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Archive for December, 2007

Christmas Mass

As I said in my last post, we attended Mass on Christmas Eve.  Rickard and I spoke to our kids ALL the way there, telling them that we were going to a “real” church.  When we got out of the car, my 7yr. old son asked “can we run around this church”.  We left the church when he was 2, so he has no memory of “real” church. 

Anyway, I was surprised at how contemporary the service was.  Honestly, the Priest gave a very good sermon ( are they called sermon’s).  It was very genuine.  We opted out of communion.  We didn’t think we were allowed since we aren’t Catholic.  Our friend and his 2 daughters took it, and the priest got a little miffed when one of the girls didn’t know if she was supposed to dip the bread or eat it first and then drink from the cup.   All in all, it was a good experience, and may become a Christmas tradition.

As we were driving home, I was talking to Rickard about how I was so proud of myself because I knew what incarnation, and Eucharist meant.  A little history.  Several years ago my husband began to study theology, and would try to share  with me things he was learning.  I would get frustrated because I wasn’t interested, and would very grumpily tell him so, and  that it was 3 in the morning, and to turn off the light, and go to sleep! 

So, fast forward about 6 years.  I find myself wanting to dig deeper, and am interested in theology, and church history.  Another detour.   When we travlel to Sweden, one of my favorite things to do is to visit churches.  On the last visit, we visited a church that was built, (at least parts of it), in the 1100’s.  It is very moving for me to sit on a pew, and know that for hundreds of years my brother’s and sister’s have sat in the same pew, and prayed, cried, pondered.  It is powerful. So, as I was reflecting on my journey, I commented that the further I move away from the church, the more I move toward the Church.  I am longing to know and understand my spiritual roots, so to speak. 

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

Well, it’s nearly over!  We had to wake up our kids today.  UNBELIEVABLE!!!  They got their stockings and had to wait to open presents.  But, they were happy with all they got.  Call us crazy, we got our daughter an electric guitar.  She was thrilled.  We also got a guitar for our son, and I think all three of our kids are very happy.   We enjoyed a lovely breakfast, and are now awaiting the “roast beast” to be done, watching a movie, and relaxing.

Last night we enjoyed a wonderful Swedish Christmas meal that my wonderful Swedish hubby made for us!  After which we went to Mass at a local Parish.  It was interesting, and I will be posting on it later.

I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I pray many blessings for you in 2008.

Check out us making elves of ourselves here, and here 

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Advent week 4: Love

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

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When I was a kid, we always had animals.  We had dogs, cats, horses, a duck one year for Easter, and Quail.  My husband never had a pet as a kid.  When we met, I had a dog.  Before we got married we got a puppy.  We found a stray cat and brought it home.  Of course, she immediatly got pregnant, and of course we kept a kitten, then came the birds, and then the fish.  When we moved to Idaho, all we brought were the dogs.   We got rid of one of the dogs when we moved into our house, and had a lizzard, and a hampter, both met an unfortunant demise,  and after my dog died we got a new puupy.  We found that after we had kids we neglected the poor dog.  My husband put his foot down, and said “NO MORE ANIMALS”!  Well, our dog died, and that was that, we were a petless family.  Until, yes, I said until.  I went shopping and outside there was the cutest, fluffiest, cuddley puppies.  So, like any good wife, I called and begged (for the kids), to bring one home, to which my husband said, “I’m not doing anything with THAT dog”.  Fine, we have a sweet, cute, cuddely dog.  We were happy, and even my husband loves Missy.  Honestly, I don’t know haow it happened, but we adopted an orphaned kitty (1 day old).  We bottle fed this little sweety, took her everywhere with us.  The next day we adopted her brother.  Missy even helped us take care of them too.  My husband said “I mean it now, NO more animals”.  OK, OK, I get it, NO MORE PETS!  Then came the birds, the bunny, (which my husband brought home I might add).  My husband was at his limit, I’m mean after all he doesn’t even like the animals.  So, for some reason, or another, I we decided we needed alab puppy.  Well, to make a long story not so short, when my dear husband and I crawl into bed, we now have guest.  Tigger, one of the cats, and Missy must sleep on our bed, well, that’s not really true, they must sleep as close to my hubby as possible.  It is very amusing.  He doesn’t  like them, or so he says!

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Advent week 3: Joy

Tonight was our 3rd annual Christmas party at church.  Each family draws a name of another family, and we put a family basket together.  We come together and share a beautiful meal .  The kids do crafts together, tonight they took pictures and made cards for Isaiah.  Then we sit around and each family presents their basket to the family they made the basket for. It is such a wonderful time, with laughter and tears.  There is always alot of thought and prayer that goes into each basket, and it becomes a time when God, through others, speaks into the lives of each family.  It was bittersweet tonight, because of families who have chosen a different path, and with Isaiah and his family gone.  BUT, it brings to light what we are.  We are family.  We are family who have chosen to live together in community.  So, as I think of all the struggles, the tears, the dissapointments, the laughter, the love that community brings, I am filled with Joy.  I have chosen to give my life to this, to community, and all that it brings.  It is not an easy road we have chosen, but we are not alone, we have companions to walk along side us, and we have Him who gives us reason to rejoice.  

Psalms 5:11-12 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover them with favor as with a shield.

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Advent week 2: Peace

I have been trying to write this post all week.   I think about the state of the world, war, senseless shootings, violance,  I  feel hopeless.  It is overwhelming, and I wonder “what can I do, how can I help bring God’s peace to a world in need?”  But, when I think about the small world around me it seems very possible.  The other night after we had finished our evening prayer from Brother Maynards lovely Advent book, we asked our kids what it meant to be a peacemaker.  My daughter said, “don’t argue with mom & dad when they ask us to do stuff”, (to which I gave a loud AMEN).  My older son said “when you see someone fighting at school, go get a duty”, and our profound younger son said “a quarrel is hard to stop, so don’t start one” (it was his Bible verse for school).  I think my kids are onto something.  They have given me food for thought.  What am I doing to be a peacemaker?  What are you doing to be a peacemaker? 

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I am having a tough time getting into the Christmas spirit.  This is hard for me because this is my favorite time of year.  I find myself with a very heavy heart.  I have been weepy all week.  The reason?  We got an update on our friends son Isaiah.  He received a bone marrow transplant on Thanksgiving, and is now suffering the effects of that.  I am having a hard time understanding why.  Why is God seemingly silent, and not touching this little guy, why is he not healing him?  I pray and my prayers fall to the ground.  And I know all the Christian responses.  We live in a broken world, he will receive healing, if not here then in Heaven bla bla bla.  I’m not having a crises of faith, but I am asking God why. 

 And so this Advent season, I am waiting and hoping.  As I read through the Advent blogs this week, 2 really spoke to me, and brought me some comfort.  The first was over at Brother Maynard’s.  You can read his entire post  here.  What really caught my attention was this:

Advent is about waiting… and fortunate for us that God hears not only our groans: God actually hears us wait. As we wait, may we hear the call of Wisdom, the voice of the Word, whose people know his voice. This first week of Advent is Hope — let the hope in our waiting is the revelation of the Word; he will hear us waiting, and respond as Emmanuel, “God With Us.” We will be his people and he will be our God.

I’m not sure what about this caught my attention.  But knowing that God is hearing me wait for Him to respond to the cries of my heart, and that I can be assured that He is Emmanuel, God is with me and not just me, but that He is there with Isaiah, sharing in his suffering, crying along side his parents as they watch their precious son in pain is a comfort.. 

The second post was from Cindy Bryan.  She wrote about hope remembered, and the pain of a miscarriage.  She wrote:

I could celebrate because Christmas means hope. Hope is not a promise that prayers will all be answered with yes. It isn’t knowing that tomorrow will be better than today. Hope isn’t even the assurance that we won’t want with all our hearts to give up sometimes because life’s too hard. Jesus was born into this world—a world that can be a horrible, frightening, and sorrowful place—so we would know that God isn’t going to let us go. No matter what. We hope, because God loves us enough to go through it with us. That is reason to celebrate.

So, this season of waiting, I’m waiting for Emmanuel to return, and hoping that He will make things right.  That the sufferings of this world will end. 

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