…maybe Christmas means a little bit more

 
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(shared from pen and palette)
 

“It came without ribbons!  It came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes or bags!”…
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!  “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”
(Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)

With all the distractions and details that precede this day, it is easy to wonder if the meaning of Christmas has been lost. Not one more sale nor sour-faced Grinch can change the gift brought to all on this daybreak. Hope is renewed in the birth of baby. Faith is rekindled in the bright morning star. Hearts soften as God’s love comes among us in the gentle care of a parent’s touch.

Yes, the meaning of Christmas is beyond all the chaos leading up to this moment. In the quiet of this early morning, may the spirit of Christmas be near and bring peace.

A time to connect…

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For all who feel displaced this season, I share this reflection.

 

Sacred Journey

Lately, when talking with friends and family, I keep hearing the words “displaced, misplaced, misalignment, and disconnected.” It seems to be a universal theme among the tribe. But again, it could be just like when you buy a car and then realize everyone has it. You hadn’t noticed it before and now that you have it you are aware of its existence.

I noticed a giant shift towards the end of 2011. I have never bought into the 2012 cosmic changes with or without the Mayan calendar. I don’t believe the world will end on 12/21/12 at 11:11PM. I want to believe that these massive shifts in emotions are due to a necessary alignment of our spiritual connections. And, yes, lately there is a huge sense of displacement. At first it was just settling into the slowness of our business, the holidays, and prelude of winter. But now it seems…

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longing for the familiar…

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This day is full of emotion. I think I am feeling challenged by the holidays this year. There is little tradition in this new place I call home – a home I chose with much excitement. For many people it is clear that we are in the season of traditions. Even though I am living in a place of choice, I fight the longing to be somewhere else.

And where would that be? My own family has gone through so much transition in the last twelve months. Each household has moved to a new home which is exciting and unsettling at the same time. I am certain that the search for tradition is a common feeling around the Craig clan right now.

There are many things different this year. I am remembering the parties and gatherings with members of church and friends, the time spent in my parent’s home of 10+ years filled with familiar smells and decorations and the warmth of my favorite restaurants where many friends gathered and celebrations were common. I am remembering my companion of 9 years, Lilly, who is no longer by my side ready to dress her in festive collar and leash.

These are things I miss as I try to make adjustments during these first days of December. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this time of the year. I look forward to the evenings when I decorate my home – filling it with things that reflect my life and faith in preparation for friends and family to gather and celebrate.

This year is very different. I have just returned from my storage unit with three boxes of Christmas decorations. The first box I opened unleashed a flood of memories that took my breath. To get thru this day will be important. With my new home decorated, I hope to feel the comfort of familiar. In the next couple of weeks, I will welcome friends and family as they join me during this holiday. And when all is said and done I will not need to go through another “first” Christmas in this new place, my home.

I am grateful. Surrounded by the beauty of nature and a location filled with creativity, there are many new things to draw my attention and inspire my devotion. I have every reason to be grateful.

With that being said, it is time to be brave. Time to pull out the Kleenex box and began unwrapping items of Christmas that shape my story. I know all will be well, but this is a time I use those words in faith, looking ahead when the calendar brings me around to another Christmas and I am blessed with a stronger sense of belonging.

To Share Thanksgiving…

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A day to be grateful for our abundance.
May our blessings strengthen us to reach out and support those in need. It doesn’t have to be complicated, We all have that is needed to offer care and shelter to a world seeking peace, shelter and sustenance.

Make me a tree, Lord
Sturdy
Deep rooted
Useful
Support
to those in need
Shelter
to those who are weary
Fruit
for those who hunger
Make me a tree, Lord
Sturdy
Deep rooted
Useful
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