Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Gifts... A Legacy of Love

I love the beautiful Christmas song “Mary Did You Know?”  It talks about how Mary came to discover that she had birthed the savior of the world.  Despite her elite appointment as the mother of Jesus, she had to go through what every mother has had to go through.  The months of carrying a child.  The pain of labor.  The miracle of birth.  The daily care and feeding of an infant.  The watching and the worrying and wondering if she’d done this whole parenting thing right or if she could have done it differently or better.

I never quite experienced what love was until I had my first born son.  I remember feeling like a co-creator with God.  I thought I had earned an academy award or at least a thunderous round of applause.  It was such a magnificent feat yet so ordinary really.  Women do it every day.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Gifts... Graced Moments


On Christmas morning my sons and Brianna wrenched me out of the kitchen in order to take a walk with the pups. I was torn- feeling like I had so much to do before the 16 guests came for Christmas dinner at 4pm. Then I stopped and asked myself. What is the important thing right now? 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Gifts... Try Trust

Madeleine and Isabella

These are my two beautiful great nieces at our annual Shaheen family Christmas party. Can you see the anticipation in their eyes as they wait for one of the grown ups to holler “Time to open presents!”

Do you remember those days? You know… when Christmas was all done for you and all you had to do was wake up and be surprised?  And you knew that your mom and dad would get you dressed and make sure you had good healthy food to eat.  They protected you and nurtured you and if life rolled out the way it was supposed to and you were very lucky you developed this thing called TRUST.

We trust the mailman to come. We trust that Nob Hill will have fresh turkeys the day before Christmas.  We trust that a good friend will be there for us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Gifts... Let Peace Prevail

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me

Do you remember this song? I sang it quite a bit when I was a teenager; however I didn’t really think much about what it meant back then. But as I think about the words today a light bulb goes on for me.

We seem to project into the world whatever is going on inside of us. If we feel disorganized, the world is chaotic. If we feel anxious, the world is a scary place. How can we have peace on earth if we do not have our own personal peace of mind?

When I was in high school I attended a YMCA camp every summer called Camp Fox. Those were formative years for me and my experiences at this camp made a deep impact on my life. It’s been more than 30 years and I still remember the following campfire story.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Gifts... Foster Fortitude


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Fortitude is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage. defines it as guts.

Backbone, boldness, bravery, courage, determination, endurance, fearlessness, grit, perseverance, pluck, pith, spunk, stamina, tenacity… (Don’t you love that word, pluck! It makes you want to have it!)

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Oh Lordy…

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Gifts.. Hang on to Hope!

Hope is the feeling that what you want can be had or that things will turn out the way you’d like them to.

Hoping is a daily activity. I hope therefore I am.

I hope he’ll call. I hope they are safe. I hope the chemotherapy works. I hope the turkey comes out juicy. I hope today is better than yesterday. I hope there is not a run in my tights. I hope I find my keys. I hope they can can come for Christmas. I hope I find a job soon.

I hope my car starts. I hope he gets home on time. I hope she feels better. I hope it doesn’t rain. I hope she has a good trip. I hope I have enough time. I hope it’s not too late. I hope we can make it. I hope you will forgive me. I hope I get a raise. I hope I can find the perfect gift. I hope she feels better.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Gifts.. Jump into Joy!

Watch Patrick on YouTubewatch?v=YJH65jLvmv0

This is my son, Patrick, at our annual day after Thanksgiving Karaoke night at El Toro Brewery in Morgan Hill.

Talk about JOY!

Joy is having your family together for the holidays and making it user friendly by doing some of the activities that THEY like to do! This annual Karaoke night has become a real crowd pleaser and is a great way to launch the holiday season for the Healy family. Being that it’s Thanksgiving weekend, my sons have friends home from far and wide who come and reconnect with them over good beer and great entertainment. Us “grown-ups” come along for the JOY! (And sometimes we can be coerced to get up and sing… oh somebody twist my arm!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What would you like for Christmas?

Madonna and Child

I’ve always thought of the Christmas holiday preparation and grand finale similar to taking up an additional part time job in December. The question ofwhat would I like for Christmas seems to be the last thing on my mind. I’m thinking more in terms of how the heck I’m going to get my Christmas shopping, decorating, and baking done with the final push being the full sit down dinner with turkey and clean sparkling glassware. All the while showing up for my full time job and being a positive presence for students who are stressed out studying for finals! (Well.. at least I don’t have 7 finals to study for!)

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