our family nativity with St. Francis Assisi

Christmas has arrived!  That magical time of the year when all seems to be at peace.  That time of the year when nature seems still, wars paused, enemies celebrate 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 for us.

This picture is of the manger scene our family has set up for over two decades, and since the 1980's I have added the statue of St. Francis of Assisi to my manger scene.  Why?

In a little town in Italy, named Greccio, in the year 1223, St. Francis led an evening prayer service for the towns' people, and to make the event meaningful he decided to recreate, live, the nativity, the birth of Jesus.  Prior to this event, the displaying of nativity scenes was unheard of.  But for Francis, the importance of the nativity event was that it was a real event.  Historically, in the town of Bethlehem, a child, later to be named Jesus by his…

Read more: Merry Christmas

Write comment (0 Comments)

Reason for the Season

Christmas Eve, for me as a child, was one of the longest days ever! As an adult, I find this day to be one 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. Mary, an unwed teenager from a small town in a desert is 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…

Read more: Trust is the meaning of Christmas Eve

Write comment (0 Comments)
"In winter we lead a more inward life. Our hearts are warm and cheery, like cottages under drifts, whose windows and doors are half concealed, but from whose chimneys the smoke cheerfully ascends."  Henry David Thoreau

My house after the first of two blizzards to hit in 2010 (credit: Blog Author)

Today, our planet is tilted in such a way that half of us will experience the shortest day of the solar year, the Winter Solstice. Personally, this is my favorite time of the year, for as Thoreau so poetically wrote, this is the time of the year most suited for leading an inward life.

I grew up in the northern part of the US where the days were short, the nights long, and snow blowing in the bitter wind. Ah, heaven! The sun would set around 4:00pm or so and a purplish haze would envelop the area just prior to the arrival of darkness; my favorite time of the day. Why? I'm not really sure, to be honest. It may be because that's where I grew up and so the memory of cold winter evenings brings a warmth to my thoughts. It may be because of my penchant for quiet…

Read more: tips for finding hope in winter

Write comment (0 Comments)

{eds. note: This is a guest blog written by counselor Catherine McConnell. Click here for her website.}

Everyone knows that “drugs are bad, mmkay.” We’ve all heard it, “just say no,” “addiction is a disease,” and it has been glamorized for our entertainment in shows like “Intervention.” But what if it was more than that? What if I told you, that I can assist in treating addiction without EVER uttering a word about the drug?

I work with mandated Child Protective Services (CPS) cases and I see a lot of people who are forced to come to therapy.  Some of them are ready to quit and some aren’t. Do you know what they all have in common? Pain. There is no addiction without pain.  They come in expecting to be judged, to be told that drugs are bad and how they affect the body. They come in angry and looking for a fight. They want to tell me all the reasons they aren’t an awful human being (I agree with them there!). They’re often taken aback at my approach. I’m a little different. I listen… and then I ask “what are you running from?”…

Read more: A Different Perspective on Addiction

Write comment (0 Comments)

To quote a popular song of the season: “It's the most wonderful time of the year!” While this sentiment may be true for many of us, it is not necessarily the shared sentiment of everyone. As the end of the year mark's a time for celebrations, holidays, and traditions which bring together families and spark feelings of joy, there are those whose memories and sentiments of this time of the year are quite different from customarily expected.

There are those who suffer from mental illness or whose memories of the holiday season are not of pleasant times. It is unfortunate that many of us forget that not everyone perceives this time of the year in the same way that we do. I'm not writing this to chastise anyone or to bring down the mood the season. What I am saying is that we need to be mindful of those around us who may be suffering while we celebrate.

Many of us feel the burden of unreasonable expectations for perfection this time of the year. While we still have our day-to-day tasks to do we must also decorate, buy gifts, and attend social functions. These expectations can cause stress and…

Read more: Tips For Helping Those Who Are Suffering During The Holidays

Write comment (0 Comments)

Map & Directions

22530 Washington St
Leonardtown, MD 20650
301-850-2177
M-T-Th-Fr: 3pm - 8pm, Sat: 10am - 1pm

Follow Lifesjourney….

Search...

Copyright

© Christopher Shea and Lifesjourney, 2015- present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Christopher Shea is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Shea and Lifesjourney with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. | Site Map