Thursday, December 15, 2016

Savor the Season of Advent

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:10

This quote from 1 Peter greeted me this morning as I read the daily meditation in Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are, a beautiful book of 365 devotions which my dear friend Lisa gave me while I was going through chemo. That word "Savor" became my word of the year for 2015 as I prayed for a powerful and inspirational word that would remind me to focus on God's love as I live each day. The word has definitely lived up to it's meaning this past year and a half.

All through my treatments I was reminded to SAVOR each moment. Now as I continue to heal both physically and emotionally, I am reminded to SAVOR each memory and each present moment. God has made me stronger! With this new found strength I am learning to be still and SAVOR the many blessings around me. As people ask me, "Are you ready for Christmas?" I reply, "We are keeping it simple, so we are ready." When we keep it simple we are always ready. By keeping it all simple, we are then ready to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and savor each blessing.

God kept the birth of Jesus simple. Maybe that was to help us remember that we are to keep even the most special of holidays simple. I am taking a deep breath, and even in my strength, focusing on keeping the celebration of Christmas simple and focused.

I am grateful for the gatherings with friends and family that have already taken place and look forward to many more before the end of this calendar year. My boys have already begun saying that they can't wait for Christmas Eve/ Noche Buena, when our extended family all gets together at my cousin's house for an amazing celebration of the love we share and the love Baby Jesus brought to all of us the day he was born. I remember also looking forward to Noche Buena with much anticipation. We don't exchange gifts, but we give each other the gift of time spent listening and loving. We share food that has been specially prepared for the day/evening. We sing traditional Cuban and American Christmas songs. The kids display their talents for all to enjoy. We end the evening by heading to midnight mass or home, whichever each family chooses.

I believe that my Catholic Cuban family has taught me a valuable lesson many times over throughout life, SAVOR LIFE! God has confirmed the lesson by bringing me through  my many trials while realizing the blessings.

I pray that each of you will take time to Savor the blessings in your life every day! Appreciate even the hard times and look for the lessons God is providing. May the rest of this Advent season bring you a strong and beautiful perspective!

I continue to pray for all of you and especially those who are sick.
God Bless,

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