Recalculating

Advent wreath“Either sentiment or age changes things.” ~ Rebecca D. Martin, “Down the Rabbit Hole” [blog]

Anticipating::

His coming and welcoming the Holy Family. Advent observed and living the liturgy.

Listening to::

Ladders being carried and propped against gutters and eaves for the hanging of Christmas lights on the houses. Voices of neighbors cleaning out their garages as they bring down decorations. Holiday music quietly streaming from a home nearby. Preparations for a new season unfolding and an old year wrapping up.

Fits and Bursts::

When autumn arrives so do many writing exercise groups. In October, I attempted to participate in The Nester’s 31-Days of writing on the subject of listening with all of your senses. The hardest sense to listen with being sight, or “reading,” since I’ve noticed, repeatedly, that people often do not read (listen) to what is written (being said), tending to get caught up on a word or phrase and then hypothesizing about the rest — often missing the mark. Much like a person who hears what they think someone is saying, then starts forming a response or rebuttal, without actually listening to what the person is saying in its entirety because their own thoughts are blocking out the person’s words. Less than two weeks into the month, I quietly slipped out of the group. The writing exercise soon morphed into a study on who brings what baggage to a conversation — verbal or written — and stifles the train from leaving the station to more interesting places. Two lessons were gained from this particular exercise even though it was cut short: (1) Be prepared when writing for the misconstruing and stigmatizing of your words and (2) Don’t be the person, family member, or friend doing the misconstruing — remove the log, or stigma, from your eye — and leave your emotional suitcases behind before reading and commenting.

I have been trying hard to remember this before writing (or speaking):

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. — Ephisians 4:29

Again, I’m trying hard, because let’s face it, depending on our day and mood it isn’t always easy.

Last year I participated in the NaNoWriMo and found it less productive than anticipated. Perhaps only because I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, or wished I was, for such an extensive endeavor in writing. Or perhaps because I wasn’t expecting the flooding of my email box with invites to join in so many sub-groups or sub-exercises that seemingly have gained momentum over the years since the November writing group began.

Christmas Cards100_1950Thinking About::

Christmas cards. While I enjoy and appreciate holiday photo cards, I miss old-fashion Christmas cards in the post. Social media has made the sharing of photos (selfies, children, grandchildren, and pets) so much easier, while curtailing the exchange of bona fide “How are you doing?,” “What’s going on with you these days?,” and “How can I be there for you?” communication with each other. Christmas / holiday letters are exciting to receive, but are often jam-packed with too much information and most of it only highlights. Christmas cards are just sweet and warming, an extension of self and / or family. A short greeting, sometimes a short recap of where you’ve been and where you are — now — in the moment. Even if only a greeting and signature, the card you choose to send gives insight as to where your heart is THIS year and THIS season: religious, magical, whimsy driven, a bit snarky. So much life packed into a few pennies or couple of dollars, addressed — stamped — and sent off via snail mail. Regardless if you choose to send a photo card or Christmas card, write a little something on it or in it. Make it personal, make it thought-filled, make it happen.

Looking Forward to::

Our annual Christmas gathering with the whole Heim Clan and hoping as many family members as possible are able to clear their calendars and attend. We love them all. We miss them (some have passed on and some haven’t made it to the celebration in years). We have new members to welcome!

cropped-christmas-candles.jpg

Holiday festivities at work.

Kris Kin shopping and sharing.

Family gathering together on Christmas Day.

His coming.

Looking at where I am at the end of this year and recalculating my destination for the next.

~ Blessings, dear reader

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