Personal Reflections: it's mostly the best of times

December 15, 2012

How are you, my friends?

The holidays...
the best of times
and the worst of times.

I'm crazy 'bout these images from Mokkasin

So often during this busy season,
it's tricky to step away from the trappings,
take a cleansing breath of clarity, and
simply reflect on the the season's
personal meaning, right?

I get weepy this time of year.
I not only feel beautiful things deeply,
I sense
the grief of love lost,
of economic hardship,
and of physical suffering.

The worst of times.
My second beloved dad, Big Jim, is not with us.
My mother is battling breast cancer.
Violence in the world seems
out of control.

The best of times.
I sense the wonder of Christmas
almost as if I am a young child.

We hosted a holiday party Wednesday
(12/12/12 was a fun date to schedule it!),
and though the adult me covered the cooking,
baking, cleaning, and fluffing, it's hard to
imagine anyone enjoyed the evening
as much as the child who is me.

I loved connecting with positive people
from every denomination who
gathered with smiles
and without judgment.

I felt fully engaged and energized by
friendship, love, laughter, good will,
and the sweet spirit of the season.

I used to get overstimulated by Christmas as a child.
I can't lie.
Sometimes I was bitchyspice unwrapping
the EasyBake oven.
In my defense, booze was not an option for
taking the edge off.

artist: unknown

You already know I'm a Jesus lovin freak,
so maybe comprehending the layers
of love and meaning
within His birth
while also contemplating
a nice plump man who
would be navigating our chimney
(but maybe not everyone's chimney),
weirded me out.

The best of times. The worst of times.

Our son just arrived home for Christmas break.
All four of us under one roof for the holidays.
My heart may burst.

We hosted another dinner party
for close friends tonight,
and I danced under our
disco ball with a
7-year old to
"I'm Sexy and I Know it/Gangham Style."
The best of times.

I am so grateful for the rich moments
the holidays compel us to seize.

I am grateful for you.
For the time you take to read me.
For a wonderful year of blogging
and connection.

I wish you joy during these holy days.

I wish you warmth and tenderness.

And I wish you peace. Right where you are.

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  1. Loved this Michele and if I were at the party I would have danced Gangham Style right along with you :)

    It IS the best and worst of times. My 21 year old daughter said (tonight) "why are the holidays so stressful?" Well... the conversations began.

    I'm trying to keep everything in perspective. Dancing under the disco ball and spending time with your family (all under one roof!) is what matters most.

    I've had to take a little bit of ostrich in the sand approach with all the negative stuff that's happening. It just overwhelms me and I can't take it.

    Hugs to you too!

  2. Wow, what a beautiful, thought-provoking post!
    Life in all its wonder and heartache at the same time,
    because that's often how it just is.
    Thank you for every smiley word this past year,
    you're a blog friend I treasure, x

  3. Yes, memories, sights, loved ones and the wonder of the season touch our core. I am thankful for you and the beauty you bring. The pain of this season is the loss or the realization of how our loved ones are suffering. The joy of this season is the celebration of the birth of Christ. Thank you for reminding us of the joys coupled with the sweet sorrow. Merry Christmas, di

  4. Oh my sweet girl, I so loved this beautiful post. Life is so often everything at once. I remember W saying while his dad was battling cancer 2 years ago at this time of year that he felt it strange that the world didn't stop when something so big was happening. Everything else carries on, he was still laughing at the silliness of the guys at work, we still had to do food shopping, plans for Christmas were made, life just kept moving forward while his heart felt as though it was stuck in the middle of his chest. I am not a religious person but many say that God gives us only what we can bear. Sending you lots of love and peace my darling xxx

  5. Michele....LOVE this post. So beautifully written and i too am a bit of a kid around Christmas, even when I am feeling ovewrhelemed. Glad you are enojoying the magic of this beautiful season. I am sorry for your mom and hope she is making progress. It is a time of reflection, both on lost blessings as well as celebrating new ones and what lies ahead.

    You gave me a laugh about "bitchyspice" opening up the easy bake oven! Too funny...thanks starting my day off with a good laugh is just what I needed! I am heartbroken over whats happened in CT. and its good to get my mind off the sadness for a few minutes. Wishing you a festive and beautiful weekend, my friend.

  6. Michele-
    This post is inspirational and beautiful. Thank you for these heartfelt thoughts. Such truth in all of these love words, Michele.
    I am sorry for your pain and loss, and inspired by your positive attitude.
    Happy Saturday.

  7. Beautiful post Michele,
    I'm sorry for the difficult times in your life, but happy for the good times.
    Dancing under the glitter ball sounds fab.
    Hope you have a lovely day,
    Liz x

  8. I always find the holidays a conflict too. This year I decided with all of the broken things going on in this world to count my blessings. It has really made everything much brighter and more personal. I hope you have a lovely holiday.

  9. Michele, that was beautiful....I'm going through the same thing....Love Christmas and what it means...being able to spend time with family is wonderful, but my father is battling Cancer and Alzheimers. Its going to be a bitter sweet Christmas...

  10. Beautifully said. We are now down to 4 in our husband, myself our 2 children in their 20s. It has given us a new approach to holidays and to life. Here it to peace...and to the best of times and the worst of times and finding that peace in the middle.

  11. So beautiful pictures and such beautiful words. I wish you a lovley Christmas:)

  12. Hi Michele,
    I was attempting to leave you a comment early this am on my ipad and it froze up on me but I wanted to tell you that I totally relate to how you are feeling :)
    Another thing we have in common is having our sons home for Christmas and it just doesn't get better than that!!!
    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!!
    Sounds like you've been having some lovely get togethers...Good for you!!!

  13. Beautifully written and well chosen images. Prayers for your mom. And I'm sorry about your father.

  14. Thank you for putting together such a lovely and tender post, Michele. I wish you and your family a warm and beautiful holiday season. And, thank YOU for your kind friendship this year. I appreciate your visits and always positive notes.
    Take care, my friend ~

  15. A great post Michelle, thanks and a good holiday season to you and your loved ones too.
    Maureen xx

  16. Beautiful post and beautiful photos! From our house to yours...wishing you all God's blessings during this Holiday Season and throughout the new year! ~ Judy

  17. Lovely post !!! Yhank you so much for your encouraging and nice comment on my blog !!! Have a lovely weekend !!!

  18. Awesome post! Thanks so much for your visit. You're just a party girl! Have a terrific Christmas. You saying you are a Jesus freak reminded me of my 21 year old grandson whose self-description on Twitter is "Jesus Follower", Worship Leader. I feel so blessed!!

  19. peace from one Jesus lovin' freak to the other! merry christmas friend.

  20. i wrote this post before the connecticut shooting so the ache is heavier now. i hope kindness and compassion will spread and we can hold each other up with love as everyone affected muddles through.


  21. Very well written post - and I'm a Jesus lovin' freak too! I wish you joy and peace this Christmas too.

  22. What a beautiful post. It is important to take time to reflect at this time of year and be kind to those you meet.

  23. Michele, I just love reading your beautifully written blog post! Merry Christmas sweet friend and continue to keep that sweet child inside of you alive,
    xo Kathysue♥*

  24. Love this post!
    Your words always touch my heart.


  25. Peace at this time of year to you and your family! We need more people like you in the world!!
    xo Karolyn

  26. A beautiful piece of writing - ty for sharing!

  27. Well I was just reading your latest post and getting all weepy myself when I reached the end and discovered that I won your giveaway!!! It is the best of times for me! I am so excited!

  28. michele, what a perfect post to describe your emotions and the world at large. i so agree with you. this is one time of year my adult and child side cohabitate my soul, each vying for my attention while memories and gratitude collide. it is indeed the best and the worst.
    blessings to you dearest

  29. This year, especially,
    I am feeling that it is the
    best and the worst of
    times. A time to hold
    those we love a little
    closer, just like that
    fantastically cute photo
    of the kitty with the
    teddy bear. You have
    been a great blogging
    friend to me and I am
    very grateful for you.

    xo Suzanne

  30. A beautiful and comforting post. Thank you for this.


  31. Hi Michele~~~ May the peace of God surround your precious heart Michele, I love Jesus too and one thing I am confident of is that God Truly Loves You Michele and all people.

    Wishing you the very best blessed Christmas.
    Pearl 13.1

  32. WOW Michele... I'm so touched right now! Your blog has been such an inspiration to me and through each sentence/image I get a sense of your amazing spirit! There is a lot of good and bad out there - an unseen war perhaps; it always gives me comfort when I acknowledge who really is in charge at the end of the day! I love how strong your love for the Savior is and it strengthens my testimony of Him as well. This is such a special time of year to recognize our Savior and all He has done for us. Thanks for sharing your gifts and talents!

    Best wishes to you and your beautiful family!!

  33. Hi Michele,
    You always inspire and move me; especially with this post.
    If we can remember that The grief in the world is not caused by God, it is often caused by Man..perhaps we can take more steps to keep our children safe. We all have so much to be grateful for!

    PS you are the winner of the book "Living the Artists Life" be sure to send me your address!!

    2012 Artists Series

  34. Ah~what a great read this was!! Yes its the worst and the best~the yin and yang~the highs and lows~its a bit of a ride....and you are so artful the way you express it all~thanks for taking us with you! Wishing you peace as well, its nice.

  35. Beautiful inspirational post, Michele! I wish you peace, joy and love this Christmas and look forward to connecting more in the coming year!
    Warm blessings,

  36. Just BEAUTIFUL !!!
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  37. Oh my lovely, I am so full of admiration at how you compose so much beauty and positivity even in the face of your woes. Your energy is wonderful and I have missed it!

    Thank you so so much for your sweet messages on my blog, you do say the nicest things, and you can probably tell, I am one proud mama!

    Wish you and your family lots of love and peace this Christmas.

    Hugs hugs,
    Meera xx


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