Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’


I was pondering the meaning of Love this Valentine’s Day. The first thought came to me as a song I learned in school. It was a Bible verse put to music.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for Love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is Love.” 1 John 4:7-8

It made me think of those cult groups of white supremacists, who spew messages of hate in the name of God. It is pretty obvious to anyone looking that they do not know God. They have no love, they CANNOT know God. But, how many of us are lacking in love from time to time- we may not actively HATE, but we lack love. Another of my favorite verses on love is one that is very familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of the Bible, or who has ever been to a Christian wedding- it’s used very frequently at weddings.


1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails… 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Patient. Kind. Not envious, boastful or proud. Not rude, self seeking, easily angered. Keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails.

All of those are love. In the Christian church today, I see lots of those things. I see pride. LOTS of pride. Lots of self seeking. Keeping records of wrongs.

But if we have not Love, then we do not know God. If we as a Church are to return to knowing God, there are lots of things that must change.  Goodness knows I don’t know where to start. Maybe with Love. Maybe we need to change our hearts to one of Love, and all will flow from there.

The Bible says that the entire law is summed up in one single command: “Love one another.” (Gal5:4) The whole Law, the whole Torah, is centered around this one command. Paul said that the fulfillment of the law was Love. (Rom 13:10) If we keep Love in our hearts, and act from a place of Love, then we can’t go wrong.


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Christmas Crafts

I seem to be hitting a bit of blogger’s block. Or rather, I think it’s that I have so MUCH to say that I don’t know where to begin. It could also be that I haven’t had much time to sit and reflect about what I want to say. So please excuse the lack of much substance til after the holidays. Or heck, maybe til March- after Xmas, there’s Fairy Girl’s birthday, then The Boy’s birthday, and then I’m going to attempt to get my Etsy shop up and running. No, I’m sure I will have something to say before March!


But today, Christmas stuff.


I love Christmas- it’s my favorite holiday.  It’s somewhat of a confusing holiday for me, though. I grew up in a primarily Christian home, and Christmas was Jesus’ birthday, and a second component was the Santa Claus/ gifts part. I focused heavily on the gifts part as a kid, as most kids do, I think. But it wasn’t just getting gifts. It was the whole magic of the day. At night, the stockings are empty, and the tree is bare. In the morning, your stocking is bulging with unknown wonders, and the tree is full of presents! Magic! Add snow to the mix, especially if it falls on Christmas Eve, and even MORE magic! I try to hold onto that feeling each Christmas, and my goal to to create that now for Fairy Girl. That is why we do Santa in this house- he’s all just part of the magic- and I personally haven’t had the heart to stop believing in him yet. When I was in high school, my dad told me that we never did the “naughty/nice” bit, because his love for us, his kids, was unconditional. Santa brought gifts no matter what, because we were who we were. And I will continue in that tradition. While we will do Santa, there will be no naughty or nice manipulation.


About the time dad was explaining his philosophy on Santa to me, I was beginning to hang out with Pagan herbal types online, and discovering the roots of the Christian holidays. Christmas is a thinly veiled Yule celebration. Which is great, if you have no qualms about Paganism, but I had to, as a Christian, decide how to embrace that and keep my magical holiday, or decide to stop celebrating Christmas at all. Add to that, that about the time I was 8, my family started attending a Messianic synagogue. Messianic Jews are Jews who believe that Jesus is the Messiah. I’m not Jewish, so the Messianic movement means something slightly different to me- I mean, we still believe Jesus is the Messiah, but when a Gentile believes that, they usually call themselves Christian. The Messianic part comes in when the Gentile believes that the Old Testament laws- the Torah still apply to them, and so they keep the Jewish Holy days, and some other traditions- or not- I’ve met some who believe that all tradition should be done away with, and only the Biblical commands adhered to. I fall somewhere in the middle, but that’s a post for a different day. Anyway, when you add a Jewish component to the winter Holy Days, then it becomes “To celebrate or not to celebrate Christmas at all?” And “To celebrate or not to celebrate Channukah?” And “Can we do both?” And “How do we do both without spending all our money on gifts, and making our children materialistic, and losing sight of the whole reason we’re celebrating anyway?”



Sigh. I guess I did have something to say today.


I can’t say I’ve found all the answers yet. So far, we do still celebrate Christmas, and will continue to. I decided last year that it wasn’t so much a religious holiday as a cultural one for me. But truly, it IS spiritual for me. But I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface on that one, and I can’t write about it yet.  We don’t celebrate Channukah. Yet. But we make latkes and kugel at our Christmas dinner.


A new tradition I decided to do for this year, is on Christmas Eve, read “A Visit From St. Nick”. And on Christmas morning, read the story of the nativity from Luke.  We’ll see how that goes.


Even though there are lots of complicated things about Christmas, there are very simple reasons we celebrate. I love the day. I love the lights, the warmth, the magic. I love the anticipation. To me, that’s the best part. I’m looking forward to reliving the magic through Fairy Girl. She’s nearly two, just old enough to start figuring out what it’s all about.  I read “Unplug the Christmas Machine” last year(our third Christmas as a family, our first one with Fairy Girl), and really was able to take stock  of what I want the day to be for our family. With that in mind, I pared down our traditions to the ones that mean the most to us.


LOTS of baking. I make recipes written in my grandmothers’ and mother’s hand. And I added some of my own favorites. I make the same ones every year, and it is the ONLY time of year I make them. They taste like Christmas to me!


My baking list:

Cherry Winks

Secret Kiss Cookies

Cut out cookies (the kind you roll out, decorate, and consume entirely too much sugar on)

Filled Cookies

Rum Balls

Potato Candy (naturally gluten free)

Cheddar-Sesame Crackers

and Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies (this year, gluten free!)



 I also have a tradition of decorating outside for the birds (and the squirrels. Like Dawn, I love the squirrels as much as I love the birds.) This year, we did popcorn and cranberry garlands, and pinecone bird feeders. No pictures of that; it wasn’t very picture worthy, and it was dark when we did it anyway. The squirrels had decimated everything by morning. I’m glad they appreciated it.


This year, we also did some homemade ornaments.


We did cinnamon dough boys



And sparkly pine cones



Still no ribbon candy ornaments. I decided to do those during one of Fairy Girl’s naps, but today I’m blogging instead. So, another day (soon, though!).


When the Fairy Girl wakes from her nap, we’ll do a handprint ornament too. I wanted to do one every year, but I didn’t get to it last year. I can’t express how sad that still makes me. I will never again be able to capture my daughter’s handprint at one year old and hang it on the tree. So, in a brave attempt to Get Over It, I’m starting a tradition of “Baby’s Second Christmas” handprint ornaments. I’ll take a pic, because who can resist a tiny handprint?


And now, I’ll leave you with some wintery pictures.


The snow coming down. That isn’t our front door, it’s our neighbor’s. But I liked their lights and garland.


 Our garden gate:


 Like I said, who can resist a tiny handprint? But you can’t see how tiny it really is. I wish I’d been able to capture that.


Leaves in snow. Just something I thought was pretty.


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