I’m unique! So are you! Regardless of our cultural and spiritual beliefs and customs, I think deep down we all know that we are each ”different” from one another. Lately, I have heard more negativity concerning being “different” than usual and so I think it’s time to turn a negative into a positive. Please join me in celebrating a Different Kind of Holiday. It seems fitting, I believe, to introduce this on a day when many of us celebrate Halloween, with its custom of creating unique costumes to wear and its custom of sharing treats with one another, whether people we know or people we do not.
I believe a “Different Kind of Holiday” should be one in which we do not seek to hide our differences, but rather celebrate them! I believe our differences or uniqueness is a blessing and I further believe that we grow in so many good ways by embracing our authenticity. Join me, will you?
On this day, I’d like us to:
- Dress in our own choice of fashion or custom
- Share our heart with those around us
- Truly listen to one another and accept one another’s uniqueness
- Seek to view the positive in one another – for we find it when we look for it
- I will dance to my own music and invite you to dance with me
- You will sing your own song and I will sing along with you.
- We will have a neighborhood block party and share our favorite dishes and all will try something new!
- We will celebrate community by actively participating in the lives of our neighbors in a positive way!
- You will present your unique ideas to me and I will listen with an open mind!
- I will offer my thoughts as well and you will truly listen and consider them.
- I have talents you may not have. I will share them with you.
- You have talents I do not have and you will share them with me.
We so often speak of “the way life USED to be.” My “Different Kind of Holiday” presents the “way life truly COULD be.” Some may smirk and some will believe me naïve . . . but perhaps in your heart of hearts you may recognize, instead, a seed of hope?
A Different Kind of Holiday – Celebrate it today!
Try to make at least one person happy every day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word. If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought. - Lawrence G. Lovasik -
Your love fills my soul
And your peace
Is like nothing I could imagine.
This morning I woke with a start,
I stopped to think
And stumbled off the path.
My fear frozen heart beat too fast
And my mind drew me
In another direction
But not a good one.
I breathed deeply,
I called out to you,
And you showed me the map
Leading me back to you.
The peace in my soul
Softly comforted me.
Ready for a new day
Filled with wonder,
Filled with you.
By Martha L Shaw – copyright 10-30-12
My new RECIPES page is already growing and has been redesigned for ease of use. I hope you’ll put your favorite link in the comment section on my recipe page so I can share yours with everyone!
My words did dance
Upon my tongue
When I said that I
Loved You so
And the happiness
That You brought to me,
I wanted never to let go
You took me at my word's
Promise, becoming of my
Life, it's very best part
When others believed
That I could never change,
Only You Lord, could
Really see my heart.
My favorite “other” mother, the late Barbara Brosnan from ME made yummy homemade apple sauce and lots of other treats from an abundance of “drops” from the nearby farm. Drops? The apples the pickers dropped on the ground or the wind blew from the trees. They couldn’t be sold at premium prices so a bushel went cheap and Mom B had a whole bushel of kids, not even counting me. Lol I’m not she, so I used store bought chunky applesauce for my cake but if you make chunky homemade sauce, oh do use it! Great for breakfast, with ice cream, or anytime.
Here’s what you need:
2 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Bisquick – mix together and set aside (topping)
1/3 cup milk
½ cup chunky applesauce
2 cups Bisquick
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Beat milk, egg, and applesauce slightly in mixing bowl, blend in 2 cups Bisquick and 2 tablespoons gran sugar, mixing until moist.
Pour into greased 8 x 12 baking pan and sprinkle with reserved topping.
Bake at 400 degrees for approx 22 minutes, until top is golden and tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Yummy served warm with ice cream!
Note: This is a light and not overly sweet cake which is just my “thing” but you can drizzle a simple confectioners sugar glaze over the top if you like super sweet treats or served after dinner with ice cream, warmed apple sauce, and a dollop of whipped cream . . .
Growing up, I was led to believe that my church did things right while others did not. It doesn’t matter which denomination it is. I’ve since found many denominations share this opinion about their own sense of what “the truth” truly is.
I came across this quote this morning:
Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do — they all contain truths. - Muhammad Ali -
It reminded me of some courses I studied in college. I attended a Christian college and was “required” to take a world religions course. I loved it and opted to take more than one such course. You see, they taught us not only Christianity . . . not simply western religions . . . but eastern ones too. It was truly a “world” religions course. I was taught about some groups whom I’d been raised to believe were “evil” in their beliefs.
Know what? When you are put in a position to listen, to truly listen, to the culture and values and beliefs of another, you learn that we are all far more alike than we are different. I was amazed at the similarities I could suddenly so easily see as I compared and contrasted the many religions of the world.
This is not the place to delve into a long sermon on what I took away from each and every world religion I studied for it would be far, far too long for a blog post. I write this because rarely do I pick up a newspaper, click to a webpage, or switch on the television or radio without finding the “different” among us being judged and found lacking.
We judge one another, but we also judge the church . . . in my mind that is much the same thing since WE are the church, not the brick or wooden building with a few trees and a parking lot. You and I are the church and we carry its message to those who need to know it in our generation and the next. How can we do so when we seek to relate hate and indifference rather than truth? A tired cliché tells us the “truth will set us free.” Sure enough. Freedom. Isn’t that what we all seek?
Yesterday’s Gospel reading at my church spoke of difference, of the truth, of freedom, and of healing. You do not have to belong to my parish, my denomination, be a Christian, nor belong to any “organized religion” to admit those are things you seek. We all do. It was, in fact, creating a stir in the Gospel story told. Someone seeking those things was not “one of us.” He was overlooked, despised, an outcast. What was Jesus response?
In the reading Jesus was surrounded by a vast crowd including His chosen 12 and oh so many others eager to meet Him, to hear Him, to touch Him. One man, Bartimaeus, was blind. He’d been the despised one of which I spoke. Society at the time believed his condition surely was caused by some dreadful sin he or his people had committed? He cried out to Jesus believing He would heal Bartimaeus. Oh, the crowd had fits, even Jesus own chosen 12. Jesus, though, called the man to come to Him. Jesus didn’t care which “group” this man belonged to. He surely wasn’t part of any. Jesus didn’t overlook him as pretty much everyone else did. He healed the man and told him that “your faith has set you free.” Freedom, healing, acceptance.
We climb over, walk around, and pass by those who are different every day. We wrinkle our nose at how they “smell” and cover our eyes at the way they look. Our failure to accept them forces them to live as they do in many cases. Why do we not look at them? Could it be that if we looked into their eyes we’d see ourselves reflected there? Could it be that we’d see our own human weakness, often denied, staring at us? Could it also be that we’d see Jesus Himself looking back at us? We would see the Truth staring back at us for sure. We don’t want to see it. It is time we stopped denying. We are all different. It is time to embrace this and to seek unity.