It snowed again here in Pennsylvania. Here in Pennsylvania, we don’t have to get much snow to shut down roads. Everyone is cautious for themselves and others and a certain peace resumes in the air like the kind you almost feel in the air on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Vespers is even cancelled for a Saturday. It’s the kind of day I was hoping for, actually…minus Vespers being cancelled, obviously but I am grateful Father had everyone’s safety in mind.
A lovely English Christmas celebration has ended up in a busy week which gave way to wishes on catching up on my cleaning regimen, the laundry, reorganizing my prayer lists, and reading. I ordered two books for my Kindle app, yes I said app, still adoring print books. Soon, I will need to shovel us out as well as our elderly neighbor.
But before I let any of that get the best of me, I put a kettle of lavender earl grey tea on and sat in meditation gearing up to set my intentions, prayers and hopes for the New Year. The best time to sit in meditation or prayer is the time you think you don’t have. And it’s another year, the same as the old one, church feasts are the same, what is there to look forward to?
The feast days and traditions in the church remain the same. Current affairs and policies, fortunately and unfortunately, remain the same.
But we change. And sometimes by a lot. Really examine the year. How have major events shaped you? Where did you personally grow – mentally, spiritually, emotionally? Where would you like to improve? If you are still drawing a blank, you let the year pass you by or you’re either missing the point entirely.
“Life is long if you give it away
So stay don’t go – Because I’m fading away
Soul to soul between you and me
Chain me down but I am still free.” – David Byrne and Brian Eno
But what if you don’t want to change and you are quite content with where you are now? That’s not the point. The point is, a year can go by quickly if you remain stagnant. I apologize for not posting more recipes frequently. I fell off the wagon with posting recipes but want to get back into it again. Another part of it is I struggled too between my diets going from veganism in the first six months of the year to just plant based. But I found my mood and demeanor has changed since going plant based and my stomach feels a lot better too. I may have even found a local plant based MD and hope to see them next year. My husband and I shared delicious and hearty meals together. And I found I crave sugar less…that’s one reason I don’t keep sugar or flour canisters in our house. A goal of mine is to become more disciplined on my regimen and to keep cranking out more recipes. And as far as getting back into veganism, it’s a different journey for everyone.
I started journaling again which has led to me writing again. I started this journal at the end of the summer. I actually get annoyed by the word blessed in that context or used in this context (#blessed), but it was a gift. You might say I’m overthinking what I’m about to say (as I tend to overthink). At it’s most practical sense, it’s simply an expression of gratitude. …But to whom, you know? God? Or to just have it advertised as a box sign in your dining room? I always envisioned that to be the cheesy hallmark flag of an American millenial couple: marriage, mortgage in the suburbs, two or three kids, dogs and an oversized box sign saying Blessed scrawled somewhere in the house. There might not be a cross in sight nor may they be religious, but there it is again standing back at you again, “blessed.” Because sooner or later, everyone and their friends try to design their lives around like that.
But have you ever wondered what they’re really saying and is that the only way to define blessed?
I think couples and families define their blessings in many ways. Some people get a comfortable ease displaying it in photo frames and box signs, but I try to take mine before God in church. God has given to me a marriage and love, a nice starter home to share as our first place that’s close to our families, a refrigerator and cabinets full of good food despite long work hours, heat on the cold days and a car. But I know God gives and takes away with a purpose. And by displaying them, that’s showing pride in something that isn’t guaranteed tomorrow. Plus, I also take into consideration how it might make my friends feel who have less. I know they say they don’t care, but deep down, I think they do.
I am grateful I remained close and let God in and that closeness has resulted me in wanting to spend Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings in church. I am grateful. I hope. I pray. I look forward to it every week.
We rescued a cat! He might make a few appearances in upcoming entries. Babies and puppies and kitties seem to marry well with food posts.
I also hope to keep writing and possibly finish writing my first manuscript. Creating goals and having a regimen even if it’s just meditation or cleaning keeps me going. Regimens drive change and growth. It helps me become a better person for God, myself and others around me. That’s what I live for.
May peace, health and joy encompass you in the New Year!