Monday, January 22, 2024

A Day of Light: Candlemas Celebrates The Light Of The World

It's been about twenty years ago now that I was first introduced to The Liturgical Year (Year of the Lord), and my life has been so blessed since that discovery. Slowly marking time by tracing the events of the life of Christ through the year has broadened and deepened my walk with the Lord in ways that I could never have imagined, and it all began with Candlemas (February 2). Also known as The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and likewise,The Feast of the Presentation of Christ, Candlemas symbolizes the day when Mary went to the temple to be purified with her newborn son and to present him to the Lord. It was the first personal remembrance and observance I made all those years ago, and it remains one of my favorites to this day. It likewise marks the beginning of Spring, although in the Northern Hemisphere you have to look closely to see that change is coming. The shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere is The Winter Solstice, which occurs on or around December 21. From that day on the daylight grows until we reach equal hours of day and night on The Spring Equinox, which occurs on or around March 21. The mid point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox falls around February 2, Candlemas.

You might be more familiar with Groundhog's Day, but as with so many of our Americanized holidays and observances, its roots have a much deeper and symbolic meaning.

Depending on what part of the world you grew up in, Candlemas symbolizes a number of different events, or, in our home, a combination of them all.

Under Mosaic law, a woman was viewed as unclean for 7 + 33 days  40 days) after child birth, and as such, could not go into the temple. From the 25th of December, February 2 marks forty days.
See Leviticus 12:2-8, Luke 2:22-24

But long before the Church in Rome began observing the day of purification, other branches of Christianity, such as the Greeks and the Armenians centered their observance around Christ first coming to the Temple, and was known as "the redeeming of the firstborn," or in Hebrew, pidyon ha-ben and is why this day is also known as The Feast of the Presentation of Christ.
See Exodus 13:2, 12-13, Numbers 18:15-16

It wasn't until some time in the 600's that the Roman Church began referring to the day as The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. So while the Eastern Church focus was more upon Jesus, in the Western Church the emphasis was upon Mary. Today is primarily observed by the Anglican, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

Though candles didn't originally play much of a factor in the observance, some time in the 11th century the day came to be  commemorated as "The Feast of Light"  based upon the prophecy of Holy Simeon -- the "just and devout" man of Jerusalem who was inspired by the Holy Ghost to know that he would live to see the "consolation of Jerusalem" -- and the encounter with the aged widow, Anna the Prophetess, who lived in the Temple and confessed Christ upon meeting Him.  In Luke 2:32 Simeon referred to Jesus as "the light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of the people of Israel." Since ancient times the Church has given special meaning to the candles used in Candlemas as a symbol of the Incarnate Christ: the beeswax is a symbol of His pure body, the wick His soul, and the flame His divinity.

In keeping with the reference to "the light", the tradition of blessing the annual supply of the Church's candles was established. Beeswax candles were blessed by being sprinkled with water and having incense swung around them, and were then distributed among the members.  Today, parishioners bring their own beeswax candles to be blessed. In some churches, the blessing is then followed by a procession in which people carry lighted candles while the choir sings, The Canticle of Simeon. The procession represents the entry of Jesus as light of the world into the temple. Afterwards, church members take their candles home and place them in their windows as a symbol of light during the darkest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, 
In peace, according to Thy word: 
For mine own eyes hath seen Thy salvation, 
Which Thou hast prepared in the sight of all the peoples, 
A light to reveal Thee to the nations 
And the glory of Thy people Israel.

Latin Version: 
Nunc Dimittis
Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine 
Secundum verbum tuum in pace: 
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum 
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum: 
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, 
Et gloriam plebis tuae Israel. 

You can listen to it, here.

Many families set aside their blessed candles for use on the family alter and for various feast days, as well as during storms and power outages. From the Pieta prayer book comes this prayer to pray while burning a blessed candle during a storm.

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace.+ God became man, + and the Word was made flesh.+ Christ was born of a Virgin.+ Christ suffered.+ Christ was crucified.+ Christ died.+ Christ rose from the dead.+ Christ ascended into Heaven.+ Christ conquers.+ Christ reigns.+ Christ commands.+ 

May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning. + Christ went through their midst in Peace, + and the Word was made Flesh.+ Christ is with us with Mary.+ Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Juda, the Root David, has won.+ Holy God! + Holy Powerful God! + Holy Immortal God! + Have mercy on us. Amen.
Here are a few of the symbols and traditions associated with Candlemas, as well;

Doves are a symbol of Candlemas, as they were offered by Joseph and Mary as a sacrifice at the presentation. Their symbolism is significant, as they were poor and unable to afford a lamb for sacrifice. Traditionally, those who were unable to do so were allowed to offer a pair of doves instead.

In Celtic and Christian tradition, February 1 is recognized as St. Brigid's Day, who among other titles, is the patron saint of Midwifery.  There is a legend (though no biblically supported), that she served as a mid-wife to Mary, and that later when Herod was searching for Jesus, she distracted him so that the Holy Family could escape. In Celtic tradition, Brigid rules fire and water, and at Candlemas we see how the cold is slowly giving way to the warmth. Snowdrops, mentioned next, are also associated with St. Brigid as many believe that they appear wherever St. Bridgid's feet have trod.

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are also known as "Candlemas Bells" because, being the earliest to bloom in the depths of winter, and often shortly before Candlemas, though some varieties bloom all winter long in some places. Legend says that they sprang up by the hand of an angel, who then pointed them out as a sign of hope to Eve, who was weeping in repentance and in despair over the cold and death that entered into the world after she and her husband sinned. Because our Hope is Christ, the Light as referred to by Simeon ,it is providential that the snowdrop should bloom so close to this feast day. If possible, gather some Candlemas Bells to bring inside. Legend tells that bringing them indoors before this date is bad luck, and bringing them indoors on this day "purifies" one's house. These flowers, along with carnations, are also the "birth flower" for those born in January.

And while most of us have taken all of our Christmas decorations down by now, some people do hold on to them until February.

The eve of this Feast is the absolutely the last (and best) day for taking down the Christmas tree, putting away the creche, etc. In some Latin countries, the creche isn't just put away, but is replaced with a figure of the Child Jesus sitting on a chair, acting as a sign that it is time for the devotion to the Divine Childhood to give way to a focus on the grown-up Savior and the public ministry, forty days of fasting, and Passion to come.

In any case, when Candlemas is finished, all feelings of Christmas give way to the penitential feelings of Septuagesima and then Lent. The English poet, Robert Herrick (A.D. 1591-1674), sums it up in his poem "Ceremony Upon Candlemas Eve" -- and reveals a folktale in the process:

Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and misletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress'd the Christmas Hall:
That so the superstitious find
No one least branch there left behind:
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected, there (maids, trust to me)
So many goblins you shall see.

The very ancient carol, below, also speaks of the departure of Christmas on this day. It is called "I Am Christmas," and was written by James Ryman, a Franciscan Friar, ca. 1492. The reference to Hallowtide (the days of the dead centering around All Saints Day) here refers to the fact that it was during Hallowtide that monarchs used to announce where they would be spending Christmas.

Here have I dwelled with more or lass
From Hallowtide till Candelmas,
And now must I from you hense pass;
Now have good day.

I take my leave of king and knight,
And erl, baron, and lady bright;
To wilderness I must me dight;
Now have good day!

And at the good lord of this hall
I take my leave, and of guests all;
Me think I here Lent doth call;
Now have good day!

And at every worthy officere,
Marshall, panter, and butlere
I take my leave as for this yere;
Now have good day!

Another yere I trust I shall
Make merry in this hall,
If rest and peace in England fall;
Now have good day!

But oftentimes I have heard say
That he is loth to part away
That often biddeth 'Have good day!";
Now have good day!

Now fare ye well, all in fere,
Now fare ye well for all this yere;
Yet for my sake make ye good chere;
Now have good day!

Some likewise view this day as the first official day to symbolize the return of spring, but because our biggest snowfalls in my neck of the woods are often in March and even as late as April, mentally, I'm just not there yet. However, I do keep a phenology wheel and because of that, I am very aware of how the days are lengthening and the light truly is returning.

As I mentioned earlier, Candlemas Day is also known as "Groundhog's Day" in America, the day when, if the groundhog sees his shadow, there'll be 6 more weeks of winter. There is a similar belief in Europe about how Candlemas weather foretells the length of winter. The English have a saying, "If Candlemas Day be bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year." The Germans also have a few sayings about how the weather at Candlemas bodes ill or well for the nearness of Spring:

When the bear sees
his shadow at Candlemas,
he will crawl back into his
hole for another six weeks.

or this one;

If Candlemas is mild and pure,
Winter will be long for sure.

And finally;

If it storms and snows on Candlemas day
Spring will not be far away.
If Candlemas is bright and clear,
Spring is not yet near.

In our home we've used a variation on these poems;

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain
Winter is gone and will not come again.

But I also came across this lovely little poem just this week, which is so much like the poems we've traditionally used during Advent that I wish I'd found it when the girls were young.  At any rate, if you followed along with my Advent plans last year, perhaps you'll enjoy it.

Candle, candle burning bright,
Winter's halfway done tonight.
With a glowing, we are knowing,
Spring will come again!

While Punxsutawny Phil is fun, personally I much prefer the loveliness of Candlemas.

If you want to conduct an actual Candlemas Ceremony, you'll find an outline here.

- Let children roll and make their own beeswax candles, or if you want to get really adventurous, perhaps make some by dipping them a few days ahead.  Here's a kit for making your own rolled candles, or you and also purchase them ready made. I also love these orange peel candles, so beautiful how so many of the same elements are used in decorations from Advent through to the days before Lent. If you do make your own candles, here's another lovely poem to share with the littles in your life.

“A candle’s but a simple thing, it starts with just a bit of string. But dipped and dipped with patient hand, it gathers wax upon the strand. Until complete and snowy white, it gives at last a lovely light. Life seems so like that bit of string, each deed we do a simple thing. Yet day by day on life’s strand, we work with patient heart and hand. It gathers joy, makes dark days bright and gives at last a lovely light.”

- Light candles and set them in the windows. You can use the electric or battery operated ones that are popular at Christmas for safety.

- Go on a nature walk and try to locate some snowdrops. If possible, bring a few in and put them in a vase.

- This candle ring is particularly pretty, especially with the sun in the middle symbolizing the return of the light and lengthening days.  You could easily make one out of bread dough, even just a small one using birthday candles. There are twelve candles around the outer ring, one of each month in the year and then the sun candle in the middle.  If you want to make it a little bigger, you could use emergency candles which I usually purchase from the dollar store. It might make a pretty centerpiece for your table to share a special meal.

In honor of St. Brigid (whose feast day is actually February 1), many people make a St. Brigid's Cross, but there are other traditions associated with this day, which you will find here.

Food is always a great way to celebrate feast day because we always have to eat. Crepes are by far the most traditional food for Candlemas, and are very popular for celebrating in Europe, especially France.  Both crepes and pancakes are fitting because of their round and golden texture, symbolic of the sun (light).  Whatever you serve, you’ll want to put some candles on the table to celebrate this awesome day. Here are some recipes you might like to try

If you think you can’t make crepes at home yourself, you’re wrong! It’s really every bit as easy as making pancakes. Check out this recipe for the best easy homemade crepes, but if you still find it too intimidating, I've made these buttermilk pancakes a few times, and they are so good.But this year, I've actually got my eye on these Bacon and Corn Griddle Cakes.

But if breakfast food isn't what you're looking for, in Mexico, tamales are the candlemas tradition! But then again, tamales can be a LOT of work, so instead, you could try out one of these.

My personal favorite, Chicken Tamale Casserole, a dish I've made MANY times! So easy, and so good! But if you'd prefer beef, this recipe looks good, too, Tamale Pie.

You could make these Mexican Cookie Rings with the littles in your life and let them decorate them with bright, festive sprinkles and serve them with Mexican Hot Chocolate.  You could also make simple cut out sugar cookies in the shape of a dove, perhaps sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

I also love the idea of this Cardamom Coffee Bread Wreath, it would be lovely topped with some small candles and perfectly fitting!

Well, I hope by now I've given you enough history and plenty of ideas for celebrating! Candlemas is such a lovely celebration, and as with so many other aspects of The Year of the Lord, filled with deep meaning and symbolism.  I hope you will try out a few of these ideas and savor in the beauty of this lovely day with your family.

"A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." - Luke 2:32

Monday, January 15, 2024

As We Embark On Our Read Along - Some Betsy Tacy Resources

Good morning, friends! I hope your week is off to a good start! We got a light dusting of snow here this morning with a bit more expected this afternoon. Nothing of any significance, but I do love snow and winter so I'm happy with just about anything this time of year that makes it feel more in season.

As we are embarking on a read-along this year of the complete Betsy Tacy series, I thought it might be fun to provide you with some resources I've come across over the years related to the books.  I read these with my youngest daughter when we were homeschooling, and I often looked for such things to enhance the experience. With that, I thought perhaps you might enjoy some of them as well.

Several of these resources I found at The Betsy Tacy Society Website, and they also have a You Tube Channel with some lovely videos you might find interesting. They have a Facebook page, as well.

Maud Hart Lovelace - A bit about the author of this series.

Something fun I found at their website are guides to Deep Valley, whether you are staying for a day, a weekend or a week (a dream of mine!). I thought it might be fun just to look up the sites listed online and go on kind of a virtual visit. Maybe during our reading I'll type up a different post and follow the links to all the places and we'll go on a virtual visit together. But, if you don't want to wait for me, by all means look the places up for yourself and get a feel for the setting of the Betsy Tacy books.

A Betsy Tib Tour of Milwaukee - this is a tour by one of the members of the Betsy Tacy Society that you might enjoy.

Make Your Own Betsy Tacy Bookmarks - just something fun!

Betsy Tacy's Deep Valley - this is an entire blog with ten years worth of posts dedicated to all things Betsy Tacy.  I plan to reference it often as we read the series, but it is definitely worth perusing for yourself!

The Betsy Tacy Encyclopedia - Another blog dedicated to Betsy Tacy. Though there doesn't seem to be as much here, you might find something of interest.

A review of the series from The Literary Ladies Guide.

Article about the real homes featured in the books from The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

That is all that I have for now, though I do hope to re-visit a few of these sites as we read through the series and point out interesting facts and tidbits to enhance our reading. Hopefully you found something here to spark your interest! 

Before I close I did want to let you know that I made a link to all posts related to our read-along that you can find in my right side bar.  Just look directly under the graphic/link for the originial post about how to join the read-along and you'll see it!  That way it keeps everthing nice and neat in one place and hopefully easy to navigate!

Have a wondeful day, my friends! I plan to sit back and enjoy the snow and the chili for tonight's dinner is already made! :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Of Cranberries, Books And The Packing Away of Christmas

One of my goals for the year is to expand my homesteading skill set, and today I checked off the first thing on my list, home canned cranberry juice.  I am making small batches, 4 pints of regular and 2 pints of cran-grape (my favorite!). I decided on pints, which may not seem like much, but when I tell you that we typically pour out at least half of a bottle or more of the store bought stuff, I am not exagerrating! It's not that we don't like it, I think it has more to do with the events taking place in life when we do drink it, virus, uti, etc. It would seem that once the symptoms subside what is left goes to waste. With that, I'm thinking maybe a pint is just about right? I followed the instructions found here, and as soon as the jars finish completely cooling I'll put them in the pantry to steep for a couple of weeks and then I'll test out a jar. Fingers crossed! If it turns out good I may make this part of my Christmas gift giving this year.

Other than that, I did a couple of loads of laundry and managed to get my snowmen packed. I had planned on bringing all the totes down and doing some much needed purging and organization of our Christmas decorations, but with my back still iffy, I've decided to just pack it away and then come some warm Spring day I'll have Bill bring them all down to the porch and I'll sort through them then. Just getting it taken down and put away is a s-l-o-w moving process right now, so I decided now was not the time for such a project.

I've really been enoying the books I'm currently reading, and the need to take it a little easier has allowed for more time for that. Right now I'm reading;

In Search of Guidance: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God by Dallas Willard which I just discovered was re-released under a different title Hearing God. My original plan was to read The Spirit of the Disciplines, until I happened across an article that suggested reading the books in sequential order, and Hearing God is considered to be the first in that order. I am taking my time with these, because I find almost everything Dallas wrote so philosophical and contemplative that I don't want to skim over and miss anything. Thankfully I've been able to locate most of these on Internet Archives and Hoopla, because they prices they are asking for some of these is outlandish! However much I love anything by Dallas Willard, he is out of my budget.

Another book I like equally as well but am finding a little easier to read is Beholding: Deeping Our Experience in God by Strahan Coleman (AFFILIATE LINK). Do you see a theme here?

I started out the year reading Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty and Peace by Christie Purifoy (AFFILIATE LINK), but I've put it down for now, not because I wasn't enjoying it, it just feels like the time isn't right. I'm thinking maybe early spring?

In its place I've decided to re-read an old favorite, The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris (AFFILIATE LINK).  I've been blessed with the opportunity to spend the weekend in a monestary coming up at the end of the month, a dream I've held ever since I read this book the first time, so now seems like a good time to revisit it.

And then of course, I have plans to re-read the entire Betsy Tacy series this year, so I'm going to sit down with the first book in that series this coming weekend.

And with that, I think I'll try to take in a chapter or two before dinner duties beckon! What are you reading, friends? Drop a few titles in the comments. :)

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Monday, January 8, 2024

My Favorite Songs: What A Wonderful World

If you've followed me here in the past, one of the things you probably know about me is that I love music, particularly oldies! It is rare that you would find me listening to anything that is popular today, unless it's a song my daughter introduced me to, or occassionally a newer country song. I do love me some Tim McGraw! But 99.9% of the time if I am listening to music it's oldies from the 40's - 70's, the only exception being anything from the disco era or The Beach Boys, #notafan.

I love sharing my love of oldies music with my readers and introducing them to the sentimental songs of days gone by.  I even have a playlist of my favorites in my side bar, The Ordinary Days of Small Things Favorite's Playlist, which you can click on any time you want to peruse a few of my favorites!

But I thought it might be fun to pick a few songs here and there and share a little about their history and why they are my favorites, and I'll begin with my absolute favorite song of all time, What A Wonderful World, sung by Louis Armstrong.

Written by George Thiele, writing under the psyeudonym "George Douglas" and George David Weiss, What A Wonderful World was first recorded in 1967 and released as a single in 1968 by Louis Armstrong, topping the charts in the UK but originally performing poorly in the US. George Weiss stated that he wrote the song specifically for Armstrong, who inspired him by his ability to bring people of all races together. Armstrong had recently signed with ABC Records, and president Larry Newton was hoping for a hit like Hello Dolly which Armstrong recorded with Kapp records a few years earlier. So when he heard the slower pace of A Wonderful World, he tried to stop the recording session and was thrown out of the building. They finished the session that night, and the song was released, but because Newton refused to promote it, it intially sold fewer than 1,000 copies in the US, but was a major success in the United Kingdom, reaching number 1 on the UK Singles Chart. 

The song gradually became something of a standard and reached a new level of popularity. An episode of The Muppet Show produced in 1977 and broadcast early in 1978 featured Rowlf the Dog singing the song to a puppy. In 1978, it was featured in the closing scenes of BBC radio's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and was repeated for BBC's 1981 TV adaptation of the series. In 1988, Armstrong's recording was used in the film Good Morning, Vietnam, and was re-released as a single, reaching number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1988. It is also the closing song for the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys and the 1998 film adaptation of Madeline. Armstrongs recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

After it was released digitally, Armstrong's 1967 recording had sold over 2,173,000 downloads in the United States as of April, 2004. 

In 2021, it was ranked at No. 171 on Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Best Songs of All Time"

For me personally, I love this song for its emphasis on the simple ordinary things that make up an extraordinary life. I believe that when we take the time to notice the abundance which is ours every-single-day, we don't focus as much on what we feel is lacking. I don't ever want to take the beauty of life for granted! Taking the time to notice these simple every day graces, forces us to slow down, to simplify our expectations, and to be content, and those are all good things! I love this song so much, in fact, that I have it set as my ringer on my cell phone and every time I hear those first few notes, I smile!

If you've never listened to it, just click play below! To be honest, a lot of people are not Louis Armstrong fans, and in today's world he probably would not have made it far. But even his style speaks to a simplicity of life that is becoming harder to capture in this day and time. It's one of the reasons I think I am drawn to songs like these. In the midst of all the hurt and hate that exists in the world, music takes me back. I can't control what is happening in the world, but I do have some say about the atmosphere that exists within my house, and music often sets the stage.


I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom 
For me and you
And I think to myself 
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue 
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself 
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow 
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces 
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying how do you do
They're really saying
I love you

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They'll learn much more 
Than I'll ever know
And I think to myself 
What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself 
What a wonderful world
Ooh, yes

If you enjoyed this post, and if you like oldies music, I'll be writing about more of my favorite songs in upcoming posts, and sharing other playlists with you as I develop them! I love movies and sit-coms from the same era, and I'll be sharing about them as well!  I hope you'll join me!

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Small Things - First Saturday of The New Year

"Life is not, for most of us, a pageant of splendor, but is made up of many small things, rather like an old fashioned piecework quilt. No two people have the same, but we all have our own, whether it be listening to Beethoven's fifth with a beloved friend, or seeing a neighbor at the back door with a basket of white dahlias. Or after a long, hard day, having the family say, "That was a good supper."


In no particular order, here are six small things that inpspired me this week;

1. Tending The Embers: Four Ways To Support Winter Wellness

2. How Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Became Winter Spices

3. No Spend Activities in January - I love these ideas!

4. The Self Care Year

5. A Festive Winter Walk with Hideaway Cottage

6. The First Snow of Winter - a lovely film to watch with the littles in your life.

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Those First Few Notes

"And what does January hold? Clean account books, bare diaries. Three hundred and sixty five new days neatly parcled into weeks, months, seasons. A chunk of time, of life. . . those first few notes like an orchestra tuning up before the play begins."

~ Phyllis Nicholson, Country Bouquet

Happy New Year, my friends! I pray that these first few days have been blessed and bright!

My end of the year, new year is not starting out exactly as I had planned. You may recall that back in April and May of last year I pinched my sciactic nerve and it laid me out for about six weeks, three of those on the couch unable to do much of anything.  It had taken months of physical therapy and a few visits to the chiropractor to get me to a better place and it had only been in recent weeks that I was able to get around without pain.

Perhaps because of that I was overly confident, but honestly, all I did was bend down to get a load of laundry out of the dryer when I felt that familiar pull and immediately and hobbled straight to the couch. Of course this was on Friday, the last day before the holiday weekend! But thankfully I was able to get a call into my primary care doctor who sent in a prescription for pain meds to get me through the weekend. With those and my husband generously giving up his recliner as it is the only place I can sit comfortably, I made it through.  Yesterday I actually got to see the doctor, who gave me a steroid shot and a refill on the pain meds.  I can already feel some improvement, but likely will be continue to take it easy for the rest of the week.

My word for the year is T R U S T (if you see that familiar blanket in the background of my pictures in the near future, you'll know I haven't left my reclining post.)

I prayed about my word back in October, and after coming across several verses that spoke of the wonder of God and seeing that same word in a few other random places, I felt certain that wonder was my word and I was excited for it!

Then my daughter sent me a link to Dayspring, where through answering a series of questions they generate a word of the year for you. So just for giggles I decided to play along and the word I received was T R U S T.

As soon as I read it I knew immediately that my greater need for 2024 was trust, and if I'm being honest, I wasn't all that happy about it. T R U S T was my word once before, back in 2016, and boy was that a year I had to learn to trust.  But apprently there is a deeper work the Lord wants to do and my spirit resonantes with this, even though my flesh is still mourning that year of wonder I was so looking forward to!

I had so many plans for celebrating the New Year and for this week, but I'm learning to be content with the process. I bought these cute little head bands at Hobby Lobby right before Christmas and had hoped to take a cute family picture in front of the tree on New Years Eve. I had white balloons I had planned to fill with red, green and silver confetti and red and green streamers tied to the ends. I did manage to feel well enough to sport the green head band and my daughter chose the silver. We wore them New Year's Eve, had some chips and dip (a far cry from the menu I had planned) and watched the ball drop.  My daughter blessed us on New Year's Day by making black eyed peas from scratch. She used my recipe, and they turned out so good! So thankfully we got a serving of good luck for the New Year,  but the pork roast and cabbage are still waiting. In all of this, I am T R U S T I N G that things will improve, and on the bright side, as far as the head bands, balloons, and confetti, lets just say I'm way ahead of the game and already set for New Year's Eve 2025! 

As I've had a lot of time on my hands I've been doing a lot of reading. My first two books for 2024 are Placemaker by Christie Purifoy (AFFILIATE LINK), which I am enjoying so much! And I'm also reading In Search fo Guidance by Dallas Willard, but thankfully I was able to find it on the Interner Archives, because the prices they are asking are outrageous! I think I'll start keeping an eye out at the thrift stores!

So that's the update on my life! How about you? Is your new year off to a good start, are you reading or have you read any good books lately? I've got a longing to read the complete Betsy Tacy series again this year. Have you ever read them, and if you haven't (or even if you have), would you be interested in a read along here at the blog?  Leave a comment and let me know!

And now I'm, well not off, just on the next thing I am able to do from the comfort of this chair!

Have a blessed day, my friends!

- Kim

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