Posts

Showing posts with the label faith and family

"Did you find everything you needed today?"

Image
Yes, thank you, but it took all afternoon wandering through aisles and aisles of stuff that I don’t need now or ever, and getting stressed out that I was losing precious time I wanted to spend with my family. This happens almost every time I go into Walmart or some other mega-store. Our local Walmart is big enough to be a village. Seriously. I’ve been around the world, and some ancient villages really and truly would have fit inside the Walmart, with room to spare. Yesterday’s holdup: birthday candles. After getting misdirected a couple of times, I did find my way to the party section: FIVE aisles of cards, hats, dishes, decorations, and more party favors than you can imagine. I was feeling pretty good with myself because I’ll be throwing several kid birthday parties in the next couple of weeks (I have 3 kids and they all have February birthdays) and I was stocking up everything I needed for all of them. Forward thinking, right? The mom next to me in the party aisle was also thinking …

The Meaning of Repentance, Sacrifice and Fasting in Lent

Image
Lent is around the corner again. My Facebook feed has been full of discussions about Lent and articles with this, that or the other Lenten recommendation. It’s amazing how many ways there are to “live Lent”. And each way has both die-hard supporters who see the spiritual value of that particular path through Lent, and critics who see the potential pitfalls. For an example of what I mean, take a look at an article Simcha Fisher wrote a few years ago – I think she did a pretty good job of showing some common approaches to Lent and the very real benefits and potential drawbacks of each.
I don’t think there’s one “right” way, or even “best” way of living Lent. I believe there are as many ways of living Lent as there are people. Although we often approach Lent programmatically, I prefer to see it as a journey, or dialogue between the soul and God. A dialogue is hard to copy or recreate, because it depends largely on the heart and mind of the people involved. A dialogue can have a certain o…

11 Ways to Celebrate Your Marriage

Image
Once in a while, when I’m bored, or curious (or need a good introduction to a blog post!), I browse through the “Days of the Year” website. I never cease to be amazed at the variety of celebrations on the calendar. In February, people will be celebrating Stuffed Mushroom Day, Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, World Nutella Day, and Gumdrop Day. Mouth-watering, right? February also includes Thank Your Mailman Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, and Extraterrestrial Culture Day. If I followed my taste buds here, I’d probably be advocating for World Nutella Day; if I succumbed to my inner geek, I’d go with Extraterrestrial Culture Day. But, given the proximity of Lent, the lack of known alien life, and my focus on marriage and family life both in my job and at home, I’ll rise above the tasty and bizarre, and focus your attention on February 14. This year, February 14 is both Valentine’s Day and World Marriage Day. The two focuses actually go pretty well together, so here are a few id…

Decluttering Your Soul: How to Free Your Mind and Heart in the New Year

Image
I vaguely thought of doing a new year’s resolution post a few days ago, and decided against it. Partially because so there are so many already out there. Mainly because I’m so bad at keeping new year’s resolutions that I’ve pretty much stopped even trying to make them, at least in the traditional sense. For the last few years, instead of trying to add in something new each year, I’ve tried to simplify life a bit and shed some of the layers that prevent me from being the wife, mother and Christian I want to be. With so many things competing for attention in life, I think this process of decluttering your soul is important not only if we want to have be meaningful presence in the life of our loved ones, but also if we want to be personally fulfilled. Continue reading at Eyes On Heaven.

How to Handle Christmas Gift Giving and Receiving

Image
The tradition of giving and receiving gifts at Christmas time is a bit of a double edged sword – lots of good things involved, lots of parenting challenges as well. Lots of things I don’t want: I DON’T want Christmas gift giving to become the focus. But  also I DON’T want our kids to miss out on a fun tradition that, done in moderation, can teach a lot about the meaning of both giving and receiving. I DON’T want to break the piggy bank and live like a pauper for the rest of the year because all our money went into gifts. I DON’T want to end up with a house full of toys and “stuff” that gets excitedly used for a few hours, starts more than a few fights and ultimately ends up lying around tripping people. I DON’T want our kids to set high expectations, or feel entitled to getting the latest and greatest each year. Lots of things I do want: I DO want my kids to experience the love behind the gifts they receive from friends and relatives. I DO want my kids to experience the gratitude that …