the gift of traditions – a guest post

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The following is written by my friend, Christine Suriano. She and her husband Tony are inspirational models of faith-filled marriage and joy-filled family life. Thank you, Chris! 🙂

Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm, and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught. (2 Thess. 2)

I think there are times we do not hold on to tradition; be it home, family, community, church. It may appear “old-fashioned”, maybe even worthless to some. And, we certainly don’t have time anymore. Do you hear what I hear?

I love the times when we are together and talk starts about what we did when the children were young, or the habits and lifestyles of grandparents and relatives. We laugh heartily, and that seems to bring on yet another story that is even funnier.

Much of what we talk about is how we enjoyed the simple things. Not having a lot of money, we made do. We couldn’t afford hotels and resorts, so we tent camped.  Sue and Chris shared a pair of clogs. The size was in the middle; a bit small for Sue and a bit large for Chris.  Recently, we recounted memories of those who lived with us on a temporary basis. I had forgotten who they were, but we laughed our heads off.

We had the Lent and Advent traditions; both what we did at home and how we recognized the needs of others outside our home. How and why did we keep certain Christmas traditions, especially the tree and the food preparations?

The church was one of the most important places within our family. We shared and cared and were supported by genuine, faith-filled people and clergy.  Taking on any responsibility was expected. Many shared and many gained from these experiences. It was a kind of Kumbaya-time in our lives.

Yes, things have changed over the generations. Change is a challenge, right?  Times are different and there are some traditions we won’t give up.  No matter where our families live, everyone gathers with other family members or neighbors and friends and has the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner.  Our Christmas gifting remains the same. Even though someone might not agree with the chosen charity, it is their choice when it is their time up at bat.

It’s the memories, the traditions that may or may no longer exist, that have brought all of us to where we are as a family. Right here. In this moment in time.  They have helped build relationships that have held true for 30, 40 and 50 years.

For all the above thoughts, emotions and memories, I thank you, God.  You are forever awesome.

May you continue to enjoy your traditions!

when prayers aren’t answered – a guest post

Emily Rose Kirchner, a mother of twins and a freelance writer for Discount Catholic Products, wrote and asked if I am open to guest posts. Of course I am! The more voices, the better the dialogue. Here is Emily’s article, “When Prayers aren’t Answered”.

When Prayers aren’t Answered

Everyone has prayers that don’t seem to be answered—the interview for the Perfect Job doesn’t turn out so great, the spot in the swim team goes to someone else, a loved one’s flight home gets cancelled. We all go through disappointments. What’s more important, however, is how we deal with these situations. Here are a few things we should remember when our prayers go unanswered:

God Always Has a Plan

For you and everyone else, God has a plan. You just have to realize that when He doesn’t give you one thing, He has something else in mind. He may not have sent you this opportunity, but that only means He’s holding another door open for you. What comes next might even be better than you expect.

Tomorrow is a New Day

Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Don’t worry about the prayers that haven’t been answered today; as long as we live and breathe, we have a chance to turn things around. While you may be disappointed today, tomorrow affords us the chance to pick ourselves up and shake off the dust from our stumbles.

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