Now is the time of year when we consider all that the past year held for us, and ponder what the year ahead will bring. This can stir up a vast array of emotions . . . hope, worry, excitement, fear, gratitude, fatigue, doubt, peace, longing, joy . . . sometimes several at once.
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A snowstorm left my family and I stuck at home, which gave us time to put a puzzle together. As we sorted the pieces, I found myself wondering what we all must wonder when the puzzle is still completely fragmented . . . “How are these pieces going to fit together to make any sort of sense?”
Last week the amazing tree in Rockefeller Center was lit for all to see, decorated with 30,000 lights and a Swarovsky crystal star on top. Beautiful! The sight of a lit tree at Christmastime evokes a response in just about all of us. I was intrigued when I came upon this explanation of the origin of the tradition . . .
The calendar still says November, but most everyone’s attention has turned to Christmas. I love Christmas! Time together with family, sweet treats, beautiful lights, lovely music, and gift giving to honor the greatest Gift ever given . . . Jesus Christ.
But I find myself not quite ready to let go of Thanksgiving yet . . . there are so very many reasons to be thankful, the season deserves to linger. Even in the midst of really difficult times . . . whether it be health related, financial, relational or something else entirely . . . there is always something for which we can be grateful.
The November 2012 New York City Legacy will kick off this Sunday. This year, we have 16 families from around the country including: Indiana, Texas, California, Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nebraska, and Washington. Similarly, our loving and servant-hearted volunteers are from New York, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Maryland.
Here are a few of the highlights these families can expect:
Earlier this week, my family and I were walking on the grounds of a chapel in St. Augustine, FL. While strolling through this beautifully manicured piece of our nation's history, I came across a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, who is highly revered in the Catholic church. Next to the statue was a prayer that is often associated with St.Francis. As I read the prayer, my heart was immediately grabbed by how closely this prayer parallels the heartfelt service offered by Inheritance of Hope volunteers.
Peace. It does not mean being in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.
How do you do that? When there are true storms pounding down on us and looming in the distance how do we remain calm in our hearts? How do we "dance in the rain"?
USA TODAY's Nashville music critic Brian Mansfield was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 48. He now chronicles his life with the disease - and with only a small part of his colon - in a series of weekly installments.
Below is a segments from a recent article in USA Today titled My Semicolon Life: What to say to a Cancer Patient:
What's the very best thing you can hear from a friend when you've got cancer?
The other night my family and I stopped at a new convenience center in town that is way better then your average gas station. Yes, they sell gasoline, snacks and drinks but they also have a full deli and a pay-by-the-ounce yogurt and topping bar. Well, as we got out of the car to check it out a somewhat scraggly looking man approached my husband. The kids and I kept walking into the store unaware that my husband had stopped to talk with the man.