Cory and I are always looking for resources to share in the areas of spiritual and mental health. When I read this book and passed it on to Cory, we decided to share some of the author’s key points and reflect on how the content is so relevant to Christmas 2020. As with any book study, we are not saying we agree or disagree with everything the author writes, but Kathy Escobar openly and honestly shares the pain she experienced when she lost her 19-year old son to suicide and how she struggled to make it through the holidays. I believe the best way to summarize the introduction to this book is from an excerpt that says, “ Advent season is a magnifier for everyone, but in different ways. For some it magnifies the good, the happy, the joy. For others it can magnify the hard and the pain. This book isn’t to magnify the pain or the happy and joy. It’s about honoring our weary hearts in a weary world and traveling the road of Advent as honestly as we can on a quest for hope and strength.” The author also begins by reflecting on the words from the well-known Christmas hymn “O Holy Night”. Think about the words to this song that has been with us for ages- “A Thrill of Hope, the Weary World Rejoices.” How relevant are those words as we have all experienced the pandemic of 2020 these past months? As we travel this road together I was particularly drawn to the author’s final points of her introduction:
“Give our hearts permission to feel what they need to feel.
Open ourselves up to healing.
Listen for God’s gentle whispers.
Take good care of ourselves.
Keep crawling toward the light together.
Let our weary souls feel a little less alone.”
*We also want to give a big shoutout to author Kathy Escobar for displaying the vulnerability and courage to create such a relevant resource for so many. The following reflections are our personal opinions and we highly encourage you to take the time and read her book for yourself!*
Sunday: Honoring Reality
Author Kathy Escobar talks about how we need to be ok with being "raw and real". Even when talking about their struggles, a person often combines the statement with a "but". "I am feeling down about not seeing my family BUT I will be ok." You don't need that addition. It is ok to let others know you could use support. She also describes how everyone is in a different place with God. When she lost her son, the Christmas Story and belief of God's comfort wasn't the answer right away. She is a pastor and felt that way. Don't be ashamed if that is your current reality. Just like we stress in GIYC, it is important to own your story and know you aren't alone
Monday: The Real Christmas Story
The quote on the right describes the true reality of the Christmas story. We often imagine the beautiful manger scene portrayed in so many churches and feel guilt when our holiday season isn't perfect like it is "supposed" to be. We are all living through a pandemic with other circumstances many don't know about and that is OK! Think about the true chaos Jesus lived through in the holiday season and find comfort in that. Stop adding extra stress by trying to make everything perfect, refer back to the importance of honoring reality.
Tuesday: The Unimportant People
In this entry we are reminded that too many people are working to become more like God, but forget that God's revelation in the Christmas story is we need to be more human. When we face struggles our mind attempts to trick us into believing that we do not belong. That nobody cares or has the time to listen about what is going on in our life. The Christmas story reminds us that the "unimportant people" were at the center of it all. When you are struggling and facing doubt, remember this and never forget so many are truly in your corner.
Kathy Escobar explains the importance of self-care and taking the necessary steps to stay in your best mindset. However, she acknowledges the appropriate resources aren't always available instantly and it is ok to honor the fact you are simply trying to keep your head above water for the day. Even by blocking out the chaos surrounding us in the world, our daily realities can cause us to be weary. Financial issues, addiction, mental illness, family dysfunction, and plenty more are creating grief for millions of people a day. She uses the quote from Ruth Hogan, "The air was thick with stories" to raise awareness that many are facing issues we may not know about. Together we are stronger. Be the difference this holiday season!
Thursday: Let It Be
Pastor Kathy Escobar describes her pain from the first Christmas Eve service prepared for after the death of her son. Through all of her emotions her mind kept thinking of the connection to Mary, mother of Jesus. Mary surely experienced similar feelings of shame, pain, and fear as she watched her son suffer and die in front of her. The reading continues to describe the magic of a mother's power and how every person possesses the ability to mother or be mothered by any item. An example could be being mothered by the mother nature surrounding us. There is a reason so many people post pictures of a beautiful sunrise or sunset to social media. In that moment of serenity, mother nature provides a peace over us. The reading also mentioned the example of being mothered by Mary as she whispers "Let it be" to you in a time of anxiety or other emotions.
Friday: Don't Know
In Friday's reading Kathy Escobar stated she is trying to remove the phrase, "I need to just figure it out" from her vocabulary. She points out that not all situations in life can be solved by critical thought, yet we tell ourselves we need a solution. The hope is a solution will reduce the period we experience pain. I thought this saying was powerful; "I am trying to use my brain to solve matters of the soul". Overthinking a difficult situation can lead to frustration and cause feelings of shame or guilt. Sometimes it is best to accept you don't understand and acknowledge your pain so you can begin to move forward. The reading connected this to faith and how people don't refuse to move forward in their relationship with God because they need answers for hard to believe details in the Christmas Story. "I Don't Know" was a phrase tattooed on their son's leg. It now serves as their reminder that accepting reality may be extremely difficult, but it can also provide the best path to healing. What will be your reminder?
Saturday: Let's Just Be Honest
Today's reading wrapped up the first week in our journey of reflecting on A Weary World together. The passage summarized key points from Week 1 and reminded us that, even when it is difficult, you must honor reality before you can practice greater honesty (involving close ones about your circumstances). I believe another important takeaway was how individuals hesitate to be honest with others because it often creates an uncomfortable environment. Most people do not know how to respond when someone confides in them with vulnerable information. Hint: Don't interpret someone being honest with you as them asking you to fix it. The best thing to do if you are uncertain is directly ask how you can best provide support. Instead, many overreact with misinformed advice and push the person struggling further away. Book discussions like this are how we can improve as a society!
Sunday: Practicing Honesty
Many of you have the Weary World book already and we are getting more in at the store this week. We can mail a copy to you if you don’t live near Soul Provider. I want to emphasize that even if you don’t have the book in your hands our goal is to include enough information from Kathy Escobar’s powerful message that you can walk away from our Advent series with new insight as we all seek to find Peace and Hope. Cory did a great job summarizing the main idea of the daily readings for the first week which focused on the theme of “Honoring Reality.” At the end of last week, the author said to ask yourself, “What is your current reality? What’s going on in your life that’s making your soul weary? What’s missing that you long for?
I believe that to answer these questions, we have to follow the author’s lead with the very tough topic covered in this week’s readings on Practicing Honesty. Today’s reading was centered around John the Baptist (Mark 1:1-4), particularly the verse “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness.” Each day this week we will discuss specific emotions including Anger, Grief, Sadness, Fear, Shame, and Confusion that many of us may be feeling this holiday season. It’s important to remember that if you are experiencing any of these emotions right now it doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human and that is what we talked about in the Honoring Reality lessons last week. These are some very strong and difficult feelings but we begin by practicing honesty and identifying where we are in the wilderness right now? The last question the author asked today was, “What emotions are you feeling today?” As we delve into specific emotions this week, know that the author’s and our hope is that you “find some relief and peace knowing we’re in good company in the Wilderness”
Throughout this week, Cory and I will also be sharing some of our own personal experiences with Practicing Honesty through his ongoing journey with mental health. The word that sticks in my mind today is Practice. Being honest with ourselves, and others, and God is something that takes practice so let’s begin by remembering these lines from last week’s Honoring Reality Prayer: God, Help us remember that no matter how confused, broken, tired, or faithless we might feel, You are with us and we are part of Your story.”
This reading focused on the emotion of anger, but the principles can be applied throughout many facets of life. Anger is a completely normal feeling that everyone experiences but society often labels it as a negative reaction. GIYC has discussed that if something is "frowned upon" by society and could lead to judgement, people would rather cover up their feelings and manage it alone. That response is unhealthy for many reasons and could escalate into true problems. People will find strategies to cope with life's challenges, but if they don't know to productively, that may mean turning to alcohol, self-hurt, or other damaging behaviors. Another common mistake is to acknowledge the emotion but then attempt to minimize it by adding a "but,". "I am so mad that my hours were reduced at work BUT I have a lot to be grateful for." Instead acknowledge your emotions without a justification. Life isn't always perfect and there are moments when you need support and love, so accept it. Take a moment to pause and utilize healthy strategies to cope instead of insisting you don't have time to deal with it. The Bible states "be angry but do not sin". As a society we need to stop acting like it reads it is a sin to be angry.
This passage can be summarized best by the saying at the bottom of page 38, "there's a lot of heartbreak in this world, and grief has no rules." Grief is broken down into 5 these five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Understanding what emotions you may go through can help the process, but no one walks a direct line through them and simply moves on in life. Grief leads us in a crazy path of twists and turns, coming and going, and refusing to take our feelings into account. Another thing to remember is everyone experiences grief even though it may be for completely different circumstances. Today's passage reminds you that Jesus was no stranger to grief himself. He knows and understands the feelings we are going through. When the grief starts to feel overwhelming, know that you are not alone. Don't set yourself up for for disappointment by thinking you will be able to control how grief impacts you. Grief will come and go as it pleases, because at the end it has no rules.
Wednesday and Thursday
These are two very heavy topics as we continue to explore practicing honesty this week. I have seen “Faith over Fear” displayed in many ways during COVID-19. (Yes, Soul Provider sells those Face Masks and T-shirts J.The author goes deeper with her interpretation of the scripture “Do not be afraid.” We are human and will continue to experience the emotion of fear. She says that fear doesn’t always go away when we pray, but to remember that “courage is doing hard things scared.” Acknowledge it and with the Lord’s help “keep moving forward despite it.” (Practice Honesty)
I found two important points on today’s section about Shame. First, there is a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is “I did something bad” (oops), but Shame manifests itself as “I am Bad.” Again, as with fear, one of the best ways to work through Shame is acknowledging it (Practicing Honesty) with Safe people. The author defines Safe people as those who don’t try to “fix, minimize, or judge” your feelings. For those on the listening end of these conversations, it is so hard to learn how to let a person know you are a safe person to confide in. I would recommend right now, skipping ahead in our book to pages 101-104 For Family & Friends-What Helps What Hurts. I don’t think it’s a coincidence the other book I am reading right now (Mornings with Jesus 2020) talked about this exact same topic for December 10th. The writer (Sharon Hinck) stated that “When we aren’t sure how to support our friends who are hurting, we can follow Jesus’s lead. He always responded to pain with profound love and compassion. We stand alongside them so they are not alone.” What a great message!
Let’s Get Personal: If you go to the Grace in Your Corner website, you will find several past blogs on how Fear and Shame impacted Cory’s treatment process in dealing with mental illness and our family’s struggle with “practicing honesty.” My blog about being a “Mama Bear” talks about my own personal journey from even admitting my son was struggling (practicing honesty). Cory talks a lot about the shame due to the stigma of mental illness and how he tried to hide it for so long. I could write pages on how fear and shame added to this parent’s desire to “fix everything” because that’s what mothers want to do. There was shame from thinking it was my fault that he had a mental illness and everyday fear wondering how he was doing that day. It was paralyzing. This week is appropriately called “Practicing Honesty” because our family is still practicing and that will never stop. One day last summer I felt the grip of fear because Cory didn’t respond ‘in a timely” manner to my text messages. After all, children should always be at their parent’s beck and call, right? J. Later, through a series of awkward comments (practicing honesty), I was finally able to state the question that was truly on my mind. “How will I know if you are struggling again?” Cory helped me work through that balance between my fears and still letting him know I will always be one of his safe people.
Was that conversation easy? No. “Was it necessary?” – Absolutely.
In conclusion, if you are struggling right now please take that first step in practicing both courage and honesty and reach out to that one safe person. If you still aren’t sure where to start, the Grace in Your Corner website or the Outreach Center at the Soul Provider Store is a great start.
While a person might experience different emotions like anger, sadness, fear, or shame; they all can lead to a feeling of being lost or confused. The loss of something "normal" can leave a person feeling like their identity is now missing. Unsure how to move forward, feeling like they don't belong, or other thoughts of doubt can creep into daily thinking. During the holiday season many countdown the days until Christmas with eagerness to experience feelings of joy. However in real life many put one foot in front of the other with no joyous end date in sight. We can all become lost at times, it is nothing to feel ashamed about. What helps bring you peace during these times?
We hope you had a Blessed and restful Sunday. Saturday’s meditation wrapped up the week’s topic on Practicing Honesty. I had to reread Saturday’s entry ( pages 46-53) because there was so much information in there on how to put what we’ve been discussing into practice. It is important to remember that we shouldn’t feel guilty about our feelings. Feelings are neither good or bad, but as we practice we can become more aware of “what’s happening inside our heads and hearts and bravely express that in whatever way helps us.” The author suggests several ways of expressing feelings such as a conversation with a trusted person, keeping a journal, music, art, etc. I really liked her prompts that I think will help me to practice being honest with myself as to how I am doing on any particular day.
Right now, I’m feeling__________
I think I need_________________
A way I might be able to get this met is___________________
Another very important point that the author made on Saturday was even though being honest about feelings is hard that “in the middle of the hard, there is good too.” I truly believe that even in the midst of this pandemic everyone one of us can reflect on something good we witnessed that stood out from our daily challenges. She concludes with a beautiful prayer on Practicing Honesty while encouraging us to “Let yourself feel what needs to be felt.”
The topic for this week’s readings is titled “Embracing Paradox” which means “contradicting things existing in the same space at the same time.” Throughout this coming week the author will discuss embracing paradox and how it can help us during this holiday season. Always remember “there’s light in the darkness, beautiful in the ugly, peace in the chaos, and hope in the despair.” The author concludes the introduction by asking us to ponder this tough question, “What contradictory feelings or qualities do you notice within yourself?”
There’s a lot of great information coming your way this week, but I did a “sneak peek” on tomorrow’s question which is “What are some slivers of light you are seeing in the midst of darkness right now?” What a great question for the beginning of a new week.
Monday: Light and Dark
Monday's reading reminds us that even during the darkest times it is important to try and "look towards the light". Looking toward the light or identifying something positive in your current situation doesn't mean that the feelings of pain, suffering, or helplessness will magically go away. Your situation may continue to be difficult, but if a glimpse into the light can provide a moment of extra hope and peace, then let it lift you up when you need it the most. Even in the darkness try and focus on the things that are, rather than the things that aren't. That doesn't mean you shouldn't acknowledge your reality, it just emphasizes that your world will not forever be dark.
Tuesday: Beautiful and Ugly
Tuesday's passage was a needed reminder that there can be beauty in even the ugliest situations. Sometimes the beauty is hard to see in the moment, but when you find time to reflect it can seem very obvious. The reading used the example of Mary giving birth in a dirty stable amongst animals. It might not have seemed like the most beautiful scene at the moment, but true beauty was present with the birth of Jesus. How can you relate to finding beauty within an ugly situation? A personal example I can share is how ugly the situation was when I broke and hit rock bottom two years ago. My family saw me in a downward spiral of suffering. They faced the reality that I was admitted to a rehabilitation facility to face my demons. How is there beauty it that? The beauty is they also witnessed a loved one surrendering to the fact they need help and for the first time had hope I could live the life I deserve again. They saw the light and beauty knowing it was the chance to return to the loving, happy person they once knew. I found a small glimpse of beauty in that I no longer had to hide my pain from those around me. Beauty can be found in the ugliest situations, find hope in that.
Wednesday: Peace and Chaos
This book was written just a few months into the Covid-19 pandemic. The passage today relates the unknowns of how this event will impact our lives moving forward. The reading reminds us what peace is, and what peace isn't. The truth is laid out that peace is never guaranteed in life. Author Kathy Escobar explained she defines peace after a greeting card saying she once bought, "Peace doesn't mean the absence of noise, trouble, or hard work. It means that in the midst of those things you can still have calm in your heart". How are you keeping calm in your heart currently? Are there situations in life that are more difficult for you to experience peace than others? If so, refer to the paragraph on the bottom of page 65 to help guide you through difficult times.
"Peace means that in the middle of the storm we can be strengthened by God, by something bigger than us, by the comfort and presence of the Holy Spirit, the Prince of Peace-and that we can be rooted, grounded, and tethered in the midst of chaos."
Thursday: Hope and Despair
Today's reading focuses on the power of hope, but also points out how the term can be misused. Inserting the word hope into phrases like, "hope that things happened for a reason" can be unrealistic. Sometimes events are disheartening or traumatic and it wasn't for a better reason. Having hope in the middle of darkness doesn't mean things will always work out exactly like you want. Anne Lamott states: "Hope is not about proving anything. It is about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak crap that anyone can throw at us."
Don't be mistaken, hope is crucial to life. Hope is a strong emotion that can provide us strength and power. It is the light when things are dark. But remember it is ok if things don't work out 100% like you "hoped". Lean on others for strength and support. My hope, for everyone reading, is that you realize how much you are loved and that you are never alone.
Friday: Love and Hate
Ever felt hate towards something or someone and been embarrassed you are feeling that way? We are raised to understand that hate is a strong word and we shouldn't feel that way. Hate is a true emotion and resides in even the most loving people. For example, in our country nothing brings more ugly hate to the surface than a presidential election. People let emotions get the best of them and are quick to respond with intentions to tear down a person rather than trying to understand. Whether we want to admit it or not, hate can surface in all of us. Thankfully we also possess the anecdote, love. Hate cannot survive when smothered with love. Surround yourself in God's love and let our savior guide you to peace when your feelings are trying to direct you down a different path. I found that when loving myself was absent, it was easy for hate to grow. When you have trouble to seeing your purpose in the world, it is hard to see the good in others. A way to work through those times is to surround yourself with support and accept the love of others. Lean on others with vulnerability and allow yourself to believe that you are not alone. God's love and the love of those around us can help conquer the hate in your heart. Love wins.
Sunday: Borrowing Hope
I am so excited to be introducing the final week with the topic of “Borrowing Hope.” It’s what we have been moving toward as we worked through some very difficult topics the past three weeks. I so agree with how the author approaches the topic of hope with the concept of borrowing from others when we can’t find it on our own. As she writes, “ Sometimes the only things that can sustain us comes from other people or God or an inspiration that helps us take the next breath or the next step, or make it through the next day.” Cory and I have shared a lot of information about honoring the current reality we find ourselves in, practicing honesty, and embracing paradox. If we didn’t end with some tools or strategies to help and encourage those who are struggling right now, then we missed the point. Just in Sunday’s introduction the author says we could try some of the following:
Admit what we’re really afraid of
Seek courage in the small steps
Expect hope to hurt
Strain to see God, feel God, and hear God whenever we can.
There’s some great information coming your way this week leading up to Christmas, but for now let’s start with the author’s question for the week:
Who or What are you borrowing hope from right now?
Monday: Love in Action
Witnessing the power of love in action is a remedy that provides peace for the soul. There is a reason that actor John Krasinski's Some Good News videos were weekly viral sensations across the world at the start of this pandemic. People gain hope when they realize the world is full of loving people. Too often all that is covered in the media are the negatives surrounding us. Constant reminders of the bad in our world can be overwhelming and act as a sponge, absorbing the hope from our life. The truth is so much good occurs daily, it just takes place behind the curtains. People helping others in need isn't always something done in a public setting. It isn't done for recognition or accolades, but in a personal desire to live in God's word. Page 78 reminds us, "He taught us to love one another. His law is love. His gospel is peace."
Don't be afraid to share the goodness you see happening around you. People want to hear stories like that. People need to hear stories like that. Love in action can help drown out the hurt inside. Love in action reminds us that our world isn't as bad as it is portrayed at times. In fact, it is pretty amazing.
Tuesday: Stil, We Rise
I have the opportunity today to share my reflections on what I believe are two of the most important pages in the entire Weary World Book with today’s theme - “Still, we Rise.” This theme is centered around the question we can all start the day with by asking ourselves:
“Who or What is helping you still rise, giving you hope?”
As the author states, some days (many this past year due to the pandemic) may feel incredibly discouraging especially if we have gotten caught up in listening to the news or following some social media sights. I cannot agree with the author more when she states, “I am not certain of much, but there is good in the world despite the hard.” My daughter, daughter in law and I witnessed this first hand yesterday as we dressed in Elf costumes and walked up and down Main Street Seneca. In our attempt to bring some smiles to people’s faces, we got so much more in return. We all know the holidays and our lives look different this year, but the people we talked to yesterday on the streets of Seneca and in Soul Provider still had smiles on their faces and still shared some giggles with us. Still we Rise. I so agree with the author, Kathy Escobar, when she states, “ Humans are incredible. We endure. We survive. We find ways to keep going. We hope against all odds.” The holidays can be some of the bluest and loneliest times. I consider myself incredibly blessed, but I also respect the painful memories of past Decembers – losing my Dad to pancreatic cancer, having my youngest son, Tanner, diagnosed with cancer the day after Thanksgiving, watching Cory face some of his darkest days battling depression and addiction, and losing one of my dearest friends to cancer on New Year’s Eve. But yet, somehow, I was able to do exactly what the author describes when we “rise out of bed” into the arms of a God and people who love and care about us. Another important point in Tuesday’s reading was the warning by Brene Brown, in regard to “comparative suffering” which means we minimize our pain when we don’t think it’s as hard, big, or real as others. Let’s Just Be Honest…. Many of us, myself included, are feeling the pain of not being surrounded by all our children this Christmas due to the pandemic. You may think your hurt is not that big of a deal when you see what others have faced this past year, but your pain is real. My prayer is that whatever the hurt anyone who is reading this right now is experiencing from the heart-wrenching pain of losing a loved one or not being able to hug a grandchild this Christmas, that our summaries from a Weary World and walking through the steps of Honoring Reality, Practicing Honesty, Embracing Paradox, and Borrowing Hope, have helped you realize that you are never alone and there is always Hope out there waiting to be borrowed if you have lost yours. The final topics in our book are bursting with hope entitled: Just Breathe, A Time for Everything, Meeting Calamity with Serenity, and God is With Us.
Wednesday: Just Breathe
When you are faced with stress, anxiety, or unknowns in life it is easy to replace proper breathing techniques with quick, short breaths. You can start to become overwhelmed and lose your peace of mind. Your mind starts to think about what you could have, or should, have done better. A wise person once told me never to "should on yourself". Second guessing and playing the what-if game will only make things worse. Even when faced with an unforeseen circumstance, remember the importance of remaining calm through proper breathing. As an elementary principal I witnessed our social worker teaching every grade basic lessons about breathing techniques when you are upset. They created "breathing buddies", counting strategies, and even had apps on their ipad to guide them through the process. It seems like such a basic concept, yet as adults we need these reminders just like those young students. Sometimes in life the only thing we have control over is each breath we take. Kathy Escobar reminds us some days the only victory we experience is making it through each breath you take. Always try to remember, "just breathe".
Cory and I would like to thank all of you for following along with our Weary World-Reflections for a Blue Christmas by Kathy Escobar Book Study this Advent Season. We are going to briefly summarize the key points for the rest of this week ending with our reflections on this Christmas Eve 2020.
The author suggests that one way we can borrow hope is to remember that there’s a time and season for everything. What is this time for you? (Fill in the Blanks) A time for _________ and a time for __________. There’s a lot of calamity going on in the world right, but how do we learn to meet calamity with serenity. Can we listen to Jesus’ words in John 14:27 with a different perspective this Christmas season? On the last night with his disciples before he was betrayed He said, “Peace I leave with you: my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” What does meeting calamity with serenity look like for you right now? And how can we put into practice what we’ve learned. Here are a couple of the author’s suggestions:
1. Write a simple prayer for yourself or for others who are on your heart right now
God, please help___________
I long for peace for ___________
Thank you for ______________
2. Look up. Go outside when it’s dark and gaze up at the stars and let the sky speak to you somehow. Did anyone see the Star of Bethlehem (Saturn/Jupiter) this past week?
3. Consider who might need some extra love right now (friend, family member, coworker) Offer some tangible encouragement such as a card, text, email. Lend them some of your hope.
Christmas Eve Reflections- God is With Us
We think it is truly fitting that we reflect on the lyrics of the Christmas Hymn, “O Holy Night” on this Christmas Eve. We are all familiar with the words from the title of our book, “A thrill of hope a Weary World rejoices.” But how many of us have read or listened carefully to the words from the second verse from this same song?
“The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend:
He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!”
Our wish for you this Christmas Eve is to always remember that God chose to enter this world in the midst of chaos, born to unlikely parents in a smelly stable. We couldn’t find a better way of expressing our prayers and wishes to all of you than how the author explains it when she says that God is still with us in the thick of it – “in our humanity, our pain, or blue, our beautiful, our hard, our messy, our ugly, our struggles, our joys.” As God is with Us, we are also called to be with others in the mess of their real lives. “God with Us in the thick of our messy lives. Us, with Others, in the thick of their messy, beautiful lives.” That is how we choose to celebrate Christmas Eve today. As this weary world rejoices, we pray our weary hearts and yours can too. No one is ever alone and that is all the reason we need to rejoice.
Merry Christmas from Cory and Julie
“Give our hearts permission to feel what they need to feel.
Open ourselves up to healing.
Listen for God’s gentle whispers.
Take good care of ourselves.
Keep crawling toward the light together.
Let our weary souls feel a little less alone.”
Could you be better of letting go of something in your life?
You must admit reality before you can practice better honesty.
Week 2 focuses on practicing honesty and gives an overview of emotions we all experience.
Summarizing Week 2
Week 3 talks about embracing paradox.
What does hope mean to you?
Have you ever truly had feelings of hate?
Week in Review
Week 4 Discusses Borrowing Hope