Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hello, my friend

Hello, my friend, hello
It's good to need you so
It's good to love you like I do
And to feel this way
When I hear you say, hello

Ok, kinda corny, but I've missed my friends here, even though you've probably all faded away to more interesting (certainly more active places). It's the first Sunday of Advent, however, and that means we are starting a new year -- a start over. I certainly wish I could start this entire year over, but it is what it is and I can't change anything except tomorrow.

Our homily today started with a joke -- "Happy Advent!" Is that what we say at the beginning of Advent? Merry Advent? Penitential Advent? This is the liturgical season in which we wait for the coming of Our Savior. We try to repair in ourselves what needs to be repaired to be our best selves for Him. But, we're fighting our culture which says Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving. We wait, however -- wait in joyful hope. So I say "Blessed Advent!" I look forward to Advent traditions, and put off Christmas as long as I can.

Frankly, this year I wish we could skip Christmas. I love Christmas. I love celebrating the coming of the Infant God, but when times are really tough, and all you want to do is hang onto your home, Christmas is depressing. We have to make explanations to family -- we can't exchange gifts, but family want to do it anyway, so we feel like hiding away and just holding onto each other, and our Newborn Lord.

I haven't been at this place in so long that many of you who aren't on FB don't have updates. Doug applied for a position at the diocese. It was what seemed to be the perfect job for him -- chief of development and planning for the diocese. But he was not even called back for a second interview. Someone way up the ladder, I suspect, already knew who he wanted for the job, and it wasn't Doug.

So we're back to where we were months ago, starting a business. He put most of what he was doing on hold  when he applied for the job because he didn't feel it was right to start work with pastors, when as chief development person at the diocese he would be in a position to help pastors and principals at no cost to them. (Big mistake.) 

Not to get too much into finances, but we're as low as we've been since I quit work to stay home with our firstborn back in 1990. We might actually be lower. So never take anything for granted. We are losing our insurance because UHC is pulling out of Ohio, and I am finding that a lot of insurance companies are pulling out of healthcare.gov entirely. So we're stuck with insurance that covers one or no hospitals, and none of our doctors, AND we're paying through the nose for it. Hey, but the government said it would be a GOOD thing, right?


So, back to where I was at the beginning of this post -- new starts.

Today I got out our Advent candles. Due to fires I'm not allowed to have a wreath anymore, so here is my simple Advent "wreath" with our first candle lit and our simple turkey soup dinner.

I thought I'd share the prayer we pray every year at dinnertime during Advent, if you feel the need to do something different. 

Advent Dinner Prayer

Blessed are you, Lord, God, of all creation: in the darkness and in the light.
Blessed are you in this food and in this sharing.
Blessed are you as we wait in joyful hope, for the coming of Our Savior Jesus Christ.

For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Come, quickly!


  1. That job thing is so hard. I feel for your husband. He must be stressed. I imagine you both are stressed. That stupid health care is a nightmare for so many.

  2. Hi Barbara! I like "Blessed Advent," too! Prayers for your family as you wait on the Lord.

  3. Hi Barbara! So good to read from you. You and your husband have never left my prayers and I hope all is well. I can't even imagine the frustration regarding your insurance. I hope you really have a blessed Advent and are comforted as we wait in joyful hope for our Lord. Hang in there....on a completely different note - I heard of an anecdote regarding a friend's almost 3 year old today. He covered the back half of the cat in vaseline! I can't even imagine how to clean that up but I was laughing so hard I was crying. Thinking of myself doing dishes or laundry and turn around and see a toddler with a glop of vaseline in his hand and the poor cat greasy from it. Keep smiling

  4. Blessed Advent to you and yours, dear Barbara! I hope and pray your Christmas blessings include employment opportunities and financial peace of mind very soon. Good to hear from you here on the blog! :-)

  5. Praying for you and your family!

  6. Hi! Catching up on blogs...Ugh, I'm so sorry ...Christmas during financial hardship is so so stressful. Praying for you guys. <3


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!