The Lenten Positive Acts Challenge

It has been entirely too long since I’ve published a blog post. I have at least 60 written posts but I haven’t felt like any of them are ready to be shared.  Frankly, they’re depressing. I’ve been trying to plug positives into them and to find a way to share the silver lining, but I’ve been struggling. I mean REALLY struggling. I’m not sleeping, still. It either takes me hours to fall asleep and then I get maybe two hours in or I fall fast asleep at 9pm and am wide awake by 3am.

But that’s not the purpose of this post.  I told myself today that I had to publish something.  Even if it wasn’t perfect.  Even if it didn’t follow my prescribed order. Continue reading “The Lenten Positive Acts Challenge”

One Word for 365 Days

52-weeks ago I shared my intention for 2016 by posting the below on Instagram.  Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I adopted a word to guide my year. I chose the word balance for 2016 because I tended to be the type of person who had tunnel vision. If I was going to be a good wife, I thought I had to focus on that 100%. If I was going to have a successful career, I felt that I needed to work 85-hours a week. I was wavering on whether or not I wanted to be a mom because I had no idea how to do that. I had a hard time balancing all of the things that were important in my life, so I forced myself to figure that out. If I was grading myself for my performance in 2016, I earned a solid B.

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2016 was a hell of a year. It’s a year that rocked me to my core. But in the end it deepened my friendships, strengthened my marriage and solidified my faith.

Continue reading “One Word for 365 Days”

Day 50: The Season of Life

Did you know that December 25th is very likely not Jesus’ birthday? I don’t mean to trivialize it, but the bible doesn’t name a specific day. There’s no mention of the celebration of Jesus’ nativity in the Gospels or Acts. Certain facts suggest it was likely during a season where the weather was less brutal. We celebrate the birth of Jesus on the 25th of December because it was a time when celebrations surrounding the winter solstice were already occurring across Europe. Piggy backing on those celebrations encouraged the spread of Christianity. If Christmas closely resembled a pagan holiday, then pagans would be more likely to accept it and accept God, so the story goes.

I’m not suggesting that there’s no historical or spiritual significance to Christmas, nor that it shouldn’t be celebrated. However, the significance of the holiday isn’t in the date.

Continue reading “Day 50: The Season of Life”

Thanksgiving

The first true “Thanksgiving” was a three-day festival celebrated in 1621.  It was organized by Governor William Bradford after the Pilgrims’ first successful corn harvest. In the fall of 1620 the Pilgrims had found refuge in New England after a long and treacherous journey from Plymouth, England.  They sought religious freedom and land ownership in the New World. The Pilgrims didn’t find all that they had hoped for upon arrival and most remained aboard the Mayflower during the cold and brutal New England winter. At the rise of spring they moved ashore where they were greeted by Indians who taught the Pilgrims how to harvest and assisted in forging alliances with a local tribe.  It was one of the earliest documentations of people of different backgrounds coming together to help one another.

The Pilgrims didn’t celebrate another “Thanksgiving” until 1623, which marked the end of a religious fast due to a long draught. In the years that followed there were multiple days of giving thanks until 1789 when George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation of the United States.  It was intended as a day for Americans to express their gratitude for the successful ratification of the United States Constitution. Until 1863 each state celebrated Thanksgiving on a different date and some states, primarily those in the south, didn’t recognize the tradition at all.

It wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as “a day of Thanksgiving and praise” that Thanksgiving was recognized as an official American holiday.  In his proclamation, he asked Americans to, “…commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation…”.

While the Thanksgiving holiday has taken on new meaning in the modern day, I believe what Abraham Lincoln proclaimed on October 3rd 1863 was intended to be the true meaning of Thanksgiving.  And this year, especially, my husband and I needed to be reminded of that. Continue reading “Thanksgiving”