1. Here are a few moments of our Christmas day.
Morning--fortunately we do not get up ultra early. We go to midnight mass and this year didn't hit the sack till an eye-watering 3:30 AM. But we still had to rouse ourselves because we had some visiting to do in the afternoon. We do gift opening one person at a time so we can all admire and properly enjoy the effort each person took in choosing each gift to give. Or in Rachael's case--making each gift . Hers were spectacular. Many of our photos turned out blurry (see the bedtime above), so I probably can't do her work justice. I will only post a few of the pics in which you can make out human forms.
Malaika's new coat.
Ben's China cymbal. That's his ecstatic look. Really!
Then we went to my friend Marie's for the afternoon and evening.
I like this photo. It has nice composition. And just the right touch of silliness.
Melissa really liked that juice.
Marie and I have been friends since we were old enough to realize we were alive. That's a long time. No reference to age here...except that the cropping did me big favors....she still looks good in the uncropped part. I am frequently mistaken for Elizabeth...
Our family really had a lovely Christmas together. It was a couple days filled with a real closeness, bonhomie, peace and good will toward men and all that stuff.
2. A few nights ago, I dreamed I was a member of Congress, and people wanted to know my thoughts about all things political.The funny part was that I wasn't entirely sure if I was a member of the Senate or the House--lol. And yet--I was addressing a group about the current GOP race, and they still listened, even though I was obviously pretty dumb.
3+4-(cause it's not that quick) We recently had some dear friends over to dinner and had a lovely evening. We discussed all sorts of things. Both our families have been and are going through some rough stuff, and the topic would make it's way back to some of the weightier issues, especially how it all fit into the light of faith. The next morning, I was thinking on it all, and a phrase I heard Elisabeth Elliot say once, (years ago when I would listen to family radio while baking my own bread, etc..) came to mind. "Do the next thing." I have so often thought of this over the years when I was overwhelmed by life and paralyzed into inactivity. I always took it to mean to keep moving forward-- by inches, if necessary. There always seemed to be at least one small thing I could do in response to whatever problem I was facing. A lot of times I would just clean the house like mad, which has a way of helping me clear my mind. I could make a phone call, try to find resources to help with said problem, and of course, pray. Not just vague prayer here, but specific requests. Like--"Lord, we do not have money for heating oil, please send help"--or, "or, Lord, I have no groceries or money until I start my new job in two weeks, please send help!" Both these specific requests were answered. One pretty miraculously, the other in a more roundabout way, but my needs were always met. The Next Thing, sometimes is a Thing that we do not want to do, or face. Sometimes we positively dread it, but know in our heart of hearts that it must be. Sometimes it involves suffering. There are so many instances in life that cause us to suffer, and within those times are the many "next things" in which God is very present in love, compassion and mercy. When we look back, we can scarcely believe the graces He heaped upon us, but yet, if possible, we avoid those times. We just are not cut out, in our natural selves, for trust. Especially that nuts and bolts kind of trust that causes us to have to rely on him for our next step, or our next breath.
Anyways--I would ask your prayers for this dear family, our friends, who are in one of those dire seasons.
5. The March for Life is approaching really quickly. I don't think I have yet warmed up completely from last year. (high temp. of 21 degrees...). But I have a stunning red hat to wear this year.
So, I've got the really important part covered, right?
6. New Year's makes me want to clean and do house projects. Does it affect anyone else this way? It really kicks in when I take down the tree and Christmas decorations. Which is roughly around Valentines Day. If I can get away with it.
7. I probably mentioned the Jesus Retreat in my last post--so excited for a couple reasons. One is that Bob and I will get away for the first time since our quasi-honeymoon. There is a tiny chance we will not be able to go---so pray for us and for my poor mother in law, who is in terrible pain from severe arthritis. I'll be fine if we have to miss, but if at all possible, I would rather go!
In case I don't get to post again before I am back pounding away on my steno machine for school, and we are all back to the grind, here's wishing and praying for all (both?) of you, my dear readers.
Peace, Joy, and General Goodwill!