Never far from our sight, "Hail and Blessed be the hour..." sees lips moving silently while reciting the St. Andrew novena above. A gift from a friend, this daily countdown through Advent has been a lovely addition to our seasonal preparation.
Some precious items about our home this time of year have become solidly etched as our personal family traditions. Some years we rotate the collection. And some years, we find ourselves drawn to particular items more than others, those that seem to evoke the most spiritual sentiment. It is such a comfort to unpack each item once more every Advent.
With the year rolling into the Christmas season ahead, and certainly almost at a close, I have reflected upon the reasons why it's been such a strange year, absolutely filled with an abundance of change in our lives.
Life is fragile, handle with much care and prayer...
This year has had plenty of emergent health reminders for those both near and far, concerning just how very fragile life can be; all fending off worry, everyone continually hoping for better, and taking charge of the emotional roller coaster when it suddenly arrives and scoops us up against our will, for an incredibly unexpected bumpy ride.Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee
However, and most definitely, in all the down turns, there is still joy lurking everywhere - if only we have the mindset to notice, and if only we have a place in our hearts to include those findings.
All year long, I've worked on choosing joy!
"Joy" was my one-word focus on during the 2011 year. It was, for me, an uplifting and seemingly happy word, for purposefully smiling and distracting myself when required, to enable a sifting with wide arms moving to clear through the fog, and conscientiously beginning the daily search to dwell on all the joy there really is - no matter what the situation and circumstance. Admittedly, there have been many "circumstances" through the year, scary and difficult ones, both in our home and beyond.
JOYFULLY, we remain so grateful for the opportunity as we were finally able to meet face to face with our newest grandbaby, such a long awaited time had arrived at last! But the joyful occasion was not only the hugging and kissing, it was also being around this incredible, happy, smiley sweetheart!
Praying for you dear readers, to find the "JOY" in your lives - always, and praying God's many blessings for you and yours this Christmas.