“Guess what today is??!” Jack excitedly asked as he came downstairs for breakfast. “The day after Thanksgiving?” I ask back. “Mahhmm!” he exhales. “How can you not know? It’s like a HUGE deal.” “I don’t know,” I shrug. “What day is it?” “It’s Black Friday!” “Ohhh…” Did he seriously just say Black Friday – like it’s a holiday? Does he think it signifies something important? worth celebrating and commemorating? “Yes – it’s finally here. Black Friday.” He smiled and started to gather what he wanted to eat for breakfast. I guess he was preparing for the big day (as if we’ve ever said a word about it.) Then he paused and thought for a moment, “What is Black Friday?” He’s so funny. I guess he’s heard so much about all the hype and the deals on the radio and t.v., he thought
Having Thanksgiving at the end of November really does put a kink into things. On the one hand, aren’t we supposed to be planning December since IT STARTS NEXT WEEK? But on the other, what about the Turkey? and lazy, and food, and football, and raking/jumping into leaves, and food, and family/friends, and food and hanging out? But December IS HERE and I don’t want to get behind, or be rushed, or forget something (eek!) The walls start to feel like they’re closing in (am I the only one?!) and even I begin to make lists. And in the making of lists I start to think about all the things that NEED TO BE ON A LIST. Then I see the list and think how ridiculous it is – because I’m laid back and have never been friends with lists. In fact, I’m a terrible list maker. I write the stuff down, usually on a scrap of paper that resembles a Chic-Fil-A receipt
In a few short weeks (they seem to be getting shorter and shorter – which makes me sad since all I want these weeks to do is linger), Christmas songs will be filling the airwaves. In the malls, on the radio, at school recitals, through churches across the globe, songs about peace and hope will be sung. Peace, hope and joy. It seems we could all use a nice jolt of each right about now. Joy, the subject of one such beloved song [Joy to the World, by the 20th century the most published hymn in North America], is such an interesting word. It alludes to a concept more deeply rooted than happiness. In fact happiness is often used to describe joy – as does delight and bliss. It originates from the Latin word gaudēre: to rejoice. It’s hard to think about joy today – especially amidst all of the turmoil, sadness, confusion, and anger filling social
Last year I had the unfortunate opportunity to meet face-to-face a not so fun diagnosis of Shingles. But, with all that is going on with my friends and their much more life-altering diagnoses, I really didn’t care much about it. Still, for anyone going through Shingles or who knows someone that has it – YUCK. It’s painful – and can actually be friendly enough to hang around for a longer haul. Which mine decided to do. I have residual nerve damage from it. The bad news – I can’t exercise the same way I’ve done through the years. The good news – nerves can regenerate, AND we live in a day and age where there are LOTS of ways to exercise. For me – it’s swimming. And the blessing, that came with my unexpected change-up, has been multi-dimensional and filled with so much goodness.