Being as it is the last day in November and tomorrow is the first day in December.
It is officially time to get into the Christmas spirit!
And these guys here, they agree with me. It is a fact.
The best time of the year!
The reason for the season. The music. The decorations. The traditions. The family time. The food.
All of this means I have something for you. Yes, YOU! Starting tomorrow. On December 1st. Do not you forget!
So. For you.
To help get you in the spirit of The Spirit, I have arranged a series of my favorite Christmas songs to be posted on the AHAmoments Facebook page starting tomorrow and continuing all month long (you can click the link above or on the ‘f’ Facebook icon on the right side panel of your screen)!
I know, just what you wanted for Christmas!
You know how I love to share music. Do yourself the favor and check back in over there often and have a listen. It will not disappoint! You may even hear some of your favorites or gain a new one! It is going to be a fun month of some of the best Christmas songs. Do me a favor and share your favorites with me!
But, wait, there more! And you will not have to pay $19.99 to get it!
I answered this questionnaire last year about Christmas since, you know, I love it, and I figured I would share it with you again here. I liked reading it again. It may give you ideas for your own Christmas and help put it all in perspective.
1. What´s your favorite thing about Christmas?
Um. All of it? It is not about the things. It is what it all adds up to mean. The reason for the season. What IT is all about. His coming for us. His presence. Fellowship. Getting together with family and friends in honor of Him.
2. What´s your favorite Christmas memory?
There are so many, it is hard to pick just one. I do think my favorite memory is actually one that I wrote about the other day. The post was supposed to actually be about Elvis, but laced in there was the story of how all the grandchildren would go over to my Grandparents’ house to decorate their Christmas tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink hot chocolate. I miss those days!
3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?
There have been many special traditions over the years. Like going together to pick out the Christmas tree or decorating the house or wrapping the gifts. Traditions are special to me. They are meaningful, if you are doing them for the right reasons, but they are really not what IT is about. Time goes on, people grow up, families grow, and life changes. And, so do our traditions. They fade away, change, or we make new ones. It is the natural way of things. To change, whether we like it or not. I have written on this before. However, the root of the tradition, what makes it special, stays the same. Everyone who is able comes to the designated house for a grand meal made with love and enjoyed with togetherness and faithfulness. It does not matter when or how or what, just so long as we get together. Grow in our faith and fellowship. Feel and see the reason for the season. His presence. To spread our joy and cheer with those around us.
4. What´s your Christmas wish? (can be personal or general)
Can’t tell you or it won’t come true? No. That is not how it really works. But I have already told you my wish. My wish is the same now as it was then. Faithfully waiting. Am I right, BBB?
5. What´s your favorite Christmas dish?
Um. How long do you have? It is my favorite meal. So. Every dish? Really though, my favorite is my Mamma’s homemade rolls. They are only made on special occasions and I have never had a better roll. What can I say, I like carbs OK. Don’t judge. If you had ever had them you would know
6. What´s your favorite Christmas decoration?
The tree! The smell. The feel. The look. The lights. The ornaments. That explanation above that I found this year. This one below that I just found.
It brings meaning to the minutia. Changes the way today’s ‘world’ thinks about it, takes the marketing and today’s Santa out of it. It is no longer a chore.
7. What´s your favorite Christmas song?
Um. Way to pick the hardest question. I really dislike when people ask my favorite song. Can I have more criteria. What day? What mood? What situation? I have so many favorites of all kinds. Have you heard the Christmas songs I have been sharing over on the Facebook page?! Most all about the true meaning of Christmas and great pieces of music. If I HAD to pick a favorite, right now…
Hard to not cry.
8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?
Honestly? In my heart. Hokey and corny and all that, I know, but it is true. It is they way we are meant to I think. You know how I just explained changing traditions? Well, where we physically celebrate also changes. We also have multiple celebrations. Big family. Church Christmas Eve, followed by dinner at someone’s house. These days it has been at my oldest sister, A’s house. So the little people can go to bed at a reasonable time in their own beds and wake up to Christmas morning at their house. Then Christmas Day lunch at either my Parents’ or my Aunt and Uncle’s house. This year, my Aunt and Uncle’s. We used to always do it at my Grandparent’s house.
9. What does the “Christmas spirit” mean to you? and I will add Anne’s extra question because these two questions are tied together for me…Do you believe in Christmas?
I believe in the Christmas I have described through the answers to this Christmas Tag. I believe in the reason for the season. The coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for us. The forgiveness of our sins. In remembering and living that. Doing His will and walking His path for me every day of the year.
That is what the Christmas Spirit is to me. Remembering the reason for the season. Being a source of joy and cheer for those around you. Letting Him be a blessing to others through you. Giving and doing for others. Forgiveness as Christ forgave us. Growing that in your heart and letting it last all year.
10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?
My family. Especially the ones who do not live here and I only get to see every now and then.
I hope you enjoyed it!
Share with me your favorite Christmas songs or what you do to get into the Christmas Spirit!
We live in a world where everyone is striving for perfection. Everything has to be perfect. It is hard to even truly define and comprehend the word. Is there any such thing as ‘without fault’ in this human world?
I read something other day about it in fact. Something about being a perfectionist and how it makes you great. Everything about it I loved except that word. Perfect.
“Riding, like life, does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”
AHAmoment. Riding and life is never perfect, but it is always wonderful, magical, and beautiful. This is one thing horses have taught me. There is always a silver lining. There is always something to be learned and something positive to take away. The beauty comes from the imperfect and how everything still forms around it. What you can make out of it. The striving for the goal, to always be better. Fault can always be found, but it is how you look at it.
To me, humans can never be perfect because we do not have the control.
If I go out to ride with the goal of making it perfect, they humble me right down and remind me that is not what it is about. They live in the moment like we should. We try so hard to control everything in our lives. However, if I go out with the goal to enjoy the ride, make it the best we can, and be better than yesterday, they give me their all and nothing can beat it. Perfect does not even come close. I can see and feel them try.
It is the same in life. Chasing perfection forces you to compare yourself to an outside standard or someone else. You will never get where you really want to be that way. The point is the path. The journey. That is what it is about. It is yours and no one else’s. Incomparable. Made and intended for you and only you. Enjoy it. Walk it. Be better than yesterday. Keep refocusing and aiming your arrow. That is where the wonder and beauty of life comes from. Not from trying to control it and make everything perfect to some made up standard.
The beauty of horses and life.
Stir that around in your pot of thoughts for a bit. Think about it the next time you are about to use that ‘p’ word. It is pretty dang strong! I am guilty of over using it myself!
You know how when you were younger and smaller, innocent and wide eyed, how things appeared big and they stick in your memory that way? Then time goes by and you grow up and see those things again, but somehow they are smaller than you remembered? And you wonder just how in the world you ever thought they were that big?
That happened to me yesterday.
So there I was in the cloudy, windy, misty river bottom where the sun apparently does not like to play anymore. I spent the whole morning mucking out the barn and paddock around the barn. With the weather these days, the horses have been spending an exorbitant amount of time in there instead of out in the pasture. I really do not think I have ever scooped so much poop as I have in the last month and I have been riding and caring for horses my whole life. Anyway, that is not the point.
So there I was trying to decide what to do next. “I should be riding,” I thought to myself, but I do not like to ride when the ‘shoulds’ show up.
“Shoulds be darned” and I grabbed Cheetah’s bridle. We are going to go play and have fun. I bridled her up and headed to the fence to hop on.
Just then, H called. She was on her way to put in some work at the office. She likes to talk while she drives, as do I. We call it the dialies in our family. Anyway, I decided then and there that I would ride Cheetah for me and I would ride Lito next for her because she could not ride that day. She has not been able to ride in a while because of work. AHA moment. Always ride when you can. Life is too short and you never know when you won’t be able to and there are plenty of people who can not.
I stuck my phone in my pocket and talked to her on speaker phone for my whole lovely ride. Cheetah was lazy and behind my leg. Dare I say sluggish, which is somewhat of a nice change of pace. Then the sun showed up and I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.
For Lito, I decided to saddle up and ride my neighbor’s big pasture behind the barn.
I had not ridden that pasture in years. I used to ride it all the time on Fresca, my little palomino mare. She was quick, fast, and fun and I loved her. She had the best little jog and I could do anything on her. She was the best horse to grow up on. We rode all over the place bareback, nothing between me and her, feeling every thought. We had some amazing times, that mare and me. Whenever we would ride the pasture behind the barn, we would ride down to the river first and loop around to the clear frontage to have a look down the river and see if anyone was on the beach. Then we would continue up river and follow the tree line towards the big hill.
The hill was our favorite. The two track dirt road lazily meanders around to the low spot with rusty culvert before it goes straight up the hill to the little white church across the fence. The culvert was the starting gate in our games. We had different games in different places all around the river bottom, but here at the hill in the big pasture behind the barn, it was a race and she was the best race horse of the day.
Calm as could be, Fresca would walk up to the culvert as if neither of us had a plan to gallop to the top wearing red and white silks. As if we didn’t do it practically every time we came to the hill. An onlooker would not know what was about to happen, but the ones in the grandstand knew. Then, the bell would ring and in an instant, we would take off and fly to the top faster than all the greats.
Once at the top, we would come to a stop right by the church and listen to the church goers sing. I thought it was so cool that you could hear them sing when they were inside. By about that time I would start to feel hungry for breakfast so we would turn and head down the hill, cross the bog, and make our way back home where my mother was making pancakes.
Lito and I pushed our way through the overgrowth at the gate and then made our way down to the river. I will conveniently leave out the part where a crazy, lone cow chased followed us for a bit, so we got in some extra trotting before we got to the look out. After marveling at how the river bottom has changed since the two floods before Hurricane Harvey and then after Harvey, we tracked up river along the tree line towards the hill.
I was looking forward to a good lope up the hill for old time’s sake. I remember it being a bigger hill as hills go down here. At least big enough to lope for a bit. You know, feel the wind in your pony tail, or something like that. I had to laugh when the culvert at the base of the hill came into view. The big hill, in all its glory, looking back at me. I realized how small the hill actually is. Maybe ten strides long. Laughing, we went for a big trot up the hill instead. Being a Saturday, there were no church goers to listen to, so we turned and walked back. Half way there, the sun went behind the clouds, the wind picked up, and a few drops fell from the sky, but that didn’t dampen our spirits.
Funny how you remember things as a kid. I guess it is all just a matter of perspective. Back then I was little and more imaginative. Fresca was little. Today I am grown and Lito is quite a bit taller than ol’ Fresca. I think I will remember that hill as a big hill.
When the fog finally burned off this morning, it turned into a beautiful day. Cheetah and I had another ride in the pond pasture.
Now I am back at home. I did a very adult thing and sacrificed my day off tomorrow to do adult things instead of staying at the farm. I mean, look at those faces. So hard to leave them!
Naturally I did another very adult thing and procrastinated some of those things to clean and do laundry all afternoon and evening. Nothing like cleaning and laundry to procrastinate. Makes you feel like you got so much accomplished (which you did, so that is something) and takes enough time to keep you from doing what you need to do.
Looks like it will be a late night! Oh well!
Walk in love, dear readers, tomorrow is a new day!
Who is ready for daylight savings??? I know who. This gal. Too hard to wake up and get going in the morning with it so dark for so long. It is getting cold early this year I feel like and it is time for the time to change with it.
This whole week is starting to look like it is taking on that dark theme. Just one of those not so great weeks for various extenuating circumstances beyond my control. It has left me kind of caught in the crossfire playing middle man for one reason or another. Not really even that big of a deal, but it leaves me on the outside, confused feeling like I do not belong. That it does not look right. Feel right. Throws me back, in an ‘old time feeling,’ for a bit and gets me thinking on the bigger picture of my life and what I am doing. You know, that whole vocation thing. Living a full life with purpose and intention.
Dramatic sounding, I know, thanks to my over analyzing personality. But in all seriousness, it does make me reassess and evaluate a check point. Am I supposed to be doing this? Is it time for a change? I am not sure. All of this sounds all too familiar to me, as it does to you, too, I am sure.
Naturally, I have a song cued up that seems to fit the feeling, even if not directly in context. Funny how that happens, always. One of the great things about music is the metaphors. Just like poetry. Anyway. The newly released album from the Turnpike Troubadours. The song was written by Even Felker and RC Edwards of Turnpike Troubadours and Johnny Burke. Also, very fitting album artwork.
However, I do not want to focus on that because I could not have done anything to prevent the situation and now here I am thinking. Possibly, probably, just reacting. So, I am not going to focus on it. That simple. I will focus on it later, after I sleep on it. Pray on it. Be faithful in my waiting. I will know when the time is right.
Here is what I will focus on and will share with you. Two life lessons brought to you in my AHA moments of late.
The week did start out pretty solid.
I got to watch the sun rise on my way to a meeting first thing Monday morning (you know, right before the proverbial brown stuff hit the fan, if I want to go back to drama). So much for new day dawning! Anyway, I digress. Quite the glow. Sunrise is always a good time for big picture reflections. Whether they be image or life related. Here is to the next sunrise I get to sit and see and reflect.
PSA. Do not take photos while you drive. My defense is the image was begging to be taken and I was going very slow due to traffic.
My Friday evening perspectives.
Same time. Two different perspectives/view points. Two very different sets of images. Two different horses, yes, but you get the point. I know points are not lost on you. Life is all about how you look at it. If you do not like what you are looking at, change your perspective. Change how you look at it. Change where you are standing.
I personally like all of these images, even though they have flaws, because I love what I am looking at. Who is in them. Where they are. Trademark looks on both of their faces.
That is all for today, dear readers. Walk in love.
I have and have had many desires in my life as I am sure many of you have. I find the dynamic nature of desires interesting and intriguing. As we learn and grow in life, as we gain wisdom with age, our desires change with our change in perspective. One can learn a lot about themselves, and others, by deciphering where certain desires come from. AHAmoment.
According to Merriam-Webster, the word desire is defined as:
Transitive verb: to long or hope for; to express a wish for or to; and most interestingly, to feel the loss of
Noun: conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment; longing; craving; formal request or petition for action; something longed or hoped for
To feel the loss of something. I found that interesting to be defined there in just that way. How can you long for something you never had? Can you feel the loss of something you never had? Can you really desire something you have never known? Is it really loss if you never actually had it to lose? I think so. That speaks to how powerful they are and how/why they drive us. I think that is part of what makes our true desires conscious.
What do you think?
I think the loss is very real. The relationship of the parent you never had. Or the child. Or the life. However, just like everything in life, there is a flip side to this coin. Not all loss is bad or negative. Loss can be good. It is, you know, part of the circle of life. Even this change averse gal can admit that. The feeling of loss is powerful in a good way when you no longer desire something that is harmful to you, for instance. Whether it is a person or a group of people or a thing or an idea. Does not matter.
I guess it is all of a piece. Maybe they are the same. The negative feeling of loss of something at first and then you grow and your perspective changes, making the loss positive in light of your changed desires.
I feel like I am quickly going down a hole into accounting.
I will confess that I have desires that I will not speak out loud, for fear of anyone experiencing the loss with me. I guess what it really boils down to is the shame that fear is creating.
I used to have a desire to be a famous horseman that other people looked to. Now, all I want to be famous from each of my horses’ perspectives. To be the best I can be for them. To be a real horseman. My perspective changed. That is something they have taught me through the grace of God.
I used to think I had it all figured out. I had a plan for my career and life. I desired certain things and I felt like I knew how to make them happen. Now, I feel like those desires are slipping away and I am discovering that I am letting them go. Has my perspective changed? I think it is changing. I am not there yet. New desires are not quite there yet. Do I feel loss? I do not know. I think in the beginning I did. Sometimes I feel lost and alone.
Does any of that make sense? Do you ever feel the same? What are your desires?
Far too much introspection for a Friday.
They are predicting rain all weekend, so here is hoping I get some ride time in. I can not complain though since the weather has been absolutely amazing.
Walk in love, dear readers, and have a great weekend. I am walking in faith trying to figure out the desires of my heart in my true self.