Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Holidays!!

The following was an article I wrote for the Trident paper this past September:

Happy Holidays!

Merry Easter?! or something like that.

Each morning from August 17 to 21, a group of children and volunteers gathered at Shearwater Chapel to take part in our 2009 vacation bible school (VBS). Our theme this year was “Holy Holidays!” and we took time each day to learn about and celebrate some of the more famous (and
infamous) holidays of the Christian year: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s and Pentecost.

That got me thinking. It is an important part of human nature to commemorate events, from birthdays to harvest days, from national holidays to wedding anniversaries from great military
victories to days of solemn remembrance. These annual events aren’t just celebrated for their own sake; however, the act of remembering is important. The word remember is vital here. By remembering the most significant moments of our history we remember who we are and what is most important to us.

A helpful journaling exercise I have used from time to time when feeling a little out-of-touch or overwhelmed is called Stepping Stones. It simply involves taking one aspect of your life and naming the six or seven most important events that define it; for example, in my relationship with my son, William, the stepping stones might include: A positive pregnancy test, pre-natal
classes, William’s birth, first steps, first day of school, tucking him into bed last night. After naming each stone you can then take the time to write some reflections on each. You will be amazed at what you can remember. The final result is to put things into focus and perspective—to re-member yourself and what is really important.

Are there aspects of your life which feel unfocused, relationships that are strained, goals that seem overwhelming? Make some stepping stones, remember yourself, and celebrate the holy days of your life.

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