What does peace mean to you? How do you find peace within yourself? In today's busy world with our overstuffed schedules and constant technology at our fingertips; it is too easy to occupy ourselves with "things" that we forget about stopping, standing still and just taking in the "moments" of this special time.
The other night when my family went to pick out our Christmas tree we experienced one of these moments. We arrived at our church and we were all excited to see what tree would come home with us. My middle daughter, 5 years old was SUPER excited. When she got to the lot she ran full speed yelling, "Christmas trees." The four or five men that were working had huge smiles on their faces and in that one or two minutes she managed to light up their night. Maybe they had a rough day, maybe they didn't really feel like standing there all night while people took their time finding a tree...but it didn't matter in those minutes because she made their night worth it. They all laughed and said, "Yay Christmas." It was really a special moment and my husband and I just glanced over at each other and smiled.
For me, these are moments of peace. No, it wasn't quiet, but it was truly special and we may never have that happen again. These are the "moments" that we need to stop and watch for. If you don't, they will quickly slip through your fingertips.
This week in Advent we focus on peace. What changes do you need to make in your life so that you can find more peace? I know I need to take more time to sit in peace during my day. I definitely get too caught up in my schedule and checking items off my to-do list that I let moments pass by. I am working hard on stopping and watching. I hope this week you can find some time to do the same.
We spend a great deal of time telling God what we think should be done, and not enough time waiting in the stillness for God to tell us what to do. ~Peace Pilgrim
Today is a day that I find myself having a heavy heart. My Mom passed away seven years ago today. It's hard to believe it has been that long. I feel as if it were yesterday. Today is also my Dad's birthday. He would have been 67 years old. For me, they both were taken much too soon. I miss you both and love you more than words.
I think, no matter where you stray,
That I shall go with you a way.
Though you may wander sweeter lands,
You will not soon forget my hands,
Nor yet the way I held my head,
Nor all the tremulous things I said.
You still will see me, small and white
And smiling, in the secret night,
And feel my arms about you when
The day comes fluttering back again.
I think, no matter where you be,
You’ll hold me in your memory
And keep my image, there without me,
By telling later loves about me.
Ahh...the holdiay season is amongst us. Twinkling lights, Christmas music on the radio....These next few weeks are not only a time to decorate and transfrom our home into a Winter Wonderland; for me it is a time to reflect on my relationship with God. It is a time to think about my faith and my prayer life. It will hopefully, be full of moments of quiet reflection. It may take a miracle to find that quiet time, but I am going to give it my all. This Advent season is time for me to think about Jesus' birth and all the gifts I have been given because of our Lord.
Some families have Advent wreaths which they light each night before prayer. Others may do an Advent Calendar where they countdown to Christmas Day. These are all fun to have your family participate. Christmas Day is wonderful and so worthy of a great celebration. I too think that the weeks leading up to Christmas are equally important. It gives us a chance to pray about Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. All of these glorious gifts from God.
This first week of Advent, we light the candle of Hope. My goal this week has been to make time each day to think about my "hopes." What am I needing physically, spiritually and emotionally? I can't help but to think about the hope that Mary had while carrying the baby Jesus in her womb. I think about the hope the Three Wise Men had during their journey to Bethlehem. I think about the Christmas Star and what a beautiful symbol of hope it was for the Wise Men. It makes me wonder what Mary and Joseph's hopes were when they were in the stable with Baby Jesus?
What do you hope for? What is a priority for you and your family this holiday season? It is so easy to get wrapped up in the commercialism of Christmas...I am just as guilty. I love watching my children and my husband open their gifts on Christmas Day. With that being said I also love when we make a cupcake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday. I want my children to always remember the real reason behind Christmas.
This week was the time to think about hope and what it means to each of us personally. My hope is that I can prioritize these next few weeks and make time to sit quitely so that I can better teach my children about Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith. ~Robert Brault
And thank you for a house full of people I love. Amen.
I had an entire blog entry written and decided to forgo. Sometimes less is best. Today (and always) I am thankful for my husband. He is my rock and I adore him more each day. We have been together for almost 16 years and married for almost 13 years. He is the most kind hearted person I know. He has this amazing quality of making me laugh even in those moments I want to scream. I love him and I am so blessed to call him mine.
Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is a winding path walked arm in arm. ~Robert Brault
Today I am so very thankful for a quick and speedy healing for my oldest daughter. She had surgery a few days ago and is doing wonderful. I am thankful for her doctors and nurses that took such good care of her. She is a trooper and has proven to be so much stronger than I thought she would be.
It's been a busy few days and this week is going to be the same. Can you believe it is Thanksgiving already? I am not sure I am ready for the holiday season. I absolutely love it, but I feel like I am going to blink my eyes and it will be over....I try each year to be organized and have gifts bought in time, not so much this year....I know I'll get there I just don't even want to think about it yet. I want to enjoy Thanksgiving. I really love Thanksgiving....it is one of my favorite holidays. I love the cooler weather, the colors of fall and of course the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven or at least the yankee candle pumpkin pie!!!
This holiday is always a bit difficult for me. The year my Mom passed away we all had just spent Thanksgiving together at the beach. Not even a week later and we were flying to NJ to unknown circumstances. I feel as if I have a constant lump in my throat during Thanksgiving week and the first week of December. People tell you when you lose a loved one that time heals....I honestly don't know. Yes, I think it gets a little easier to accept and easier to find peace on most days. Although, holidays and anniversaries and even sometimes just something so simple makes the lump in my throat appear.
It brings a smile to my face to remember our last Thanksgiving together because my Mom (and my Dad) were so happy that holiday. We were all together and they were having the time of their life spending it with their granddaughter. She was the only grandchild. She was the center of my parents' universe. I vividly remember my Mom, my daughter and I doing the chicken dance that Thanksgiving. For some reason, my daughter loved it and so we did it A LOT. I remember watching her and my Mom out on the balcony and laughing so hard because my Mom did not care who may have been walking out on the beach, she was with her grandbaby and she was content.
I remember saying good-bye at the airport and hugging my Mom so tight. I realize we never know when it is going to be our last hug...but oh I wish I would have had a clue because I would have hugged a little bit longer that day. I can remember what she was wearing...I don't remember what I was wearing but I can picture her white sweater so clearly in my head. That was the last time I held my Mom when she was alert and happy. The next time I saw her, she was in the hospital and of course I held her hand but it wasn't the same. It will never be the same.
So, for me personally this holiday holds special meaning. I somehow seem to get through it each year. When things get busy and I feel like I need a break; I close my eyes and imagine my Mom with my daughter doing their dance. That is all I need. Memories will never fade.
I know we are going to have a wonderful holiday this year. We have family in town and we are so blessed to have them with us. My heart may feel heavy at times, but I know that my parents and all of our loved ones are watching over us and celebrating right along with us.
This month in Mass we have been singing a verse that I absolutely love. It is for anyone who has died and it brings chills to my bones each and every week. I wanted to share it with you:
May the choirs of angels come to greet you.
May they speed you to paradise.
May the Lord enfold you in his mercy.
May you find eternal life.
In case this week flies by me let me leave you with this: I wish each and every one of you a blessed Thanksgiving! Enjoy this special time with your family. May you laugh and make memories of your own.
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is just one of those spots where I could sit all day long...I love it here and today I just happened to capture the sun setting. What a beautiful peaceful place...
"Having inner peace means committing to letting go of self-criticism and self-doubt.”
― Sanaya Roman
This is a photo I found online of one of my favorite places...Paris. My husband and I were so blessed to have been able to travel to Paris as part of our honeymoon. It's been way too long...I would love to go back. Of course, I would like to take our girls one day...today though my mind wanders and I think about being there with my husband...and the beautiful, romance of the city.
I can close my eyes and imagine the smells of the sidewalk cafes and the taste of the cheese and wine....hopefully we will get back there soon. For now, I will take my mind vacations and dream of one of my favorite places.“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.”
― Thomas Jefferson
Today I was able to spend some alone time with my middle daughter. We had a much needed Mommy and daughter shopping day, lunch break and most importantly bonding time. She was even able to sit in the front seat while eating her choice lunch (I think this may have been her favorite part of the day)...it was a great day overall. It's not intentional, but it seems like she is the one that gets the least amount of alone time with me. I read a blog the other day about how one Mom is making it her goal to spend 15 minutes uninterrupted time with each of her children...every day. You may say, "Wow, 15 minutes doesn't seem like a lot of time." Honestly I am trying to figure out if I could even do 15 minutes a day with all three of my girls. Our weekdays are so crammed with activity, but I think it is time to get organized and make those 15 minutes happen. I see such a difference in their behavior when they get a little bit of alone time with either myself or my husband. My youngest is the one who gets the most time; only because she is not in school full time. So, my plan is this: during the week I will start with my youngest when the other two are at school. When the older two get home, I will have my time with our middle daughter after snack and homework. Then before our oldest daughter goes to bed, we will have our time together. I hope that I am able to stick with it and enjoy those precious minutes alone with each of my daughters. Before I know it, they will be in the stage where they don't want to spend time with me, but with their friends etc. For now I am thankful for the 15 minutes. I will enjoy these moments more than the girls will ever know.“...you are my rainbow to keep. My eyes will always be watching you; never will I lose sight of you.”
― Vesna Bailey
After a day of running around this is a welcomed treat....simple yet delicious! Have a great Friday.“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.” ― Thomas Jefferson