Sunday, December 6, 2015

Holiday Stress Relievers

I was listening to the homily this morning and Father was talking about "all the stress people have this time of year". I admit that we are blessed with my husband's job and the opportunities we've been given so that accounts for much of the stress I'm sure others might encounter. I had to shake my head at the rest. I wonder what the stress is all about. Most especially if people are choosing to do so much that it makes them stressed...

So, I went through my day and I listened. Sometimes that clears things up. Walking out of Mass with our dear neighbor, I heard her ask #1, "I just read that St. Bernard asked Jesus what was the hardest thing He suffered while on earth and Jesus said, 'carrying My cross'". We all agreed that the weight of the wood, holding all the sins of humanity for all eternity must have been quite a burden. Thanks to God that He was willing to do that for all of us! How grateful and full of joy we should be to know how very much we are loved, having done nothing but existed as a result of His abundant love!

We came home, hung out a while, then walked back to church for Family Rosary. When I walked in, I asked the dear woman who runs the rosary if she was dealing with holiday stress and she said, "no, a few years ago I decided we would be having a simple things to others in need, not so much for ourselves. Wouldn't it be lovely just to spend the whole time in church, staring at the crib?" Indeed, what a blessing that would be! I am so thankful for this woman in my life. A mother of five grown kids, she has been there and is so mild and gentle. I am so amazed at her faith and her knowledge of what is truly important.

Wait, I forgot...It was the feast of St. Nicholas today! Well, it was a stretch to get everyone through their shoe loot, fed and dressed for 9 AM Mass but we made it. St. Nick gifted everyone with some great National Geographic books and some tasty fruit (except for #1 who got a ginger root because she's starting to cook fancy things ;0))

the boy loves his chocolate coins!

They also each got a special shirt that reminds them God gave them special talents (or challenges) ;0)
Fast forward a few hours...we just got back from the Family Advent Retreat. What a great bunch of information presented in such inventive ways. We patterned it from Look to Him and be radiant which is chock full of amazing tools for catechesis. Take a look at Holy Door post!

The Holy Family pre-prayer

Crowns and family trees to make

Reading scripture about the star in Bethlehem

Everyone helping out

We shared a great meal, had a lovely prayer service with the Holy Family and worked our way through the stations. Towards the end the little ones were wearing thin and there was definitely stress involved in coaxing them into carseats and beds...still, it was so worth it. What an amazing day filled with God's goodness. I'm writing some lesson plans and heading to a peaceful sleep. Wishing you a joyful week (how could it not be with Tuesday??).

We are blessed.

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