Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Peace, Love, and Hodgepodge

It's the last Hodgepodge of the year, and I am sending thanks to our hostess Joyce for the great questions each week, for inspiring us to think, and for helping us connect with others in this great big bloggy world of ours. I invite you to enjoy my answers, then click over to visit Joyce and the others.

1. How will you spend 'the night before Christmas'?
We will attend the Christmas Eve service at church, which we have done every year since I was a child. (I think we missed once when our children were little, and we took a beach vacation the week before Christmas. We flew home on Christmas Eve, and I'm pretty sure we saw Santa from the air that night.)
Our service includes special music, traditional hymns, scripture readings, and the lighting of candles during the singing of 'Silent Night.' 

As a child, it was always a magical night as we got to sit up front in our robes and sing special songs like 'The Friendly Beasts.' Then during the candle part of the service, we used small penlights to hold high. (Safer for children than fire, I guess. :) ) 

As a young mom, I remember the scramble to get everyone pressed, dressed, and ready for church where I was then in charge of the children's choir. Following the service, we headed home to prepare for Santa, which always brought to mind the phrase, 'miles to go before I sleep.' 

These days, it is much more relaxing for me, but still very special, especially when we are able to attend with my parents, our children, and our grandchildren. Here is a photo of our sanctuary all decorated for Christmas.

2.  What is one thing you are not?
Tidy. Organized. A good cook. Oops, that's 3 things. I could go on....

3.  Fudge-are you a fan?  Your favorite flavor?
Of course I'm a fan. My favorite is probably good old chocolate with nuts. My niece and her mom make the best fudge ever. We may or may not have had a few family scuffles over a plate of fudge. 

I did make some peppermint fudge this year, which I thought was very tasty as well.
Here's a fudge photo from this summer on Mackinac Island. Fudge heaven.

4. Did you attend any craft/vendor fairs in the month of December?  Do you prefer homemade goodies or the more professional stalls? Are you giving any homemade gifts this year?
I did purchase a few homemade items in Haiti, and browsed briefly in the trade show at the Hoosier Beef Congress, but that's about it. I may give some homemade gifts this year... but I'll have to share about it at a later date. :)

5. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering?
Any time the family is all together.

6.  We're approaching a new year...what's going to be different in 2013?
Different.... hmmmmm. Well, in May, our youngest will graduate from college, so no more tuition payments! (And hopefully, he will find a J-O-B!)

7. Share a favorite scripture, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to peace.
I learned this song as a child in choir at church, and I have never forgotten the words.

Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace eternally
Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
It has been a tough month.

A plane crash.
A dear friend diagnosed with cancer.
A school shooting.
A 10-year-old boy gone after a bout with the flu.

Sometimes life is hard. Really hard. And we have questions. And we don't understand. And we ask why. 
I recently read a blog post by Pete Wilson, pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

He said, in part:

"We wonder if there is anything that STILL holds true. Even in the face of unexplainable circumstances like this I do believe certain things still hold true.
I believe…
Love still defeats hate.
Hope is still stronger than despair.
There is a God who still answers prayer.
His mercies are still new every morning.
His forgiveness is still stronger than sin.
His guidance is still greater than human confusion.
His promises still remain more certain than human fear.
The cross is still sufficient for grace for us.
The tomb is still empty.
All this is true because 2,000 years ago, a baby named Jesus was born in a town named Bethlehem. Governments, economies, civilizations, and cultures keep coming and going, but the kingdom Jesus started is still spreading, and his light shines brighter today than it did when it started."

I wish each of you a blessed Christmas. Hold close the ones you love. Cherish every moment. Slow down. Hold fast to the promise of hope bestowed upon us by the baby Jesus. May the new year bring the peace that passes all understanding, to your world and beyond. Amen.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

I think the candle lighting during Silent Night is one of my most favorite moments during the entire Christmas season. It has been a hard year but in some ways I feel like I'm more focused on the meaning of the season because of it. I hope you and your family have a wonderful fun to 'know' you through the magic of the Internet : )