Bumblebee and I have been busy in the kitchen again. Today, we baked a birthday cake for one of our friend, Surfer Girl. We're no professionals, but we were proud of our results. More importantly, Surfer Girl really enjoyed it.
Over the past several Sundays, I have been sharing my personal journey back to the practice of my faith and full communion with the Catholic Church. How I lost my faith in God, and how through God’s grace and loving care I was able to repair my relationship with God our Father and experience the loving care he has for me in my life.
(To be honest, the following was written by my husband, Rick)
For 16 years, we have held Thanksgiving at our house for the family--sometimes nearly 20 people attend this dinner held in a tiny 1,200 square foot house. In those 16 years, we have found our "home court advantage," per se. Here's the run-down:
First, we get organized and delegate all the difficult dishes to our family while we take care of all the easy stuff. If you are the one delegating, why not make your life easy? Believe me, if someone is delegating you to do something, it WON'T be easy--that's what we call, "home court advantage."
Secondly, this is all happening at your house. You REALLY should have to cook NOTHING because you have to set-up you home, pre-clean, and clean up afterward. Those are the biggest jobs of all and you don't need to also be doing all of the difficult cooking.
I used to work retail for many years. Even when I moved up to the corporate offices, many times I was asked to work in the stores on Black Friday or during the Christmas shopping season. That is not a part of my life anymore, and I was so thankful to sleep in this morning.
Today was decorating day, and it was relaxing, calm, and productive. I forced myself to vacuum the house last night after everyone left so I could wake up to a reasonably clean house, well at least there wasn't any food on the floor.
By 9:30 am, everyone was feed, clothed, and had their teeth brushed. Then my husband, pulled all nine Christmas decoration boxes down from the attic. The girls and I decorated the tree with Christmas music in the background and sipping warm apple cider. Then my five year old niece came over, and played with my girls, they had a blast and I finished the rest of the job.
I think it helped that last year I forced myself streamlined our decorations. I have scaled it down to the Christmas tree, the snow village I have collected for years, and the Nativity set. I used cuttings from our red berry Nandina bush to add natural greenery through the house. I also took pictures of how my snow village was set up, so it took the guess work out of that task.
Tomorrow, I will pull out my Christmas list and get busy, but I feel really good about today. I think I just started a new Christmas tradition in our house:
Boycott Black Friday and establish "Decorating Day".
Wednesday was baking day. My youngest daughter and I baked a pumpkin cheesecake, a chocolate tart, gingerbread, and cornbread. She loves to help and her sturdy little hands held on tight to the mixer as I added the eggs one by one. What a great day it was...
It is so tempting to judge, we, as humans, cannot help ourselves. It stems from the first sin in the garden. Pride is at the root of this, we are all tempted to "be like gods". One way is to see ourselves above our fellow human beings and judge them. However, the gospel is very clear that when we condemn others, we condemn ourselves.
I know this sin quite well because frankly, I have a weakness for it...
and a little paint, makes a girl what she ain't...Saturday night, Rick and I stepped to the annual gala fundraiser for our parish's school. I forgot my camera at home, hoping others will post pictures soon on Facebook. We had a great time talking, eatng and dancing. So, we took pictures of ourselves when we came home. Either of us our great photographer, so here we are...
" You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thrist."
Over the next several Sundays, I will be sharing my personal journey back to the practice of my faith and full communion with the Catholic Church. How I lost my faith in God, and how through God’s grace and loving care I was able to repair my relationship with God our Father and experience the loving care he has for me in my life.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is about family, food, and fellowship. For the past 16 years, Rick and I have hosted the holiday for his family and an occasional friend or two. We usually have between 10-15 people, and everyone brings something so it is not too overwhelming for one person.
"From infancy you have known the scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through t faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teachng for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteous so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work." ( 2 Timothy 3:15-17).
As a Catholic Christian, I was taught the Seven Sacraments, Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Marriage, and Anointing of the Sick are the visible signs of invisible grace. So too, is the Word of God. Through learning about the sacred Scriptures, we come to know the Living God in a very personal way.
Recently, my six year old was reading about Moses and the burning bush. She paused, looked at me and exclaimed, "Lucky! I wish God would talk to me!" That desire, that hunger, I hope she never loses. I explained God does talk to us through the Bible, however she wants the sensry expereince given to Moses.
During the Second Vatican Council II, the importance of the Word was emphasized, " The Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord's Body.She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's Word and Christ's Body." CCC 103
However, growing up I knew many a Catholic household who enthroned their Bible in a place of honor, but never read it for personal study or reflection. Instead, they relied on the priest to interpret the Sunday readings for them, and the nuns to educate their children. My parents did read and study the Bible, but sharing scripture on a daily basis with us as children is not something I recall. Instead, it was something that was read to me on the high holy days such as Good Friday or learned in school as a subject like English, or Math.