Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Joyous Curveball....

Have you ever seen a curveball thrown in baseball???  Well, what happens is that it seems to be coming straight at the batter when all of a sudden - whoosh!  The ball curves to the left or right unexpectedly!!!  It truly throws the batter off and they miss the ball completely........ugh!

Have you ever missed something?  Thought life was going to turn our one way and bam! It turned out completely opposite???  Well, the good news is that curveballs even happened back in the ancient Bible days!!!  Take Zechariah for example:  His wife, Elizabeth was pregnant with a child at a very old age and Zechariah's response to the angel was skepticism, NOT joy!!!  And, this child turned out to be John the Baptist.  The messenger of Christ the Lord.  A JOYOUS curveball!!!

Melanie Rigney wrote this devotion in Living Faith:
"Change - even wonderful, exciting, almost-beyond-belief change - challenges us!  Living in that old familiar rut is so much easier.  Is it any surprise that Zechariah's first response to the angel who told him of his child's coming and all that would mean was not total joy, but skepticism??
The joy part comes when we summon the courage and faith to embrace God's plan.  Sometimes, as with Zechariah, doing that takes some quiet time and prayer.  Sometimes, it takes talking things out with a spiritual adviser, priest or trusted friend.  Sometimes, it's just a matter of pushing ahead and embracing whatever comes, knowing that God, as always, has the situation - and us and our fears and trepidations - under control."

Lord, thank you for the grace-filled curveballs you toss to shake up my complacency and deepen my faith.
Curveballs are part of the equation as a human being.  Yep!  That's right.  We miss things.......small things and big things!  We are offered an incredible gift at this time of year and everyday and many people miss it!!!
Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem and came to bring us joy, peace and unconditional love.  My prayer this Christmas each of you will recognize the gift of this JOYOUS season - Christ the Lord!!!
Isaiah 9:6 says:
"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given who is Christ the Lord!!!"

Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Triggers....

Melody Beattie is one of my favorite authors from the standpoint of learning how to deal with life!
She has written several books which have truly helped me along this path called life:
Co-Dependent No More, The Language of Letting Go, Lesson of Love, and my favorite is Journey to the Heart!  
And, while I did not grow up in an alcoholic family, we had our own variety of dysfunction.  I believe all families have some dysfunction within themselves because we humans are just that:  Humans!  We have much to learn about how to deal with others who have issues which affect our lives and how our lives affect and effect other people as well.

Here is Melody's devotion for December 23 from The Language of Letting Go book.  I pray that it will help some of you who go through a difficult time during the Holidays.  We all need to have compassion for those whose experience may not always be as happy or healthy as ours....look around and see if there is someone who may need to hear these words:

Holiday Triggers           December 23

One year, when I was a child, my father got drunk and violent at Christmas.  I had just unwrapped a present, a bottle of hand lotion, when he exploded in an alcoholic rage.  Our Christmas was disrupted.  It was terrible.  It was frightening for the whole family.  Now, thirty-five years later, whenever I smell hand lotion, I immediately feel all the those feelings I did that Christmas: the fear, the disappointment, the heartache, the helplessness, and an instinctive desire to control. (Anonymous)

There are many positive triggers that remind us of Christmas:  snow, decorations, "Silent Night," "Jingle Bells," wrapped packages, a nativity scene, stockings hung on a fireplace.  The "triggers" can evoke in us the warm, nostalgic feelings of the Christmas celebration.
There are other kinds of triggers, though, that may be less apparent and evoke different feelings and memories.
Our mind is like a powerful computer.  It links sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste with feelings, thoughts, and memories.  It links our senses - and we remember.
Sometimes the smallest, most innocuous incident can trigger memories.  Not all our memories are pleasant, especially if we grew up in an alcoholic, dysfunctional setting.
We may not understand why we suddenly feel afraid, depressed, anxious.  We may not understand what has triggered our codependent coping behaviors - the low self worth, the need to control, the need to neglect ourselves.  When that happens, we need to understand that some innocuous event may be triggering memories recorded deep within us.
If something, even something we don't understand, triggers painful memories, we can pull ourselves back into the present by self-care:  acknowledging our feelings, detaching, working the Steps, and affirming ourselves.  We can take action to feel good.  We can help ourselves feel better each Christmas.  No matter what the past held, we can put it in perspective, and create a more pleasant holiday today.

Today, I will gently work through my memories of this holiday season.  I will accept my feelings, even if I consider them different than what others are feeling this holiday.  God, help me let go, heal from, and release the painful memories surrounding the holidays.  Help me finish my business from the past, so I can create the holiday of my choice.

May God bless each of you this joyous Christmas season!!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

KISS for Christmas!

"Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore..........."  Whether we like it or not, Christmas is upon us!  So, what is all the fuss about?  Why the Joy? Why the laughter? Why the big fuss???  Because it is the most joyful season we celebrate in America!!! Go out and find some JOY that fits you and your style!!!

Here are a few simple things to remind yourself this season:

The Holidays!!!

K = Keep it simple, Santa!
I = Instincts/Use them – Trust yourself!!
S = Sacred Traditions and Rituals – Healing?

S = Seraphim and Cherubim – Angels of Joy!!!

Keep it simple, Santa! 
1)                  Don’t overspend this holiday season.  
2)                 Don’t overschedule yourself in the number of events you partake of this season.  
3)                 Don’t overcommit to too many tasks and/or chores to complete.

Instincts/Use them – Trust yourself!
1)                 What does your gut tell you to do this season? 
2)                 What does your heart say? 

Sacred Traditions/Rituals – Healing?
1)                  What is sacred to you this season?  
2)                 What traditions and/or rituals make you feel the Christmas spirit the most?  
3)                 Offer a new tradition to take part in at your house!  
4)                 If singing Christmas Carols makes you feel wonderful, then sing them! 
5)                  Sad memories of not so great Christmases in the past….acknowledge them. 

Seraphim and Cherubim – Angels of Joy!!!
1)                  Ask yourself:  what one way can I offer joy to someone else this season?  

K.I.S.S. = Keep it simple, Santa, and ENJOY this very special holiday season!!!