Here we are, close to Christmas. Busy times are ahead!

This is our reminder to stop and smell …. the evergreens and the cinnamon along the way!

Our traditions and customs are important. My daughter, Theresa and I made a video about all the Advent Customs we do in our homes. They keep us busy! And, in the last couple of weeks things will ramp up with baking, wrapping gifts, decorating our home and tree, etc. These things ARE important…after all, Jesus, Our Lord, is coming! Oh yes!

In this hubbub, I want to remind you (and me) of something my mom drove home to me over the years….that “people are more important than things”…and schedules…and work, etc.

One time my mom was in the attic with her mom, my Grandma. Grandma was going through an old trunk that had some special “treasures” kept through the years. Grandma’s family was poor; they had nine children and lived in an old farmhouse. Grandma’s eyes began to fill with tears as she stroked a piece of pretty material found in the timeworn chest.

She said, “I wish I had given this material to your sister when she asked for it years ago. I thought I would use it some day…it was too pretty to hand over to her. She wanted so bad to practice her sewing. And now she is married and moved out…and I missed that opportunity.”

It was just a little thing…but a great lesson to remember….

Don’t lose sight of the people you love. Don’t put them on the back burner.

This last week we were very much reminded of this lesson. My husband is involved in a health and wellness business. He had just gone to a business meeting in September, met the owner and was greatly impressed. He said he reminded him of his dad. They took a picture together.

This week we found out that this same man, his brother (the founders of the business), their dad and six of their sons/sons-in-laws, along with a grandson died in an airplane crash coming back from a pheasant hunting trip! What a blow! What a tragedy!

The family that was left behind did not know that last year’s Christmas was the last one they would ever have with them.  Please pray for the Hansen family…I firmly believe we were led to them for the short time we’ve known them,  so we can pray for their souls.

We also never know the time nor the hour when one of our family or friends will be called. Not that we are to live in fear…but this is a reminder…let’s live with intention….and don’t take your loved ones for granted among the busy-ness of the season!

Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.

You will never have this day again. You will never cross this moment of time again. Use it wisely.

What are some little ways you can make this a reality?

Stop what you are doing and greet your husband when he comes home, listen to him even if you’re busy with holiday preparations.

Have dinner ready, if you can. Let him know he is special.

Look and listen, really listen, when your child is talking to you.

Read them a Christmas bedtime story…make this a habit.

Let them bake cookies with you…in spite of the mess and the fact that it would be easier to do it on your own. What child doesn’t like to sit on the counter, legs dangling, while holding the mixer or cracking the eggs!? (Be ready to fish out the eggshells!)

Train yourself to see the positive in those you rub shoulders with each day. It will have its effiects, I guarantee!

Do you have an elderly parent you need to spend time with? Do it! Do you have a difficult sibling that you find it hard to be kind to? Be kind!

Yes, we will do our baking, our wrapping, our tree….but let’s not get too wound up! Let’s not take on so much that we are totally stressed out. Not worth it.

Fr. Jacque Philippe:

“I often say jokingly that the ladder of perfection has only one step: the step we take today.

Without concerning ourselves about the past or the future, we can decide to believe today, place all our trust in God today, love God and neighbor today.

Whether our good resolutions produce success or failure, next day we can begin again, not relying on our strength but only on God’s faithfulness.”

Life happens in the moments. If we take on way too much we get frustrated. Then the daily things…reading a story, wiping a nose, listening to others, is done begrudgingly.

Remember these little things are the ones that make memories, create atmosphere and build relationships.

One last thing from St. Francis de Sales (who doesn’t love this quote?!)

“Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself…do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage.”

Advent is a new season of the Church. Every time we pick ourselves up, it is a new season. Don’t ever get discouraged.

So…this Advent and Christmas live with intention. And remember, Ladies, that your life as a homemaker is very important. And your joyful presence in the home is more important than any of the presents under the tree!

Each day is a chance to grow in virtue and it begins with the little things. Show your husband you care…listen to him, smile at him, give him a hug when he doesn’t expect it. Your children are watching and courtesy and love are contagious! This Advent can be special…. it starts with you! -Finer Femininity

Our attitude changes our life…it’s that simple. Our good attitude greatly affects those that we love, making our homes a more cheerier and peaceful dwelling! To have this control…to be able to turn around our attitude is a tremendous thing to think about!
This Gratitude Journal is here to help you focus on the good, the beautiful, the praiseworthy. “For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 – Douay Rheims).
Yes, we need to be thinking of these things throughout the day!
You will be disciplined, the next 30 days, to write positive, thankful thoughts down in this journal. You will be thinking about good memories, special moments, things and people you are grateful for, lovely and thought-provoking Catholic quotes, thoughts before bedtime, etc. Saying it, reading it, writing it, all helps to ingrain thankfulness into our hearts…and Our Lord so loves gratefulness! It makes us happier, too!
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