12 Days of Christmas blogging: Day 6

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Since I’ve already written about my New Years’ Promises{ I hate the word” resolutions”as when I resolve to complete a task I generally fail at the attempt.} I’m writing about music on my Ipod. Irrelevant? Probably, but this is my blog & I’ll discuss what I wat to discuss. :O)

Anyhow, I’m currently waiting for EPC to pick me up for our morning workout at the gym. I’m fairly pleased with the results of my promise to myself that I’d get fit in 2012, but I’ve still MUCH more work in that area of my life ahead of me. Fitness{ at lest to me} is a lifestyle choice–not a ” resolution”.

The Parental Units gave me a new much improved Ipod for Christmas. Currently { as I type} I am transferring a 3 Dog Night CD to my Itunes collection. Although I was born in 1976, m musical tastes lie mostly with the rock & roll music of the 1960s & 1970’s. :O) In my opinion, music of y parents’ generation is fa superior to the music of today. Although there are some bands & solo artists from te 180’s { my ” coming of age” years”} my tastes in music tend towards that of the vintage rock era. I’ll admit that I’ve some current ” pop music” on my Ipod…but its few & far between on my playlist.

I’m an “old soul” musically. :O)

12 Days of Blogging Day 5

It is COLD here in Florida.

I woke with a horrible sore throat, but Best Dude & I made it to Mass anyhow. He served as Chalice Bearer & I as Acolyte. It was a wonderful Mass, even though, as per the Sunday after Christmas, low in numbers. Many people here travel for the long Christmas holiday break. I am told that there were 72 souls at the * PM Lessons & Carols Mass on Christmas Eve.

Today I had lunch with a youth from my parish who is now a student in University. My throat felt like sandpaper & I had a headache but I did not wish to cancel this lunch date.

My kin from Atlanta are still here, so I’ve been at the Parental ‘s house visiting a lot with the brother & sister-in-law. It has been a wonderfully boring Christmas here on the Gulf Coast. :O) Tomorrow is New Years’ Eve & best Dude & I will eat supper with the Parentals & Siblings & then play games.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how important family is to me & how LONELY holidays are when one’s family is either physically and/or emotionally ” far away”.

12 Days of Christmas: Day 4

Merry Christmas!

Last evening Best Dude & watched the second part of Christiane Amanpour’s special_ Back To The Beginning_ This two-hour program took viewers through the highlights of the Book Of Exodus in Hebrew Scriptures…from Moses all the way to King Solomon.

I loved the videography— there were some incredible video shots of Mount Sinai during the ” Moses” segment. I did not realize how arduous climbing Sinai really is for the average person. The revelation of the challenging course that is Sinai does not deter me from wanting to climb it, as I’ve wanted to do so since reading Bruce Feiler’s book _Walking The Bible_.

Since I’ve completed three of the four years of the Edation for Ministry program tha is offered by the Episcopal church, watching this program brought back much of the knowledge I had gleaned from Year One of EfM . I remember studying about all those places that the progrm covered , including the misdeeds of King David. Maybe i is because I learn best using my sene fsight, but seeing such imges at the Wailin Wall & watchng Ms Amanpour, her 12-yea-old son & e camera crew actuallyalk up Mount Sinai fascinated me.

Well done ABC News! :O)

12 Days of Christmas: Day 3

My brother & sister-in-law are here from Hotlanta for the New Year, so things are gonna be quite busy in my universe these next few days. Best Dude has to work this morning, so I’m hanging out with mi familia.

This morning my Dad, brother & I went to the gym. It was really nice to ork out with my family & I wish my brother et al lived closer t us so e could enjoy more such mornings. I worked my arms & shoulders today & I know I shall feel the fruits of my laboring in the gym this evening when I try to relax & settle in .

Best Dude & I will watch the second part of the Christiane Amanpour special_Back to the Beginning_ on ABC this evening. We are very much looking forward to this show.

The weather here on the Gulf Coast has surely been ” wintry”. We woke to a thin layer of frost on Best Dude’s truck.

Merry Christmas, every one!

Chrismas Day 2: Resolutions & Promises to Myself

Merry Christmas!

Last year I promised myself that I’d begin to get my physical body in shape. I’ve done really well thus far & intend to keep up with the gym & pool visits, eating better & making an effort to get enough hours of sleep per night.

Although I am not quite at my projected muscle-building gaols for 2012, I am proud of the functionality that I’ve gained in my quest to build stronger muscles. Since I am not as ” big” a I’d hoped to be by now,I am not entering the 2013 Panhandle Showdown in April. Hopefully I’ll be more ready for that sort of fitness competition by April of 2014 .

In 2013, my goal is to increase my self-confidence. I do not have much self-confidence at all, so I tend to overcompensate for this deficit. Currently I am not sure how I will work towards this goal, but I’m sure the answer will come to me.

I’ve never been one with self confidence–throughout most of my school years I was bullied badly by my peers. As a result of this schoolyard cruelty, I am shy highly suspicious of people until I get to know them better. Because ms of my schoolyard orentors were girls, I have a hard time especially trusting women. In 2013 I plan to further the ” Sisterhood” I already enjoy with my few female friends & also open myself to meeting new gal pals.

What are some thing that YOU wish to improve upon in 2013?

12 Days of Christmas:Day 1

xmaschurch12 014Christmas is a season in the Church Year. t lasts from Christmas until the Fast of the Epiphany on January 6.

In the spirit of the 12 Days of Christmas, I will blog once daily.

Best Dude, my family & I had a wonderful Christmas Day. Best Dude & I went to Midnight Mass { Candlelight & very Anglo-Catholic–I LOVED IT!} My beloved bought me a brand-new NIKON camera for Christmas & Its been a lot of fun using it already. I bought him a book & ordered a special coffee mug that has a collage of photos of he & I. My parental units bought us two tickets to the musical _West Side Story_ that is playing in Pensacola on January. 3. I adore the movie version, so I am looking forward to seeing the live-action musical play.

My brother & Sister-in-law will be here tomorrow. Best Dude has a busy work schedule this week, so I’m glad I will be occupied with my siblings. They come to Florida every year during the Christmas season & it is always so much fun. I love my family & am so blessed to have such great people with whom to spend the holidays. My heart goes out to all those who spend this wonderful time of year alone, as inasmuch as I am an introvert I do love the few people who do share my life in a big way.

” In the Beginning…..

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am both a Biblical history buff and a HUGE fan of Ms Christiane Amanpour’s work. So, when found out that ABC News will air a two-part documentary on the Biblical history of Genesis, I internally shouted ” BOOYAH”.

The photography was amazing & Best Dude & I learned a lot.

I know a lot of people think Christiane Amanpour is an anti-American Muslim. This is not the case, she even stated that she is a Christian { Roman Catholic} with persian heritage on her father’s side who ALSO happens to be married to an American Jew{ Jamie Rubin} I’ve been a fan of her work for years { actually it is her work as an international correspondent that inspired me to study journalism in college} & generally watch all of her special reports.

Another interesting aspect of _In the Beginning_ is that Ms Amanpour took her 12-year-old son, Darius, along with her when she travelled around the world for this special. She hopes to , by showing people the common history that Christians, Jews & Muslims sar, that this report might spark some interfaith dialog among the three Abrahamic faith traditions.

I thought it was great how Bruce Fieler was also interviewed extensively for this report. Years ago I read Fieler’s books _ Walking The Bible_ & _Abraham_ I highly recommend both of these ooks…the author does an excellent job of writing these nonfiction tomes to read like an adventure novel. :O)

Ms Amanpour’s documentary ” flowed” like a good movie. The theme of it seems { so far, as Part Two airs next week} to be that all three faiths share much more than we realize and that we’re all People of The Book.

I am a child of interfaith parents { Christian & Jewish} & am sick of all the interfaith violence . In my opinion, all these ” holy wars” are & have ben fueled by misunderstandings among the three monotheistic faiths. My Jewish heritage has never undermine my Christin faith— in many ways it has enhanced what I believe as a Christian. I’m not too familiar wih mainline Islam, but I try not to pre-judge Muslims when I hear of acts of violence committed in tha name of God.

We are ONE IN THE SPIRIT!
Amen.

2012 According to Sarah Beth

In spite of what I’ve seen on TV, I am sure the world is NOT ending tomorrow.

In the spirit of the upcoming New Year, let me offer my reflections on ” 2012 According to Sarah Beth” .

This has been a pretty good year. Best Dude & I are healthy & very happy. Our lives are not fancy, but we are content.

In February, I traveled down to the Tampa/ St Petersburg area to meet his family{ Siblings, daughter & grandchildren} His family is wonderful & on our way home we took the ” scenic route”. He took me to Cedar Key, a tiny little island off the coast of Levy County, Florida.

This year we adopted a dog. The first part of our dog-seeking journey occurred in April when we tried to adopt a two-year old female Springer Spaniel. The poor little girl had been rescued from a puppy mill & was NOT socialized. when she bit Best Dude we had to surrender her back to Springer rescue.

In October one of my friends in the neighboring county posted photos of a very uniquely colored male Springer . Best Dude & I met the dog & immediately ” took to” him{ he ” took to ” us as well. We named our dog Seamus { after the classmate of Harry’s in _Harry Potter_}

So, in 2012 we added a canine to our family.

My fitness quest is coming along well. My fitness partner & I meet on Monday,Wednesday & Friday to either swim in the pool { said pool is heated & covered in the cooler months} or strength-training in the gym. Although I’ve decided that I am not quite muscle-bound enough to enter the 2013 Panhandle Showdown, I am continuing to work on building lean muscle.

This past summer I spent two weeks up North. Most of the time there was spent with my godparents at their lake. It was wonderful….I hiked, kayaked & even attempted to water-ski. { That attempt could have gone better} I also went to a County Fair wit my godsister & her husband….something I had not done since childhood. I also attnded worship at th smll Presbyterian Church where I had been baptzed { at thetender age of 20}.

It has been a great year.

Blue blue Christmas

According to the liturgical calendar:today was supposed to be a Sunday of rejoicing.

No one at Small Parish felt like rejoicing this morning. :o/

Due to the recent events happening in the nation, today was not a day to celebrate. At Small Parish, we grieved & remembered the victims of the Newtown school shooting. We started the Mass with reading responsively the Great Litany. After the Lessons were read, our priest helped us address the sadness that we collectively feel about what happened on Friday morning.

We also prayed for the victims by name . That was really hard for me, as I’ve spent some time working in a public school system & many years working with and among children & youth of the Church. I noticed that the fellow & sister educators of m parish are especially affected by this tragedy. We never thought about a scenario such as this when I was working at an elementary school.

As I’ve already said, these things just should not happen.

I keep thinking about the families of the slain kids & the Christmas that won’t happen for so many people in & around the Newtown, Connecticut area. :O(

Years ago, my Presbyterian minister offered a ” Blue Christmas” service in December for anyone & everyone who might be grieving during this ” most wonderful time of the year”. I’d lost my beloved paternal grandfather that August, so I went to church on that designated Sunday evening. It was a time for we Christians to grieve in community & it was very cathartic.

This morning’s Mass at Small Parish had the same cathartic effect for me{ and probably for others in attendance , too} Grieving in community is healthy , both for the mind & soul.

Today I am grateful for the Church Universal’s gift of ” presence” & community.

Amen.

In the wake of the school shootings….

madonna

My heart breaks tonight. Words cannot suffice regarding how I feel about the most recent school shootings. I ache for all of the victims’ families & the entire town of Newtown.

This should NOT have happened.

A priest-friend of mine asked on Facebook” Where is God in all this?”

Where is God indeed?

I am glad I am not the only person who wants an answer to that question. How can a loving God ” allow” such slaughter of innocence?

Yet I am comforted { at last a wee bit} by the image of The Blessed Mother holding the Infant Christ on her lap. On my desk in our home office is an icon card of the Blessed Mother holding the Christ Child. Although I am not sure of the name of this particular rendition of ” Madonna & Child” I’ve always been comforted by the image of a tiny, vulnerable Jesus of Nazareth wrapped safe in His mother’s arms. I imagine that this very Jesus welcomed each of the innocent victims of yesterday’s school shooting tenderly & gently.

Scripture tells us that our loving God will not & has not given up on humanity. Humans can be evil creatures & I am sure these acts of evil sadden our Creator. No matter what Israel did, God was steadfast in God’s love. No matter how many times God’s People screwed up, God never reneged on God’s love.

It is times such as these that my Catholic faith really anchors me. I do not know WHY this happened to these families in that town in New England. But I do know that God has NOT forsaken humanity— regardless of what ” the culture ” might try to show us. Somewhere & somehow, love & Shalom will prevail .

Amen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 513 other followers