Tag Archives: Christmas

Fat Holiday Photos: Have Fun!

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Smile! Cheese! One more photo x4, because everyone has to have that group picture on their own phone. We are a society that loves to take pictures and these days less than a minute later those pictures are posted somewhere on social media. The winter holiday season has already started and we will intentionally and accidentally be part of many pictures. For those who are in the process of losing weight or have dislike their body, these pictures can feel like torture.

This evening I took some pictures of a group of acquaintances as we filled a bunch of Samaritan’s Shoeboxes. I decided that I should probably be in one of the pictures, and that is when all the self imposed mind games began. I asked someone to take a picture of me and my friend posing with our shoe box, and after looking at the pictures I was horrified. How many chins do I have? Is my waist really that wide? Gross, I really need to head to the hair dresser because my hair is uneven and beyond the point of overgrown! I made the person take several more pictures, none of which I was satisfied with. I finally asked another person to take the pictures and after three attempts I was marginally o.k. with how it turned out.

Upon returning home I realized that worrying about how “badly” I looked in those pictures nearly ruined my evening. Hanging out with your friends and capturing good times on camera should be filled with happiness instead of worrying about how “fat” you look in a picture. I can’t help but notice that men who do strength training don’t usually complain about how they hate looking slim instead of muscular in pictures.

puppy smile

Of course we want to look good in pictures, but the issue isn’t whether or not you actually look good. What people are worried about is looking fat and out of shape; this is not the same as looking bad. If you wait until you are at your ideal weight and size, you’ll be missing out on a lot of pictures. I realized there are missing years of my life where I have zero pictures because I didn’t want to take pictures that would capture how heavy I was. Not only do I not have pictures, I also don’t have visual reminders of a lot of people I care about and a lot of the activities I have participated in, all because I didn’t want my fat self to be in a picture.

Love and enjoy who you are right now. Don’t wait weeks, months, or years to “like” the person who you are. Your body shape, size, and fitness level shouldn’t determine whether or not you want to capture fun or important moments in your life. Say cheese, and have fun!

 

4th Day of Christmas

 

4th day christmas

It’s already the 4th day of Christmas and only 4 more days until a new year and a new month arrives. Traditionally, during the 12 days of Christmas people did not work, it was a festive time for visiting with friends , family, and those in the community. Due to limited modes of transportation, most people stayed within their regional areas and engaged in community activities.  In our modern times, it is rare to have 12 days in a row to celebrate a holiday and hang out with friends, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make time to communicate with friends, even if it can’t be face-to-face.

4 christmas  Colly Birds’ eggs and Colly Birds colly bird egg nest

Application:

If you’ve had a busy holiday season and haven’t had much time to spend with friends, there are other ways to keep in touch and let people know you haven’t forgotten about them. People find texting and emailing to be impersonal, but to that person who is without family during Christmas, those who feel lonely, and friends who don’t have the opportunity to socialize very much; those words of greetings and well wishes mean a lot. If personal Facebook messages, texting and email aren’t your thing, there is always the old fashioned and pleasantly surprising card or letter. Choose whichever methods you are most comfortable with.

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

 

 

 

 

2nd Day of Christmas

christmas_is_over

I had to laugh when I saw this jpg on google. December 26th, has never been quite like that, at least not around here. December 26th is a hectic day, it’s Boxing Day!

boxing day

Some people  retailers just can’t get enough, so it’s now commonly referred to as Boxing Week! We need this holiday in case we didn’t purchase enough items before December 24th.

Christmas isn’t over yet, it is only the second day of Christmas, and if you haven’t recieved a pair of turtle doves, don’t worry. The turtle dove population has apparently decreased and they spend their winters in southern Africa, so please be forgiving towards your true love if you don’t recieve a pair this year, maybe he or she will be more responsible and plan ahead for Christmas 2014.

2 turtle doves

I was secretly relieved that the commercial part of Christmas was over. It was an exhausting month which involved working Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and today, Boxing Day. I spent these three days focusing more on getting through my shifts rather than focusing on the symbolic arrival of our Lord and Saviour. I was feeling extremely guilty about not having made enough time for God during these holy days. I fell asleep in bed with my advent devotional clenched in my hands.

I woke up the next morning feeling angry with myself, how is it possible to not have time during Christmas Eve to squeeze in a service (I went to sleep instead) or worship him on Christmas Day (I worked a 12 hour shift, came home and fell asleep again). As I was busy worrying and internally freaking out, I suddenly felt a sense of peace come over me. I can’t say for sure it was the Holy Spirit or just me convincing myself, but I realized that God doesn’t work around liturgical calendars and man made holidays.

God is our same loving, caring, forgiving and attentively listening God all year round. He doesn’t have 24 hours in a day or 7 days in a week. The calendar was invented for us to be able to keep ourselves organized. Our Holy Days are designed to prevent us from forgetting all that we know about God; a way to remember all He has done and will continue to do.

We worship a God who is nothing like we are; He doesn’t need a liturgical calendar to remember us. Nothing distracts Him from His ultimate pleasure of caring for us and being in communion with his creation. He doesn’t have certain times of year where He pays more attention to us and then puts us on the back burner until the next liturgical cultural quasi-religious holiday.

If you didn’t quite make it through all of Advent, that’s o.k. If you didn’t make it to church on Christmas Eve, that’s o.k. as well. If your turkey turned out dry and your mashed potatoes were lumpy, that’s all right with God. Our Father doesn’t want our holiday worship, He wants our everyday worship; the love, attention and worship that we offer on a daily basis.

If you weren’t attentive to your holiday observances this season, there is still the rest of the year for continued worship. As we make our way through the next 10 days of Christmas, I pray that you also will feel a sense of peace in knowing that God is always with us, loving on us and never keeping score. Praise be to God!

 

 

Advent Day 24: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Emmanuel

Matthew 1:23

“Look, the young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, ‘God is with us’.”

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home