All is calm, all is bright, sleep in Heavenly peace

0

On Sunday I had the pleasure of singing carols through the halls of our local retirement residence with some lovely people from church.  We sang all of the traditional songs and passed out homemade cards and clementines as we wandered through the building.

The most touching moments were seeing people smile, listening as residents joined us in song and hearing stories of their memories brought back from either the song or the clementines.

The most overcome I felt was when we sang Silent Night to two separate residents, both of whom were bed-ridden and could hardly, if at all, open their eyes.  I never realized how fitting that song is for the end of life.

Silent night, Holy night

All is calm, All is bright

Round yon virgin, mother and child

Holy Infant, so tender and mild

Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace

The Meaning of Christmas

0

After spending an hour sorting food donations for families at Christmas, the youth of the church I attend and work at went back to the church for some prayer.  It was lovely and I enjoyed seeing the kids let this message really sink in.

I think that this passage from Matthew 25 really shows the meaning of Christmas.  Whether you consider yourself a Christian or not, I think that most people can get behind the notion of helping others whenever you can.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Christmas stress – get rid of it!

0

I have been following the Becoming Minimalist blog by Joshua Becker, and everything he posts makes me shout, “Right on!”

Being in the Christmas season, I want to be enveloped in the important parts of this holiday – giving, togetherness, relaxation.  I want to be able to focus on the hope, peace, joy and love of the advent season.  However, in our consumerist society, it is easy to get caught up in being too busy, buying too much, attending too many events and stretching everyone too thin.  I have been trying really hard to let go of the unimportant things and to give myself time to have peace.

I run the children’s programs at church and yesterday was the Christmas pageant.  I worked hard to have everything ready ahead of time so that I could show up Sunday morning, have a great, stress-free play with the kids, and watch them enjoy their Christmas party afterward.  I slept well the night before and I was not nervous at all for the morning.  It was a great feeling.

Once at church, I noticed we were missing a key member of our volunteer team and upon further inspection, I found out that she was down with the flu and wouldn’t make it in.  This could have thrown me for a major stress-out session, but I didn’t allow it to. Yes, she was going to pick up apples and candy canes on her way in.  I am a huge stickler for offering healthy portions during the meals we feed the kids, but I thought, oh well!  The kids will just have pizza and chips.  One time won’t kill them – and let’s face it, they will not mind begin without apples one bit.  No candy canes?  That’s ok!  We have beautiful cards to pass out to the congregation after the play ends.  Who will be in charge of setting up the coffee hour and lunch for the kids?  We have plenty of extra volunteers this morning.

Everything went fine.  I was sad that our friend missed seeing the pageant, but I was glad that I stuck with my desire for the day, which was for it to be stress-free.

It was a lovely day.  The kids were awesome!  Everyone was fed.  Clean up went quickly.  The rest of the day at home was perfect and relaxing.  Just what this season should bring!