Of Gratitudes, countless as grains of wheat...
Let's be grateful, first, shall we? Or, rather, shall I?
I'm grateful for 2008. She was a good year, with all of her ups and downs. I think I whined a lot on ye olde blogge, but it was a good year, looking back on it.
My children grew and astounded me with the changes--physical, emotional and spiritual.
My husband has repeatedly blessed me this year.
I've been blessed with wealth and riches, not necessarily in the form of money and things, but in loving family, wonderful friendships and unbelievable opportunities.
I have a houseful of books and craft supplies. So if you ever hear me say I'm bored you have my permission to whack me one upside the head.
My 2008 Grains posts can be seen en masse if anyone is so inclined.
Today is the Feast of Epiphany. The wise men, the Magi, three in the way of Western thinking, twelve in the Eastern tradition. As Catholics we celebrate the arrival of the Magi to the Christ-Child. We will be going to Mass at the Cathedral tonight. We were all set to go out the door this morning to church when something broke (either in Detroit or Las Vegas, who knows, these days) and my husband became very important all of a sudden.
The boys want to go to church with their dad. Their dad wants to go to church with them. Thankfully we live in an area where we have an abundance of choices where we might celebrate worship. I am very grateful for that. So we will be visiting the diocesan seat and experiencing the grand majesty. I'm sure I've said it before, our church is huge, but very casual. The Cathedral is just glorious. I love them both equally, for different reasons.
Thank you Christine for beginning Grains of Gratitude & setting a lovely example.
I wasn't really too worried about resolutions. I had a word/goal in mind--"hospitality." That was/is my word for 2009. I had plans to start 2009 out with the act of hospitality but health issues blasted that out the door.
I still plan to explore the act of hospitality. These verses have been on my heart for quite a while.
1Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
I don't have the hospitality thing down too well, I'm hoping to search out the meaning of it this year. I'm hoping that you all might enlighten me and help me on my search. I'll be focusing more on that in the coming weeks.
For the time being I am going to adopt the suggestions of our priest, Father J., for New Years Resolutions. His offering of resolutions was more lovely when he spoke them, but I'll try to share the gist of it:
1) Make the world a more beautiful place--read a book to a child, take cookies to your neighbor, visit a nursing home, plant a garden & share your bounty, create something beautiful and allow others to enjoy it.
2) Pick up where someone has left off--work at a food bank or pantry, donate to Salvation Army or Good Will, join in your community meeting needs, work in your church to support it, support missionaries and go on missions trips.
3) Show someone God (without perhaps sounding the horn that that is what you are doing)--extend forgiveness where you've been wronged, "pay it forward" instead of waiting until someone does something nice for you, touch the untouchable, love the unlovable, do something without hope of reward, give grace and mercy whether they are warranted or not.
I loved these resolutions and plan to incorporate them into 2009.
A homeschool goal for 2009 is to incorporate more poetry into our lives. I found this calendar at Barnes & Nobel near the end of last year.
There are a variety of words and word parts and my hope is that the boys will enjoy adding new poems as we breeze through this year. If you are interested there are several related items featuring magnetic poetry
On Living in Egypt...
I belong to a weight-loss blog group. It is a closed blog, open only to the participants so whatever I've written there stays private, which is most often a blessing for me.
Weight loss has been something I've struggled with for about eleven years. I've come up with excuses for the last seven years why I haven't gone to the doctor much; insurance, my mother was sick, no time, boys need something else more, not "really sick," I'm fine, I'm fine I'm fine...Lalalalalalala... ignoring the dancing elephants in the corner of the living room.
Today, I'll share my other post...(FYI for my sister who has taken to reading here occasionally--the elephants?? Their names are Gertrude and George and they are fuchsia and violet. Yes, I am paying attention.)
"I've been living in Egypt. Next to De-Nial. Bad joke. That is how I deal with stress these days. But I have been pretending that I am "fine" and that I am going to blink and be younger again. Guess what? It's not happening.
While I did manage to take off between 15-20lbs (depends on the day and the time of day), I'd say I am not as healthy as I was at the beginning of 2008.
I am heading to the doctor on Wednesday because I, unfortunately, do have blood pressuer, blood-sugar and heart rate issues.
We had to cancel our New Years plans because I had an "episode." That was after the great fun on pneumonia for Christmas.
I came face to face with reality and she is not a pretty thing.
Going to see a new doc because the Nurse Practitioner who treated me for pneumonia was nasty. I cannot have a relationship with nasty. I do not need more stress. There are about 20 things that I could deal with, with this new doc, but I am going to focus on the "big five" in my mind:
Gahhhhhhhhhhhhh...Were it not for my children, I would just say who cares. But I scared them on the 31st. I owe it to them to be healthy. Even if I apparently don't think I owe it to myself.
I'm sure weight loss will be a big topic with my new doctor. I will let you know what she says. I have a feeling I'm already pretty sure what that is going to be.
2009 is going to be healthier. Has to be.
Prayers and (()) to all.
Take care of yourselves. That is not a cliché or a platitude. You really are worth it. You have people who love you and need you.