I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! This is such a beautiful time of year and filled with so many graces. And as Catholics, we get to celebrate for so much longer than the rest of society. Thanks, Epiphany!!
As we close out another month and prepare to begin a whole new year, I thought I’d do a little December favorites post. I have come across so many wonderful resources, products, and reads recently. Hopefully you will get some inspiration from this post that you can add to the New Year.
Five Minutes with the Word
Five Minutes with the Word is a monthly publication put out by the Word Among Us. Each day is complete with a beautiful reflection on one of the readings. They use real world topics in each reflection to show how well the readings apply to our daily lives. As I read each day’s readings, it was almost like they built on each other. It truly was a wonderful way to prepare for Christmas.
Book of the Bible: Esther
This month, I got real close with my new homegirl, Esther. Before this month, I knew the sugar-coated, kid’s version of her chunk of the bible. Angry king hates the Jewish people, Esther’s brother gets captured, and brave little Esther comes to save the day. No. Just no. Esther is the perfect encompassment of what female bravery should look like. She knew what she had to do and didn’t fool around with it. If you’re interested in just a glimpse of her bravery and intention, read her prayer, found in Esther chapter 14!!!
I’ve always wondered why St. Stephen’s feast day is the day after Christmas. My natural thought process wants to wonder, “So… The birth of our Savior!!… followed closely by the death of our first martyr! What??” However, when you think about it, what better way to follow up Christ’s birth? Think about it. Our Savior came to start the conquest of sin. He came as a redeemer and a preacher. St. Stephen similarly took on the responsibility of preaching and teaching in hostile times. And he became a hero and an example to all because of his great sacrifice. What a wonderful example.
Food and Health
Vanilla and Cinnamon Black Tea
Trader Joe’s, you’ve done it again!! I’m a tea girl, through and through, and when I find a good one, I’m usually pretty obsessed. My mom found this seasonal tea at TJ’s a couple years ago and we both fell in love with it. The key word in that sentence, though, is ‘seasonal’. Erg. Sooo, that just means that we need to stock up good each winter. If you’re in the mood for a warm cup of fire-side tea, check it out!!
Eucalyptus Globulus Essential Oil
If you are like me, winter usually means a stuffy nose and an occasional cough. This is the time of year when we all wish we would have appreciated easy breathing when we had it. LOL. So, after we’ve all said a little ‘thank you, Jesus’, just dab some Eucalyptus under your nose and breathe!! This stuff is seriously liquid gold without the price tag!! A must in every oil arsenal.
Enter Matthew Kelly. If you didn’t find this book on your dad’s bookshelf from 7 years ago, then you’ve probably never heard of it. But, wow, is it wonderful. Matthew Kelly argues the importance of satisfaction in all our lives, work and home life alike. Rather than constantly looking for a balance between the different aspects of life, why don’t we simply look to find satisfaction in each area. His philosophy is flawless and oh so important for all people.
Okay, this one is a little outside of the box, but very interesting. I downloaded this piece on Audible and listened to it during our snowy rides over Christmas. The basic premise is that tribes can change the world, for the good or for the bad. People who step outside of their comfort zone, away from the status quo, and even bend the rules a bit can change the way that people think, act, and do business. While the author of this book doesn’t have Christian beliefs, he does a good job of being unbiased in most of his opinions and getting a strong message out.
Media / YouTube
I love this guy for one reason and one reason only. He has taken a simple platform, such as YouTube, and morphed it into an art form. He has mastered the art of getting a message across to a wide demographic and making it extremely interesting. His “movies”, as he calls them, are inspiring and filled with intention. He takes topics like “Do What You Can’t” and turns them into little mini TED talks of sorts. Just for kicks, find one of his videos to watch and I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it!!