Friday, January 3, 2014

Pope Love!

In case anyone has missed it, our beloved Holy Father's advice for the start of the New Year:

10 Practical Lessons from Pope Francis

10. Don't gossip.
9. Finish your meals.
8. Make time for others
7. Choose the "more humble" purchase.
6. Meet the poor "in the flesh."
5. Stop judging others.
4. Befriend those who disagree.
3. Make commitments, such as marriage.
2. Make it a habit to "ask the Lord."
1. Be happy.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I'm working on finding myself within my own life!
2014 is here and, like the dawn of a new day, it has brought with it endless and exciting possibilities. I love the New Year. I love Christmastime and the celebrations of Christ's birth, the symbolism of new life, and the drawing closer to God and each other that occurs during the winter months. I have been praying for God to fill me up with love and He has done it...I am cup runneth over!

I spent a harried but joyful Advent preparing for Christmas, only having to let go of two traditions (though I loved them both dearly there simply was not time for it all.) I wrote an email letter instead of sending real Christmas cards (sob) and did not make sugar cookies to cut out and hang on the tree (one of my kids' favorite holiday traditions.) However, we DID: bake a gingerbread house, decorate gingerbread men, trim the tree, drive around looking at Christmas lights, decorate our house, light the Advent wreath, exchange cookies, buy gifts for one and all, watch our favorite Christmas movies, and celebrate with family and friends. Spiritually, I made an effort to be more mindful of the many moments I have throughout the day to spend time communing with God, and I offered Him a birthday gift of forgiveness to those who hurt me during the past year.

Now that the New Year has come, I am preparing to dive deeply into personal growth. It's a continuous effort of mine, and in past years I have dedicated words to represent my resolutions. Previous words have included Patience, Discipline, and Abandonment. I am realizing that any, or all, of these words would do for this year as well, because no matter what the year, my basic resolutions are the same -- draw closer to God, live more fully as His disciple, trust Him, give more of myself to others and be a better wife/mother/daughter/friend. As Jessica Snell eloquently writes in her post on this subject:

It’s okay to make the same resolution every year, I think. It’s even good. The new year is a time to take stock, to remember where we are and where we’re going, and if you find every year that your first thing is still your first thing . . . well, that’s good. It means you were probably right about your priorities. It means you just might be fitting into that wonderful description of the Christian life: “A long obedience in the same direction.”

In preparation for this, I have spent a few days prayerfully writing a Mother's Rule for the new year. Right now it's a beautiful mosaic of colors and plans beckoning me to accomplish all the goals I've set for myself. It's not so much a schedule to which I need to perfectly adhere, but rather I think it's a starting point, a place from which I reorient my priorities and evaluate whether I have balance in my daily life.

Specifics I plan to concentrate on in the New Year include:

Spiritual Reading of the non-blog kind
Less time in front of screens
Finishing projects!!
Experiencing joy in the moment

Vices I plan to decrease are pride and gluttony.