Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Christmas Cards

22nd Nov

Christmas Cards

It's less than five weeks till Christmas!!!

I don't know about you but for me, it comes around all too  quickly. I can't believe we're nearly there. A sign of my age perhaps.

Do you send Christmas Cards? Some people don't do they?  It's definitely the time to think of at least buying some. 

I like to send them and over the years have come to realise what an important part of the Christmas  story they can be.

Many years ago I used to buy a big box of cards from Woolworths - yes, I know, definitely showing my age now!!

Anyhow, in this box of, I think 50 cards, there might be one or two that would be considered "Holy". What do I  mean by that? Well, I'm thinking of those ones that actually showed the Holy Family, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. Those few cards would be selected, by me, to go to people who I thought would appreciate them, those ones who, I knew believed. I certainly wouldn't have popped one in to my neighbour who'd expressed agnostic views or to a family member who had fallen away from the Faith. Wouldn't want to upset them, now, would I?

These days I no longer  buy assorted boxes. In fact I go out of my way to purchase ( from local shops if at all possible), only ones with the real message of Christmas on. I only send religious cards.    For some people it might mean my card is the only one on their  shelf  showing what Christmas is about. And to think they'll have a nativity scene in their home makes me very happy. In this small way maybe I am bringing  Christ to others. And with a warm message inside, who knows the good it might do.

Are you particular about your Christmas Cards? Will you strive to pass on the Christmas message in this very easy  way. 




Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Club

 5th Oct 2022

This week's six sentence challenge bloghop can be found here, 

 https://girlieontheedge1.wordpress.com/  

Rules of the hop:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word.
Link up at Wednesday’s post. Link goes live at 6:00 pm through Saturday late…
Spread the word and put in a good one to your fellow writers 😀

PROMPT WORD:  CLUB



Dancing  With Dad

"Come on then, you're turn now," my father  put out his hand to me and smiled, having first  made sure  Mum  was comfortable sitting with  my Aunt and my sisters, "let's see what you remember from last week."  

As my handsome dad, with his jet black hair  swirled me round the dancefloor in an attempt to teach me the waltz, homework, friendship concerns,  and all the survival stuff of school, melted away and, having looked forward eagerly to these precious moments, I now concentrated only on  the steps, while  dad whispered , "one, two, three," over and over in my ear.  

Every Sunday evening we joined other Parishioners, mostly Irish, like one big family,  at the Hay Lane Catholic Club, which was packed to the rafters and where, I'm convinced more Guinness  was drunk here than in Dublin itself.  Proud to be dancing with my dad, and  striving as I was  to be as brilliant with him as mum was,  the two of us meanwhile  laughed together and enjoyed ourselves so much that the good feeling of everything being right with the world seemed to  seep into my bones. 

 Dad died  six years ago, and it was many years  before that I'd  last danced with him,  but these memories, rather than fading, seem to be as clear to me now as back then - when I trod on his toes,  when he patiently and kindly waited for me to learn, when he let me have some of his Guinness, when we'd finally danced the whole song without me making any mistakes and he lifted me up and kissed my forehead, and if I close my eyes and breathe deeply I can  smell the  beer, the smoke, the sweat of that lost time.  

Though things didn't stay that  good between us,  much as  I  wished they would, and though I'm sad that I didn't make more of an effort to be closer to him, I am , nevertheless, so grateful and thank God for these fond memories of a happier time. 



Saturday, October 1, 2022

Spark

 1st Oct 2022

 



Following on from last weeks story, I stay with Marie in the garden.

The  prompt word, Spark.


Marie glanced through the grubby window of the greenhouse, saw his spade hanging in the place he had always left it, saw the neat pots stacked in ordered rows, saw the seed boxes  all meticulously and lovingly  made by Frank all those years ago, and wondered what had finally pushed her over the edge, what was the spark that set her off.

When they first got married she enjoyed sharing his passion for all things horticultural, had followed him around at shows, had even done a course in flower arranging so she could make use of the many flowers that he grew, eventually becoming a teacher herself. 

However, as time went on and the children came along, it became clear to Marie that his plant obsession was the most important thing in the world to him and she would have to get on with things by herself, which , for the sake of the children and because she had loved him, she put up with.

The fact that their father showed them so little affection, she found it difficult over the years to convince her daughter and two sons that their father did actually love them, speaking well of him at all times and doing her best to encourage him on the odd occasion, usually with flowers involved, to attend events that they might be involved in. 

But she had become tired of living a lie and on that last day, the day he'd trudged over her new carpet with his muddy boots without a care for her at all, she'd been slicing onions for their dinner and suddenly, though she has no recall of the incident itself, she found herself looking down at his body, blood dripping from the knife she held in her hand.

"This is a good spot for you, right where you'd want to be," she said to her dead husband as she rolled him into the hole she'd dug outside his greenhouse, while she wondered how she would get his blood out of her new carpet.   

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lazarus and the rich man

 Lazarus and the rich man



 In the Gospel this Sunday Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees,  gives us the story of Lazarus and the rich man. 

What would these Pharisees be thinking listening to this story? Was it hard for them to take? After all it dispels an  idea prevalent at the time that  material prosperity in this life was a reward for being  morally upright and that adversity was a punishment. And it makes it very clear that the soul survives after death and therefore there  is retribution in the next life, that we have to answer to God for all our acts in this life.

The rich man didn't do anything bad to poor Lazarus. His sin was one of omission. He ignored him. Or did he , rather, not "see" him. 

What is Jesus telling us? 

Maybe we need to ask ourselves some questions. Am I ignoring those that are around me who are in need? Even if I am not well off, do I consider the dignity of every person I come into contact with and help them in some way? Am I quick to help the poor, by giving to charity or by getting involved where I can? Am I concerned with the plight of the poor in other parts of the world and feel called to do something about it, even if only raising awareness. 

We all die and go to the Lord with nothing. Let's do the best we can while we're here to look after those less fortunate, whether materially or spiritually.   


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tying the Knot

20th Sept 2022

Six sentence story with :


                                              girlieontheedge 









   I Can't Undo The Knot

Part 1
Marie waters the rose bush, notices some old blossoms which have changed from  beautiful, rich, deep orange to faded, dull  pink and which she now dead heads, wondering why age is so ugly.

 "Rosa Independence",  a bush she  chose herself, has grown outside her husbands greenhouse for six years now and yet, regularly,  Marie walks to the end of the garden to tend it and spend some time in quiet contemplation, though it never seems to settle her thoughts or bring her any comfort or consolation and whilst she abhors living in the rambling old house, with it's creaky stairs and large cold rooms, she knows that she can never leave. 

"Mum, this place is killing you, it's about time you got out, moved on, got a life for yourself" her daughter often pleads, "and mum, you know me and Chris will help, and come on, it's gone six years now since dad went, and, honestly,  seeing you like this is heart-breaking."

Her daughters words hurt more than she wanted to admit, but as she kneels down in the dirt,  weeding under the bush, she remembers her last day with Frank,  when he came home from the Mid Henton Holicultural show, with an award for "Most Improved Bloom", and walked through the hallway, her clean hallway,  imprinting it with muddy footprints from his boots and grunting, "Where's me dinner then?"

"I do miss you," she snifs,  as her tears fall into the dirt,  "but maybe we shouldn't have tied the knot so tightly all those years ago, because , no matter what I do, I can't undo it...I can't undo it, and although I'm not locked up,  I'm not free, am I,  and here we are, you and I, here we are"  

----

 
Marie glanced through the grubby window of the greenhouse, saw his spade hanging in the place he had always left it, saw the neat pots stacked in ordered rows, saw the seed boxes  all meticulously and lovingly  made by Frank all those years ago, and wondered what had finally pushed her over the edge, what was the spark that set her off.

When they first got married she enjoyed sharing his passion for all things horticultural, had followed him around at shows, had even done a course in flower arranging so she could make use of the many flowers that he grew, eventually becoming a teacher herself. 

However, as time went on and the children came along, it became clear to Marie that his plant obsession was the most important thing in the world to him and she would have to get on with things by herself, which , for the sake of the children and because she had loved him, she put up with.

The fact that their father showed them so little affection, she found it difficult over the years to convince her daughter and two sons that their father did actually love them, speaking well of him at all times and doing her best to encourage him on the odd occasion, usually with flowers involved, to attend events that they might be involved in. 

But she had become tired of living a lie and on that last day, the day he'd trudged over her new carpet with his muddy boots without a care for her at all, she'd been slicing onions for their dinner and suddenly, though she has no recall of the incident itself, she found herself looking down at his body, blood dripping from the knife she held in her hand.

"This is a good spot for you, right where you'd want to be," she said to her dead husband as she rolled him into the hole she'd dug outside his greenhouse, while she wondered how she would get his blood out of her new carpet.   

Friday, September 16, 2022

Angel

 16th September 

Joining six sentence story bloghop.

Prompt word - Guard


Angel


I ask for him to light the way, 

to guard me every single day,

to rule me, to guide me

on my way.


He's always there to help me out,

especially when I'm driving  about.

He's great at finding parking spots

and when I ask, 

He finds  me lots.


And lately, as my memory dims,

he aids me finding my lost things.

I can honestly say I rely so much 

on his gentle guidance 

and soft, warm touch.


So thank you dear Angel for all you do,

for staying close and for being you.


 


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Have you no Faith?

 







We can be worried  and afraid of all manner of things. 

We might have a  physical illness and get anxious that it will be terminal, or, at least stop us doing what we normally do.

We might have money issues and are concerned about how we'll pay our bills.

One of our children might be ill or in trouble and we don't know how we can help.

We might have a tough talk to give. And though it is for the Lord, we stay awake at night going over and over what we're going to say. 

We will all have our own scenarios. 

A lady wanted to run a prayer group to help ladies that she knew grow in their relationship with The Lord. Her spiritual director thought it was a great idea and so she prepared for it as best she could. Before the first meeting she got very anxious and her family life suffered. She lead the prayer group and all was well. At the second one, she changes somethings and tried to listen to the Holy Spirit, and although it went better ( in her judgement), it was far from what she'd hoped she could do.                                                          She prayed about it and consulted and discovered that she hadn't been trusting it to the Lord, not really. Even though she thought she had. 

Then she found this quote which gave her a lot of peace. 

Mk 4: 40 "He said to them, ""Why are you afraid? Have you no Faith?""

She intends to prepare for the third meeting in a more relaxed way, with Jesus,  relying on Him more, to trust Him more and leave the result up to Him. She is going to "get out of the way, so God can enter..."

Let us place our reliance on God and leave every outcome up to Him. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Changeling 2

  31st Aug 2022


From a few years ago, with some changes


2nd Oct 2019


Day 2 of octpowrimo.
Why don't you have a go. It would be lovely to see your words.

Going for an acrostic as I found the prompt, Changeling,  a bit hard. 
I was thinking of my boy, who has ADHD and didn't "fit" societal expectations.

Changeling

You,  dear child,  you have,
extraordinary powers. 
Not understood by those 
who have 
preconceived ideas
 of a normal sort of life,
 a life that fits their comfort,
A life that doesn't veer from the
well trodden, wide, path, 
the road, everyone walks. 
But not you. 
No, they are blind to your  magic, 
your exuberant excitement, 
along this 
Great adventure of life,
where, for you,
 anything is possible,
 and no limits exist, 
where,  you explore, explode,
enthuse over everything,
over anything.
You, are larger than the life
you've  been given. 
You are the inventor most magnificent,
 the Nobleman in your  own country, 
you encounter all with joy. 
You speed through life, 
lighting up our lives.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Six Sentence Story

30th April


 The prompt for the six sentence story was "term"

Find info here: girlieonthe

girlieontheed ›

30th April 2022

 GirlieOnTheEdgeBlog 


Sally walked through the tape, avoiding cracked steps, and stopped to put plastic shoe coverings on before  entering the open front door of the Victorian terraced house.  Her eyes smarted, and she coughed as the strong smell of bleach unexpectedly caught her throat. Making her way towards the kitchen she was thankful to observe that the all the windows were open, yet she still covered her face with her hands. 

"All yours, Doctor," said one of the policemen as he passed her in the corridor, "not a pretty site, I'm afraid." 

How spotless everything looks, she thought, glancing round the kitchen. The only disorder the body, a woman in her early thirties, she surmised, clothes in disarray, cuts, bruises, blood everywhere  and, shockingly, as far as Sally could tell, pregnant and full term. Immediately falling on her knees she proceeded to ascertain whether the baby was alive or, more likely dead. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Finding Ten

 29th April


It's a while since I posted anything on the ten things of thankful bloghop. 
I have no valid excuse.
It's not that I haven't  had cause to give thanks.  
I have. 
I just haven't felt like thinking about it, and actually being thankful.
I suppose my attitude hasn't been one of counting my blessings, but rather seeing only the obstacles. 
And those obstacles, dear readers, are so minute in my life as to be totally embarrassing to talk about.
So I won't.
So I come here today and try to ponder on what I can be grateful for. 
I'll just look at the past week.

1. On Wednesday we came back from Cornwall after spending twelve days at our daughter's, the first week dog sitting while they cruised the Norway Fjords, with the children, the second week a few days with all of them when they got back.  
It was a time to treasure, a time that's precious. We don't get to see them as often as we'd like as they live 6 hours away. 
I know you guys in America don't think that's such a big deal, but for us English folk, on our small island, I can assure you it's a massive trek.
2. I loved some of the coastal walks and  breathed the sea air, the freedom of it, deep into my lungs. As I walked I thought again that I'd like to do the Camino de Santiago. I'd have to practice lots before though. I'm not fit enough for it yet. 
3. On one of the walks when the family came home I strolled along with my six year old grandaughter. What joy as we created poems together from all that we saw around us - caterpillars, yellow gorse bushes, trains, birds, the colours of the sea, the dunes, the sand, the sound of church bell,  and much more. When she got home, she started a new journal which she called Seaside Poems.  Amazing.
4. Sharing a book with my grandson before he went to bed. It makes me so happy that he loves books. This lively boy of three can sit for an hour or more listening to stories. I love that. 
5. Then, when the children were in bed, we spent some quality time with our daughter and her husband. A glass of wine and chatting together - just my cup of tea ( ah, no, it's wine xxx) To see the love they have for each other is quite humbling and brings a lump to my throat. 
6. When we got home and I looked out into the garden I was overjoyed to see the reds and blues and yellows of plants bursting into bloom. And my clematis coming back to life with it's beautiful purple flowers. What a lot had happened in the garden in that short twelve days. Of course, there is a lot of weeding to do too. But hey ...
7. I heard on the family grapevine how one of the children was helping a sibling out with a problem. How proud I am of my children.  It happens with the grandchildren too , and  even between the generations. It's more than I thought possible, yet maybe only the tip of the iceberg, for all I know. 
8. Hubby and I went in some galleries when we were away. I was blown away by the  exhibition in the Newlyn Gallery in Penzance, called Captured Beauty. Here's some blurb:

Black Voices Cornwall is an organisation that exists to enable Cornwall to become an actively anti-racist county. The ambition for Captured Beauty is for ethnically diverse visitors to feel seen through the works in this exhibition. It is also an opportunity for the white community to have an insight to how it feels to be a person of colour in the 21st century, and to come away from the exhibition with a determination to finally end racism.

We were told that 98.2% of Cornwall is white and one of the artists said she can go for more than three weeks without seeing a person like herself. How isolating is that. 
The exhibition was very humbling. 
It made me think, as St Josemaria said many years ago, "there's only one race, the human race...". If only we could remember that.
9. Another exhibition I enjoyed was called Simple Truths. Again, it made me think. Taking ordinary daily experiences and giving them a twist was clever. There was even some up to date pieces such as a shop assistant in a bakery carefully putting a loaf of bread in brown  paper . She is wearing a mask.  Only able to see her eyes, we're left with questions. Might she be smiling? 
I have to thank my lovely hubby for introducing me to the wonder of galleries. 
10. Finally, I'm thankful for this bloghop, which has encouraged me to find things to be thankful for and has got me writing. 


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Run

 22 02 2022

The Run

Earnestly, he rubs the canvas

With a damp cloth,

reveals the white of his

old trainers.

Deliberately, one by one, unravels

 the blue laces,

dreamily watches a fly

 crawl among crumbs

 on grey tiles,

 oh, little fly,

you have no idea how lucky you are.

Out on the downs, on the coastal path,

he runs,

he runs, … slowly, …at first,

until, inside his head

an explosion, a war, of words

fly back and forth.

Keeping time he picks up pace

 Quickening,  the  louder they get,

Faster, …Faster, …Faster, …

Then…

his breath, his breath,…gives out...

He stops…        He falls…

He falls with …         A thud

Into the mud…

He curls…    Head down…

Face down…     Down in the dirt…

He sobs…

He sobs…

Down in the dirt, he sobs…

Renouncing self- Gospel reflection

 22 02 2022

Mark 9:34-9:1

Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake and the sake of the gospel, will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life? And indeed, what can a man offer in exchange for his life? For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of m end of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his father with the holy angels” And he said to them, “I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power”

What does it mean to renounce oneself? And take up our cross? To save our life we must lose it. What’s all that about? How do we do that?

Does it mean I need to be in a convent, away from the bad world? Is that the way to save my life? Or join some catholic association and work for them, losing my life in that work so I can save it?

No, this message of Jesus is for everyone, not just for a few who can be Holy. No, I’m called to be Holy, we all are. He wants us not just to know about him, but to get close to him, intimately close - young people through their  studies, single people in their professional work, mothers and fathers in the family and in their professional work, and yes, also priests and nuns and those who work for the church. All of us offering Jesus our whole lives, through the little things of everyday.

So, in my life, whatever it looks like, Jesus asks me to renounce self. He asks me to put Him first. I can do that, hundreds of times in one day. And I can always ask him, Jesus, what do you want me to do here, in this situation or that other one?

Lent starts on 2nd March. Let’s make this lent a time to get close to Jesus to love Him more.  Each of us should prepare a plan. Not a huge list of things but something we’ll keep to. Something simple. Maybe you struggle getting up on time, then that’s a good place to start, as soon as the alarm goes, immediately turning your heart to God, and up. Renouncing self. “Help me live this day for you Lord”. Or it could be to do something small for someone you live with to make their life better - listening to them, giving them your time and attention. We’re so caught up in “self” sometimes, we don’t think of the others, who are often going through difficult times. A cup of tea, an offer of help. This, if done for Our Lord, is following Him, following Jesus. Could you, this lent, make time for Jesus by spending 10 or 15 mins in prayer with Him? Or read a passage of the Gospel every day? Maybe you already have these habits. Then think, can you do them with more love?  Ask Jesus for light to see what He wants of you this lent.  

 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Shoulder My Yoke

17th Feb 2022

 

Matthew 11: 28-30

Jesus said, 'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'




"Shoulder my yoke"

What do you mean?
 You promise to give rest,
then you ask us to
 take up our yoke .
How are  these two
 compatible?

Overburdened with our
 "selves"
weighed down, yet
resting in you
we find a light-heartedness,
a peace
for our souls.
May time stand still
in moments of joy


Photo - Maria Lang




Thursday, January 27, 2022

Thankful Things

28th Jan 2022

 


I have so many things to be thankful for this week. 

I'm sitting in bed, looking out at the sky being revealed as the morning begins. I can tell there is a frost, but I see the red and blue and am cheered. 
 I've been more mobile lately, more comfortable, and realise it's because the pain in my back has eased, ( can't remember if I mentioned I  fell and fractured my spine).  Not that I'm able to do an Irish Jig or anything, but , I can now go  for long walks again. Phew am I grateful and relieved for that!!!

 The weekend before last we had a family party for my grandson's 18th birthday. I'm still giving thanks for it. Although a few were missing, most of the family were there. It was my birthday too, and what a fantastic gift it was to look out on the crowd in the hall with tears flowing, as it occurred to me that they were directly descended from myself and my hubby.  My heart was bursting with love and pride  and thankfulness. I felt totally blessed.

Thank you, Lord,  for my dear husband, who loves me completely. We have the same goals in life, and are mindful of each other, continually. I am amazed at what we have. 

Thank you, Lord, for friends, for their kind words, for their company, for their just being there. 

Thank you, for smiles. It's incredible how much a simple smile can do. I know I have cause to be grateful for many people this week who have smiled at me. Some are complete strangers and in some way that makes it all the more satisfying.  We should take the trouble to smile as much as we can. It's good for both the one who gives and the one who receives. Pass it on. 



A Poem by Spike Milligan: 

Smiling is infectious,

 you catch it like the flu, 

When someone smiled at me today, 

I started smiling too.

 I passed around the corner 

and someone saw my grin.

 When he smiled I realized 

I'd passed it on to him.

 I thought about that smile,

 then I realized its worth.

 A single smile, just like mine

 could travel round the earth.

 So, if you feel a smile begin,

 don't leave it undetected.

 Let's start an epidemic quick,

 and get the world infected

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Distant Drums

11th Jan 2022

Prompt for The Sunday Muse: 


This is my first time

Distant Drums

The beat of distant drums 

stirs the silent spirit, 

 wakes the foggy mind, drunk with

 meandering in dark woods.

Now, they say,

come now, we are ready.


Friday, January 7, 2022

Ten Things I'm Grateful For

 7th Dec 2022



Christmas is over, but here I want to continue being joyful and grateful for the many blessings that I have.
So this week I'm joining, as I sometimes do, the Ten Things of Thankful bloghop.

1. I'm so thankful for the wonderful time I had at the Royal Albert Hall in London. What a joy it was to be there for their Carols just before Christmas, and how proud hubby and I were, our hearts fit to burst, to see our grandaughter singing with the Royal Orchestral Society. She's a beautiful singer and an even more beautiful person. A glorious day indeed. 

2. I am so thankful that we got to stay with our  daughter (auntie to said grandaughter) and her gorgeous family in Aylesbury, so that we could all travel to London together. We enjoyed our trip to London, fitting in the lights and a meal at Pizza Express. We met up with another daughter (mum to said grandaughter), and five more grandchildren ( siblings to said grandaughter) who'd also been to the Carols, obviously. We had two wonderful nights.

3. I'm also thankful that, on Christmas Eve, we got to go from Aylesbury  to Oxford and another daughter. A busy, happy house full of children. Everybody was doing something for the Christmas Day celebrations. A grandaughter making, not one but two Christmas logs, one gluten free for grandad. Someone else wrapping sausages with bacon and so much more. All eight children (three were missing - one married and living in Texas, another in London with Covid and having to stay with the boyfriends family, and yet another in Shropshire who was going to the in laws for the first time, though he's been married for nearly seven years) were busy doing something.

4. Staying with Christmas Eve, I'm thankful that we got to go with the family to midnight Mass. Yes, all the children went, even the six and four year olds. Two of the boys were serving . You really feel it's  Christmas when  you've been to midnight Mass. 
"Today a Saviour is born to us, Christ The Lord." 

5. My Faith is the most important thing to me and to see some of my children carry on the Faith in their own lives is just amazing. I must say, I did shed a few tears during the Mass, thanking God for everything. Although we didn't get to bed till three am on Christmas morning, I went to bed with a full heart and with a happiness I though could never be exceeded. 

6.  Then it was Christmas morning. We woke at about 8.0 am and there was no noise in the house, which I thought was unusual. After hubby and I did our prayer meditation, we crept down to the kitchen at 8.30 am to see if anyone was up. a few of the grandchildren were sitting round the table quietly waiting for everyone to come down. It was all very peaceful. Within a few minutes more joined us at the large table, though three of the teenagers didn't appear. We all ate our extra special granola and yogurt with blackcurrant jam - delicious. Cups of tea, glasses of orange juice and questions from the youngest about when we could all go and see if Santa had been. 

7. 10 minutes later mum goes to get the others out of bed, while the rest of us wait outside the living room door. Mum has to go in first. 
Ahh, eventually, about 9.15 am mum creeps into the room by herself to make sure everything is in order. 
Then, gently she opens the door, and we slowly follow the little ones in.

8. "Oh, wow, look..." Patrick, 4, as his eyes take in all the stockings - 8 of them - laying full to bursting in front of the fireplace. But the biggest wow is when he and his sister Annie, 6, spot the plate that was left for Santa, which contains one half eaten mince pie and an empty glass with just the dregs of the brandy at the bottom - proof it had been drunk. And the "nibbled" carrot that the reindeer obviously has a bit of. Then he spots the presents under the tree. Not many, only one for each of the children, but it's still a fair pile considering there are 8 of them. His wonder was the magic of Christmas for me. But before opening any presents,  there's one thing  that must be done first 

9. All this time Patrick had the baby Jesus in his hands ready to place in the crib and now was the time. Looking on as my little grandson lovingly placed the baby Jesus in the manger was a great moment for me. I am so grateful I was there to see him. 
Then we sing :
First, Happy Birthday
Then, Away In a Manger. 
Here is part of their Nativity Scene
I catch hubby looking at me with a tear in his eye. I love him more in that moment. 

10. Later on we have guests come to join us for dinner. The daughter we stayed with in Aylesbury with her hubby and three children. Dinner was roast lamb with rosemary and garlic, gorgeous little roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and much more. We all pulled crackers and after grace was said we tucked in. But more than the food what I enjoyed most was the company. After dinner we played card games, much to the delight of all. One in particular took everyone's fancy - you had to take a card which had the name of a Christmas song/carol on it. You had to hum the tune and the others had to guess what it was. I laughed so much my tummy hurt.

I know that's plenty of thankfuls, but they didn't stop there. On the 27th we were still in Oxford when our  grandson visited with his adorable wife and their five children. I was so thankful to see them as we don't get to that  often and they're always an inspiration to us.
We went home in the afternoon, tired , but happy.

On the 29th we had my daughter, her husband and her six children, to dinner. This if the family with the grandaughter who is a singer. I gave them bacon and cabbage and we talked about the wonderful night of the Carols.

I could go on. I've only covered a little of what has been happening in my life and in my family. But it's late. So I'll finish there.

Just to say that I thank God every day for my wonderful hubby and beautiful family.









Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Feast of the Epiphany of The Lord.

 6th Jan 2022

All Nations Shall Fall Prostate Before You, O Lord.

Today is a special Feast 

The Epiphany Of The  Lord

We saw His star as it rose and have come to do the Lord  Homage

The Magi followed the star. Sometimes it went out of sight and they had to have Faith that it was still there. Eventually, the star led them to Bethlehem where they found the king they had been looking for, the Saviour of the world. 

"...and going into the house they saw the child with His mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did Him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts of Gold and frankincense and myrrh."

Comment:

Like the Magi, sometimes the star that I follow is hidden from me behind the clouds of the cares of this world. Like the Magi, I want to persevere on the journey so I find my Lord.

 Following my Faith, my star,  takes me to you Lord. When I come to you in the sacraments, or, I should say, when you come to me, in my prayer, in the work of my day, lived for you.

And when I find you Lord what Gold and  Frankincense myrrh will I be able to offer you, Lord? You will not be satisfied until I give you my heart. So take it, Lord, it is yours. Not just my heart, but all of me, my body my mind, everything. All for you. I can only give you Lord what you have already given me.  

The Gold, of my Christian Faith,

The Frankincense of my work done for you,

The Myrrh of the sacrifices I offer to you.

And all this for Love, Love which grows, we don't know how.


The fruit will come



Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Day 12

 5th Jan 2022

               Today

The 12th Day of Christmas 


Tomorrow, the Feast of The Epiphany. We will celebrate the coming of the Kings to the baby Jesus.


Wishing you all a wonderful feast day for the end of Christmas tomorrow




Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Day 11

 4th Dec 2022

Today is Day 11 of Christmas. 

We have nearly come to the ends of our twelve day journey. So many of you have been on this little pilgrimage with me. Thank you for your loyalty, for reading my thoughts and for your wise  comments, which I always find most helpful. 


I love this this image of the Holy Family, which is  in St Joseph's Chapel in Westminster Cathedral, London.

I look at all the lovely Christmas cards around my home. Nearly all of them have the nativity scene on them. I have a crib too. They all speak to me. I go to the baby - they are all different - I sit  there with Mary His Mother and with St Joseph and silently I'm part of the wonder of it all. i imagine them eating their breakfast - maybe a kind inn keeper or his son, brings it to them and they  engage in an uplifting conversation. And so I continue, putting myself there, living it with them, The Holy Family. I ask them for many graces for my own family, I ask that they all grow close to The Lord. Soon we will put the Christmas cards and the crib away for another year. 

If you send Christmas cards I urge you to only send ones with the true Christmas message on, even, and I would say, especially to those who may not believe and may have no reminder of what Christmas is all about, except for your solitary card.

Get back to me with your thoughts.

God Bless.  





  

Monday, January 3, 2022

Day 10

 3rd Dec 2022

Today is Day 10 of Christmas.

The season is slipping away. For many the blessings and joy of Christmas 2021 are already a distant memory, way in the past. Life has moved on to 2022 and the rush of life has resumed. Like little gerbils on a wheel they go round and round and get nowhere and maybe, also like the gerbils they enjoy their frenzied days. For them the fear is the silence, the stillness, the now.

But, isn't it there, in the present moment, spending time, wasting time with God, where all things come together, where we, just for a moment enter into the now of eternity?

The crib scene still has the possibility to bring us to that place, as we contemplate, the baby, who is our God. Let's spend some time today and tomorrow and the next day in front of the crib and let the baby speak to us. 

Today is the feast of The Most Holy Name of Jesus 

    Jesus

Call on Him many times a day.

Jesus, help - repeat over and over

Jesus, I love you - repeat over and over

Jesus, thank you - many times a day.

Another way:

God the Father,

I believe in, I hope in, and I love you. Help me to believe in, to hope in, and to love you more today.

Jesus,

I believe in, I hope in and I love you. Help me to believe in, to hope in, and to love you more today.

Holy Spirit, 

I believe in, I hope in, and I love you. Help me to believe in, to hope in, to love you more today.


 


Sunday, January 2, 2022

Day 9

 Day 9 of the Christmas Season.

Hope you are all still enjoying the celebrations of this joyful time.

Christmas 

Blessings

Ephesians 1:3-6

 Before the world was made, God chose us in Christ.

Blessed be God the Father of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Before the world was made, he chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence, determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ, for his own kind purposes, to make us praise the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved.

Comment: 

I find these words from St Paul's letter so beautiful. That I have been chosen before the world was made, that I am a child of God, that I am a daughter of God. A daughter of God. I love that. I need to remind myself often of this sublime truth. What a gift it is.  

Thank you, God, my Father. 

Thank you, God, my Lord Jesus.

Thank you, God, Holy Spirit.

  

Saturday, January 1, 2022

DAY 8 - Mary The Mother of God

 Ist January 2022 

          HAPPY NEW YEAR



Have you made any New Years resolutions?
Looking back over this past year I feel so blessed. It has been a good year. I am looking forward to more adventures in 2022 ( just trying to get used to writing that now) and I have made a few small resolutions, little areas of improvement for myself. I'm no good with the big ones. I find if they are small I'm more likely to keep to them. 


Today, is the wonderful Feast of Mary, the Mother of God

GospelLuke 2:16-21 

The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem and found the baby lying in the manger

The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.

  When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.


Comment:

What a lovely reading for the feast this is. 
I find the shepherds interesting. They "hurried away to Bethlehem..." and, "When they saw the child they repeated everything they had been told about Him...." 
Lord, may I be more like the shepherds and hurry to tell all I know about you to everyone I meet. 
"As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart."
Lord, like my mother Mary, may I also spend time with you in prayer pondering the beautiful truths of our Faith. 
   
A blessing from todays first reading:

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.
---- 

And it's the 8th day of Christmas too. 



Lots to celebrate !!!