Monthly Archives: January 2017

Bending tradition for a constant reminder…

Twenty years ago today, our youngest made a simple, prolific statement that forever changed my life.  St. Michael, my extraordinary husband, wrote about it in a magazine article we continue to display in our home.  Please allow me to elaborate a bit…

It was a frosty winter’s morn in the bleak midwinter and our single task for the day was to disassemble Christmas in our home.  From the handmade garlands, ornaments, and other decorations to the artificial pine boughs of the 8-ft. tree, everything was deconstructed and carefully placed into boxes for storing in the attic.  Not exactly understanding why this was critical on January 7th (the day after Epiphany), our youngest asked “Why are we doing this again?”  My dad quickly replied, “So it is out of the way until the Christmas season rolls around once again.”

This particular year, we had three Creche or Nativity scenes on display–one made of ceramic pieces simply displayed on the fireplace mantle, a wooden set made for our oldest daughter by a dear family friend, and a soft-sculptured fabric set both girls played with on the hearth everyday (their re-enactments were legendary).  Our oldest packed up the wooden set while our youngest gathered all the players and animals to the soft set.  I started carefully wrapping each piece of the ceramic set in tissue paper.  She stopped to watch and then asked, “So, are we putting Jesus away in the box until next Christmas too?”  Stunned silence ensued…

img_3570It’s been our custom now for 20 years to leave Jesus and the Creche on the mantle throughout the year.  While the Angel’s wing is a little chipped and one Wise Man (traveling from afar) is missing his gift of myrrh, each piece is proudly displayed to remind us daily how a little child came into our hearts sharing hope, peace, JOY, profound grace, and unconditional love…

In 1872, one my favorite poets, Christina Rossetti, penned this familiar verse: What can I give him, poor as I am?  If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb. If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; yet what I can I give him: give my heart.

May a special tradition in your life touch your heart and become a constant reminder of what you hold dear throughout the year.

STOP and START in 2017…

hnyA group meets periodically to ponder life, gather ideas, and share general conversation about all manner of interests.  As we sat down to reflect upon the past year and project our thoughts forward to new goals, the overwhelming consensus of the group was how a new year takes great courage, strong conviction, and a growth mindset to move forward!  During the course of our conversation, we also noted how important it is to STOP doing certain things no longer in our best interest and START doing more interesting things in the best ways… here’s a sample:

1.  STOP telling everyone everything on social media.  START leaving some things to chance and imagination.

2.  STOP comparing yourself to others and worrying about what others think.  START marching to your own drummer and the positive path you create.

3.  STOP focusing on self and more on others.  START helping others and be nice to everyone because kindness matters.

4.  STOP making everything a competition in life.  START competing only with your best self (not with others).  Make your choices, be accountable, accept responsibility, and deal with the consequences (good and bad) of your choices.

5.  STOP being like others.  START owning who you are, where you are, and tell YOUR story in a caring manner.  There is only one “YOUnique” you…

6.  STOP fearing failure; no one has it all figured out because nothing in life is perfect, especially on the first time.  Failures bring powerful clarity and change in the most positive way!  START embracing failure to find personal success.

The list goes on, but you get the general idea.  So, what’s on your STOP and START list this new year?  What are those few items you will commit to STOP and START each day throughout the year?  Here’s hoping 2017 amazes and blesses you in the most extraordinary ways!  Happy New Year!