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It’s Advent Season…

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Advent Wreath.

It dawned on me this morning that it’s time to dig out the Christmas items. I can’t believe the time is here for me to begin decorating the tree this week. Placed on top of  the holiday items that I store,  where I can grab it quickly and not have to dig (something I have learned finally over time) is my advent stuff.

If you don’t observe Advent in your home, you might consider it this year.

If it’s new to you, here’s a quick overview:

  • The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.”
  • The focus of the entire season is to be on the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Christ.
  • The celebration centers around his first Advent (and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent.)

Anticipation. Looking and waiting for the coming King. The Anointed One. The Messiah. The hope He will bring.

To Christians, that Hope is the assurance of eternal life.

I have an Advent wreath in my house. This coming Sunday will be the 1st Sunday of Advent. So, in keeping with this tradition I will light the first candle in my advent wreath.

If you aren’t aware, each candle has a name. It’s interesting to see the variances on that topic. Something for you to google this weekend?

Regardless, why not simply light a candle this week and see it as a reminder that we live in the hope that He has come—and will come again.

Just my thoughts,
S.
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Turkeys, Thanks and Togetherness

New Hampshire military journalists maintain togetherness while adjusting to changes in Iraq [From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository]

New Hampshire military journalists maintain togetherness while adjusting to changes in Iraq
[From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository]

It’s a lovely day from where I’m sitting. The sun is shining, the turkey is thawing, the breakfast casserole, the coffee and the bacon are finished (and they were yummy), the pup is enjoying the fantastic weather in the backyard, and I guess one couldn’t ask for more. Life is good.

I began the morning assessing all of the “good things” God has done for me, and the wonderful things I enjoy. It’s a great way to start any day. Actually, each morning during my “quiet time” I have a leather bound book that I list things God has done for me—things for which to be thankful. A “thanks” journal of sorts.

Yet, with all this sentiment, I have to admit, as I turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, I did hold my breath. The crowds. The children. New York. Post-Paris events… In the light of the world that we live in these days, we do tend to move forward with a bit fear and trepidation. Life can change in a moment, and you can find yourself living a very different path than the one for which you planned.

Sometimes we live life that way. Holding our breath, waiting for the next proverbial “bad” shoe to drop. We live thinking, If I just don’t expect good things, I won’t be disappointed. Hmmmm

In truth, if we’re honest, life doesn’t usually go just as planned anyway—exactly. I’m not sure about you, but when I wake most mornings I think, “Wow…this isn’t the life I thought I’d be living. But I’m so blessed. And it’s good.”

We are told to be grateful in all things. Even when the tough times come and hit hard. Sometimes, that is so easy to do. Other times, not so much. I personally think when people are having a rough go, you listen, let them hurt and just offer a hug, and maybe some good Mexican food. And you stick around. You check in. You walk with them. I am not a fan of asking people to buck-up or get over it. Probably never will be. To get through anything, it takes togetherness. And if truth be told, that’s one of the things that our country is celebrating today—being together.

Just like the Pilgrims who landed on our shores quickly discovered that their journey was nothing like the one they could have envisioned or planned for, they stuck it out, held together and in doing that helped to bring forth the nation that we enjoy and love.

If your journey has taken you down paths you didn’t expect, just know you are not alone. You’ve made it this far, and you will make it even farther. I promise. Find or create some togetherness today. And, as you spend time with loved ones, be sure to focus on the good things, and then, celebrate the being together part.

Personally, I think that’s the perfect recipe for a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Just my thoughts

S.

PS: Thanks to all of our military and first-responders “on-duty” here and abroad. We are grateful for you today!

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007 In My Own Backyard

For those of you who caught my article in Mature Living this month, we hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. Amazingly, the story is true. The names, however, were changed to protect the innocent. :)

imagesIt was just another night over at the R.C. enjoying dinner with my mom. As we sat down to partake of our baked fish and rice, Bob came by and seemed interested to join us. Naturally, we extended the invitation. Now you have to understand, Bob is closer to 80 than not, he’s handsome, sharp as a tack, classy and a great dinner table companion.

When he asked what I had been reading of late, I mentioned it was a book about George Washington’s little known spy ring. It’s a phenomenal read on the six characters that were only known as “numbers” until the last century. One of them, was actually a woman of society. The secret had been so tightly kept, that details simply weren’t known until recently. Even to this day, more is being discovered and literally, uncovered. Who doesn’t love a great spy thriller!

It was then that Bob mentioned he’d “…worked in D.C”. For some reason, the way he mentioned it seemed a bit mysterious. I couldn’t resist the urge. I leaned in and  teasingly asked, “So, you were a covert operative?” He quietly nodded and answered, “Yes.” I was in shock. There sitting next to me was a real life, 007…now in his retirement. Was this really happening? I wanted to ask a million questions, but I bit my tongue much to my mother’s relief and kept quiet.

My mind was whirling. His adventures had to be close to 50 years ago. Think about it. If you’ve ever seen any old espionage films, the technology those James Bond types had access to, at that period of time, was considered superior and cutting edge. But to us today, it’s almost laughable.  

I couldn’t imagine what Bob’s world must have been like. Pay phones, notepads, pencils, kodak cameras and maybe a cassette recorder? That’s about it. When you consider the things men (and women) of that time period accomplished, it’s truly remarkable. We’ll never know what plots Bob uncovered or information he was privy to, but we can certainly let our imaginations run wild.

Today, Bob enjoys the luxuries of modern medical science, a cell phone and laptop, internet, cable TV and so much more. And I’m sure he can only say to himself at night, “If only I’d had access to this or that back then…” You have to wonder!

With that, it made me realize how fortunate we truly are to have at our fingertips the amazing world of technology and the electronics we enjoy today. And that is why we here at Mature Living, want to encourage you to dive in, experience and share of the wealth to which we are blessed to have access. I’m sure Bob would more than wholeheartedly agree. If that even is his real name (wink).

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