It’s Almost Here!

Today I’m not only talking about Christmas as I declare “It’s almost here!” I’m also thinking of the end of 2020. Thinking of it as the “year that was” should feel good.

And with those thoughts, we can move ahead into 2021 with hope and anticipation of better days ahead.

This Christmas season will be different for many of us. Traditions set aside for safer gatherings. Perhaps one less in that family photo or at the table. Inability to visit and cheer those housed in nursing facilities or in the hospital. And likely many more. 
 
If we love as Christ taught us to love, we are willing to accept these inconveniences.
 

Looking ahead, we hope for the light at the end of this seemingly endless dark tunnel to lead to better times. The vaccine is here, injections are being given, and plans established for each of us to receive it. With gratitude in our hearts, a new year is beginning with the hope of healing and diminishing numbers of victims.

Live into that Light. The Light and Love that came down at Christmas of old is still with us. We need only to live it and share it with others. 

Image Attribution: Diane Wigstone

Featured Image Attribution: Angeles Balaguer from Pixabay

And to all who visit here, I wish you a Merry Christmas, whatever your language or spiritual tradition.

 

Five Minute Friday Link-Up :: Present

present, Five Minute Friday, presence, gatherToday I’m joining a talented group of writers at Five Minute Friday. This community connects each Friday in an online, unedited free-write based on a one-word prompt. My timer is set for 5 minutes. Let’s see where this week’s prompt—PRESENT—leads me.


Likely many are thinking of the list of presents they need to buy, wrap, ship, or deliver. In our family, we’ve created a new process, thanks to the pandemic.

However, before I share that with you, I’d like to tell you about the decision my husband and I landed on some three decades ago. Each Christmas I’d make a list of things I needed/wanted, jot down the store where it could be found, size (if necessary), color, cost. Then Bob could take off shopping with a lot less frustration than if he had to come up with the list and figure out where to shop. 

After watching his frustration for several years, we discussed a new way to give and receive. We asked what gift could we give each other better than we had given on August 15, 1981—ourselves! And so it has been since that long-ago discussion. We don’t buy each other gifts at Christmas or other holidays, not even our anniversary.

Now to today’s process for our kids, grandkids, and great-grands this Christmas. Since we are under lockdown in Oregon and we’re both immune-compromised, I’m shopping online for gift cards. Each family member who lands on our Christmas list will receive one inside a Christmas card via USPS. Hopefully, they can enjoy the delight of shopping for themselves online and not be disappointed.

However, with Advent upon us until Christmas Eve, present means so much more than I’ve written above. I’m stepping outside the busyness, the noise, and minimizing the financial element and stress of the season, only imposed by society and me. I’m inviting in the Christ Child, Jesus, as the presence I’m seeking this Christmas.

2020 has been a long slow slog for all of us. I think His Presence is what is needed for each of us. Being present with Christ is so comforting, soul-satisfying, and joy-filled. Why not make that the present you give to yourself on Christmas Day, 2020?

Saviour, Christ, born, nativity, Star of Bethlehem
Attribution: https://bityl.co/4iKO

Featured image attribution: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Note: Images added outside five-minute time limit.

Rainy Autumn Days

Rainy autumn days arrived in the Pacific Northwest with bluster. With them, they brought winds that tossed colorful leaves everywhere. Our maple tree left our driveway looking like a leaf mosaic. Bob took the photo above on one of his daily trips to our mailbox last week.

With the change in our weather, the last weekend in November upon us, and new COVID restrictions on Oregon activities, it must be Thanksgiving. Things have tightened up with regard to social gatherings as the number of new cases and deaths have increased here. It is hard to celebrate while so many others are grieving, are houseless and hungry, and struggling economically to keep businesses afloat.

Continue reading “Rainy Autumn Days”

December 2019

December 2019 is here. Where did November, October, and September go? In my world, they seemed to fly by. How about you? The image above reflects mostly what I’ve been doing–reading by the fire.

In looking through my blog yesterday, I was shocked to find my last post was on November 19, 2019. The post is my review of Kathy Pooler’s second memoir, Just the Way He Walked (see Disclosures). I have other book reviews to share but I’ll be honest and not beat around the bush. My motivation to write, even a book review, is gone. 

I seek inspiration looking out the windows, listening to music, reading others’ work. Nothing happens. Nothing comes to me. I go back over my list of ideas for blog posts. Nothing jolts me into action. And it’s not just writing. 

Some days I can’t find interest in doing much of anything. I tackle the mundane–household chores, laundry, cleaning the kitchen following meals, wiping down countertops. These are chores that cry out to be dealt with NOW!

Why am I telling you all this? Simply to let you know that I’m going to turn out the lights on the blog until January 2020 in hopes of feeling more like the writer/blogger I have been. I may even tackle sending out a monthly newsletter. Who knows what the new year may bring?

With the preparations needed for the holiday season and appointments four out of five days next week, I need to devote time to get through this month. 

I came across this quote from Marianne Williamson this morning. 

Ego says,
‘Once everything falls into place,
I’ll feel peace.’
Spirit says,
‘Find your peace, and
everything will fall into place.’

A still small voice said, “You need to find peace with your current situation.” That’s my plan for December 2019.

Just one more thing before I go…

and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Musical Sunday

First things first on Sundays. Once awake and with my feet under me, I prepare breakfast. It’s simple and quick. I have other tasks to do before leaving for church.
 
This Sunday is special as it’s musical from beginning to end.
 
At church, we expect the sounds of our Children’s Choir. Hearing these young voices is always a joy-filled experience. Children present the fresh and unadulterated faith we all should carry in our hearts.
 
Under the direction of a talented young man, the children sing a new arrangement of Down by the RiversideOur choristers range in age from kindergarten through grade school. Their abilities follow the same range. Their performance gets rousing affirmation with applause.
 
From here, we dash for a cup of coffee and some fellowship with friends and new faces. We can only stay a short while as we have other places to be. 
 
Early afternoon and after a bite of lunch, we head out to attend a concert by the Bach Cantata Choir. This organization is made up of some very talented vocalists and musicians. The choir’s goal is to sing all Bach’s cantatas in 30 years. I have no idea where they are in accomplishing this.
 
Yesterday’s concert was billed as “Super Bach Sunday.” The group’s director offers this concert as a substitute for an annual football game on TV. We were blessed with some awe-inspiring and spiritual cantatas by Bach. Pieces by siblings, Felix and Fanny Mendelsohn, and Handel finished the program. We left feeling overwhelmed in a joyous way. We commented to the director that yesterday was a WOW! performance.
 
It was a beautiful blessing, both morning and afternoon. The feeling will carry us through this week.
Image attribution: Moreland Presbyterian Church