The 2015 Magic of Motherhood Gala event support the moms and babies of The Zechariah House. Fine Italian food and wines, live entertainment, auction, raffle and more! $100 per person. Reservations/sponsor: http://magicofmotherhood2015.eventbrite.com
Thursday, March 26. 7:00pm
AM 1220 and 955 The Fish present the 2015 Women in Ministry Breakfast February 17th at 10:00am at the Hilton Garden Inn in Twinsburg!
Enjoy a morning of fun, fellowship, food, prizes, and blessings! Dr. Lois Evans is our keynote speaker with Brooke Taylor as emcee.
This event is free to all women who serve in either a church or a parachurch ministry: Sunday school teachers, pastors, directors, chaplains, worship leaders, and everything in between!
Admission is free, but you must register below.
Program Begins: 10:00am
Hilton Garden Inn Twinsburg
8971 Wilcox Dr.
Twinsburg, Ohio, 44087 – See more at: http://www.whkwradio.com/women-in-ministry#sthash.vjWY8XAM.dpuf
Tonight was our annual “Bethlehem Walk,” (I know this isn’t the best picture), but the experience was so sweet. In years past it’s just been the older boys and me, but this time Daddy and the littles joined in. We bundled up and went out for an evening stroll with our trusty lantern. The aim is to step away from the noise and lights of the world, and quietly contemplate the footsteps of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I love the questions the kids ask along the way (did they catch fish? What kind of food did they eat? How/where did they find water, etc)? This year I wanted to do some research before we headed out, and in doing so, I found some wonderful resources I wanted to share with you. This blog offers some context about their journey and the customs of the time. I would like to go back and read it again!
There’s also a very in-depth account of the journey, birth, and much more as told by mystic Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (also a source that Mel Gibson used when making The Passion of the Christ). Here’s a snippet about actual moment Christ was born:
“I saw Mary raised a certain height from the ground; she had her hands crossed upon her breast. The light kept increasing around her; everything seemed to feel a joyful emotion, even things inanimate. The rock which formed the floor and the wall of the grotto were, as it were, alive with light. But soon I saw no more of the roof; a luminous path, whose bright ness continually increased, went from Mary to the highest heaven. Then was there a marvellous movement of the celestial glories, which, approaching nearer and nearer, appeared distinctly under the form of the angelic choirs. The Blessed Virgin, raised from the earth in her ecstasy, prayed and turned her eyes to her God, of whom she had become the mother, and who, a feeble new-born infant, was lying on the ground before her.
I saw Our Saviour like a little shining infant, whose brilliance eclipsed all the surrounding splendour, lying upon the rug before the knees of the Blessed Virgin. He seemed to me very small, and to grow larger before my eyes; but this was only the radiance of a light so dazzling that I can scarcely say how I could see it.”
Wow! It’s pretty deep (and long) reading, but definitely rich in imagery and beauty! You can find the full text, here.
So far, Advent is zipping by (as usual) but I’m grateful to be home with the family. This is the first Christmas since I’ve been a mom that I haven’t worked. Looking back now, I don’t know how I ever did it!:) And at the moment it’s been a tremendous blessing to be home full-time, but also have the opportunity to “work,” through speaking engagements and little events here and there. Speaking of which, I’m still floating from Sunday when I had the opportunity to speak at St Michael’s Church in Cleveland. It was just SO NICE to connect with people again and see some listeners and meet new friends too. My Mom and my priest, Fr. Jay (and by handsome boys) were also there for moral support!
Happy December to you! Advent, 2014 is HERE friends! I’m still busily preparing our home with little touches here and there, but I think (for the most part) we are ready. This year we did something different to demonstrate the coming of Jesus; we made Mary “Great with Child!” I am the least crafty person in the world, so I really didn’t know if (or how) we could pull it off. As we began to put our Nativity out and little Gus was asking questions about baby Jesus, my mind was racing for a way to help him more fully understand the journey of the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus. I showed him a picture of me when I was pregnant with him (at 3, I’m not sure how much he understood, but he smiled and nodded and it was very cute). So, we decided to take the baby Jesus and also put him in Mary’s tummy until it was “time” for him to be born.
The belly is made with a tiny Christ child wrapped in lots of teddy bear stuffing to form the belly:) We then placed it in a plastic bag and “shaped” it, and wrapped her in a white dress (the bed skirt from the crib) and tied it with a ribbon. It was nice because we just improvised with the things we had on hand. The best kind of projects are free!:) The kids have all commented on Mary’s new “look” several times, so I feel grateful that has made an impact in a visual way. I also can’t stop singing “Labor of Love” from the Nativity Story. “But the baby in her womb, he was the maker of the moon. He was the author of the faith, that could make the mountains move.” I love that!
In the place of the Christ child in the manger, we’ve replaced it with shepherds and a purple candle crown that I found at JoAnn’s:
Everything has been blessed (it’s raining Holy Water and prayers)!:) The Christmas tree, Advent wreath, and the Nativity. Here’s the prayer we used for the Blessing of the Christmas Crib:
A reading from the prophet Isaiah: (Isaiah 9: 1-2, 5)
Let us pray in silence for the coming of peace into the world and into our home.
Lord, as we pray before this our Christmas crib-shrine and await the feast of the Birth of the Holy Child, call forth the dormant child from within each of us; cause us to wonder and to rejoice again in this most ancient feast.
As the magi came bearing gifts, may we, this Christmas, gift one another with the gold of charity, the myrrh of kindness, and the incense of prayer.
With the shepherds, we come to the birth of Christ seeking a simple celebration, where the greatest gift will be ourselves, given to You, our God, and to each other.
May the star of Bethlehem which shone brightly over the first crib stand guard over our home, filling it and all the earth with light and peace.
(sing Silent Night or another carol)
We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You because by Your holy birth You give hope to all the world.
(Fr. Edward Hays)
The Advent wreath is also up with nightly devotions as we gather and light the candle. It might seem weird, but I truly love the darkened house with nothing but a single flame lighting the room. The kids listen more intently, the mood becomes quiet and contemplative (Hallelujah! Ha ha!) and there is a peace that sets in. For the last several years we’ve used “O Radiant Dawn” by Lisa Hendey for our devotion time.
Each week, each candle has a special symbol and meaning. For more information, please check out my post from last Advent with a detailed explanation. We also plan to do our annual “Bethlehem Lantern Walk” around the neighborhood which I will (hopefully) post! These days, I usually post most everything on Instagram (find me at BrookeTaylor955) or on Facebook. I hope you’ll “Like” the brand new Sacred Sink Facebook page if you haven’t already (and if you have, thank you)!
I wish you a wonderful, holy and happy Advent season. The reminder that no one can outdo God in gifts! And may you experience pure joy and peace this Christmas season. God bless you!