm not writing this to bring down the mood, for what I am saying is that we need to be mindful of people around us who may be suffering while we celebrate. Not all of my past holidays have been joyous, and I’m sure neither have yours. Some of my current clients are dreading these next few weeks, while other clients are looking forward to…Write comment (0 Comments)
As I’ve grown older I realize that I’m not as creative as I was as a child. Whether that’s actually true or just my perception, it’s my current reality. Children have a sense of wonder about them, partly because many of their life experiences are new to them. I watch the reaction on the face of my granddaughter, not yet a year old, and I see the wonder and amazement as she experiences the word around her for the first time. I don’t remember ever being that age, but I do remember that as a child my imagination and creativity were awesome!
As children, we imagine ourselves as being any occupation, and even some made up super human people saving the world. Our desire to experience the world in all its fullness, and add to it, seem to wane in many of us as we age. I think the education system is partly to blame, but, realistically, I blame the economy. Why? Most of us need to find employment to survive, and many of the jobs are routine and mundane. Rare are those who gain employment wherein imagination is necessary. The rest of us simply live out our lives, as…Write comment (0 Comments)
For as long as I can remember, November is a special month for me. Why? Well, autumn is in full swing and the holiday season is just around the corner! November is also a special month for me since it’s a time which inspires gratitude. During this month many of us take time from our busy lives to reflect on what, and whom, we are grateful.
The dictionary defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful”. We recognize that in our lives there are things for which we are grateful, regardless of our life's’ circumstance. If we look hard enough, we will find something, at least that's what I’ve been told. A platitude to be sure, although in this platitude we find wisdom. Namely, if my perspective and goal is to find something for which to be thankful, I will find it. The opposite is true; the more I focus my perspective on the negatives in life the greater the belief that my life is completely negative.
Simply being thankful, or grateful, for the sake of being grateful, is not always altruistic. Can our sense of gratitude also be self-serving? Might it be a mask for our own narcissistic consumerism?…Write comment (1 Comment)