Traveling over the Sierras can be lovely and beautiful and conversely treacherous depending on the time of the year.
Several years ago, my family and I had set out on a brief weekend trip to visit my extended family in Reno. Having been in Texas for my grandmother’s memorial service the week prior when Lent began, I wasn’t in the frame of mind to tackle something to give up. The time with family to honor my grandmother was rich and bittersweet; I was still emotionally raw.
I’m no humbug, but I have to admit that I occasionally have trouble enjoying Christmas.
I’ll admit changing the station when “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” croons from the radio, as sometimes it just makes me angry.
For our family, December is often one of the hardest months. All the pressures of gifts, coupled with illness, together with the fact that I’m married to a high school basketball coach make the holiday season a bit of a trial for me.
Christmas is a complicated season. At the surface, the media sends us the message that it is the “most wonderful time of year” filled with candy canes, happy smiling children, blissful mall shopping, and of course, argument-free family gatherings and copious amounts of leisure time. It’s tough to stomach this rosy view of the holiday season in light of how it makes many of us feel.
This time of year brings with it a mountain of additional stress no matter who you are, but especially for ministry leaders.
There are lots of different “zones” in life, but the zone of motherhood—with all its different ages and stages—is one zone that can never be completely outgrown. Once you’ve become a mother, it’s always a part of you. I really love being a mom with all its ups and downs, exhaustion, joys, and tender moments, however, there is an ongoing tension between the call of motherhood and the call of vocation.
Few things in life can fully capture the impact a loved one can have on us. For me, my grandparents held a very special place in my heart as they were instrumental in my life from the time I was born. While both my grandfathers passed away many years ago, the first of my two cherished grandmothers passed away last week.
It’s never too late to make a new friend, or to visit someone you love and make lasting memories, or so I learned. It might seem that by the time you’ve landed in a senior residence facility you might have made all the friends you’re going to make in this life. But this wasn’t true for Elaine and Betty, who met eight years ago when they moved next door to one another at Brookdale-Arlington (formerly Town Village), a senior living community, in Arlington, Texas.
Here we are at another year, the clock still ticks onward, seconds lead to minutes, which add up to hours, days and weeks. Although most of civilization aims to focus on accomplishments and goals for the New Year, how would it look differently if we were to measure our lives in terms of overcoming failures?