Friday, December 6, 2013

Quick Takes: Pre-Retreat Edition

Yeah, you heard that right - I'm heading to a retreat. Tomorrow. Overnight. Without the kids. Poor Hubbers. Well, Li'l G is spending the weekend with her Nonna so they'll have a great little girls weekend. I suppose this means the Hubs and J will have themselves a nice boys weekend. So maybe not "poor Hubs" after all. I'm going to try to enjoy the retreat without thinking about the repercussions of a weekend away. I'm going to try really hard. Not hyperventilating.

This retreat is the one non-discernment weekend hosted by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor. I went last year and had a profound experience. For the most part it was a profound experience in brokenness - I may have cried a lot of the time because I felt so very little and invisible and worthless. Be it the comparison game with other women, pridefulness, a poor measure of what "worth" is, I was pretty darn broken. Then a lovely group of mamas adopted me, and showed me just how not invisible I was. Of course, I've since learned that invisibility can be a superpower. So, sometimes, even that is okay.

These ladies are heading back to retreat this year too, and I am so excited to be meeting up with them for lunch before hand. So.excited! Sushi. Yum. Women who tangibly extended God's heart and hand to me. Yeah, that's a pretty moving and exciting thing. I can't really ever write about it without tearing up. I am forever grateful to Suzy, Aislinn, and Ashley. Even in the midst of all the things you were yourselves facing on that retreat, you helped heal a little part of my heart. Thank you.

If you have trouble getting started with prayer in the morning or are looking for a little variety in your prayer life, you should check out Jenna's post about her prayer sticks. I promise it's not some new-agey incense thing.

Reading Jenna's post made me get off my tush and start working on another Beloved Blessings Jar. I'm asking all y'all to help me fill it, though, so would you? Pretty please? You can add to my jar in the comments here or at the original post. Just share a favorite Scripture or quote that helps you remember your belovedness in God's eyes, helps you to see light in the darkness, helps encourage you when you are feeling worthless, etc. Thank you in advance!

If I could put songs inside the jar, I'd throw these two in there. So far, I haven't figured that one out. No Hallmark song cardmaker here. Yet.

Christmas shopping time is here! Much like Hallie, I am an gal. I detest the crowds, the meanness and the chaos of shopping at the stores. Seems completely contrary to the intent of Advent. I know that not everyone appreciates not getting "stuff," but I do hope that in our family we can start to instill the wonder of Christmas without the greed of getting. Certainly there is joy and surprise in the giving and receiving of gifts - no question. I was just remembering some of my own favorite Christmas morning memories as an Indian Hindu girl in small-town Iowa. (Yeah, think long and hard about that one...)

I do think, especially now that we are out of Texas, that bigger is not always better...unless you are talking about the Grinch's heart of course. I would like for our family to equate Christmas with giving, not long lists of what we want when we are already overflowing with material things. We've got about one year to set some traditions in our family with regard to gift-getting before it will become a "change" in the way we do things with Li'l G. Long story to simply say, with all our blessings, it seems like we should be doing a little giving back through it all. Here are some ideas for alternative gift giving for the people in your lives who already have everything. Now if you happen to get me something from my Amazon Wish List, I won't be a shrew and return it, I promise.

Happy St. Nicholas Day!! Here is hoping you got
a sweet treat or two instead of a black eye... ;-)

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