small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

christmas concert

Today’s small thing: the Notre Dame glee club concert

I’m fairly certain I’ve blogged about this concert almost every year. It’s that good.

The glee club sings a variety of pieces dating back to the 16th century all the way to contemporary times aka a Frozen medley.

I have a fascination with the origins of Christmas songs and also with choral arrangements, so this is the perfect night for me.

Each year they seem to do mostly the same songs and I love hearing the familiar favorites year after year, but this year there was a new one that really spoke to me.

It’s called Lux aurumque and the meaning of the song along with the beautiful sound is striking.

“Light.

Warm and heavy as pure gold

and the angels sing softly

to the new-born babe”

Simple and profound.

Just the way I like it.

Here is a video of the composer directing a ‘virtual choir’ singing the song. Enjoy.

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ponder no.2

The background music: Christmas Piano Favorites from iTunes

The scent: Sage, Mandarin, and Eucalyptus votives from Yankee Candle

The place: My bed, books strewn about and my journal (there might be a pile of clothes too…)

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Here are some reflections and Bible verses I’ve been pondering lately. Take a moment and ponder with me.

The topic: hope

  • “The sufferings of the present time simply don’t compare to the glory to come that will be revealed to us.” –Romans 8:18
  • hope is “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” –Hebrews 6:19
  • “Oh Israel hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.” –Psalm 130:7
  • “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” –Romans 5: 3-5
  • “Trust God and he will help you, make straight your path and hope in him.” –Sirach 2:6
  • Let us learn to abandon ourselves to have total confidence in God, in the big things as in the small, with the simplicity of little children. –In Conversation With God Reflection
  • Hope keeps us moving forward when we’d just as soon give up–The Catholic Youth Bible reflection on Romans 8.
  • Life is something of a mixed bag. There are days of joy, when all seems complete and we are perfectly contented. Then there are days when we feel lost, confused about our purpose, and alone in facing our difficulties. We enjoy happy moments, and those of pain. All are a part of life. While embracing the fullness of this human experience, Paul reminds us that our hope is in something more. There is a longing deep within us–deep within all of creation–for another home. This present world, in all its beauty and wonder, cannot compare with the glory that awaits us in heaven.–The Catholic Youth Bible reflection on Romans 8
  • “Jesus asks for faith in his person, for the complete trust that opens our hearts to his saving and transforming power. Thus, asking for something with faith really means entrusting my needs and my hopes confidently to the One who loves me.” –John Janard, Magnificat Advent Companion

“May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy spirit.” –Romans 15:13

What have you been reading/pondering lately?

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Advent

Today’s small thing: advent

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.

I always love this Advent carol. It is ancient and beautiful and the lyrics are thought provoking. Listening to this today I really started to understand the sentiment of the advent season.

It is a preparation. We are in darkness. We are waiting for the light. We are wandering, searching for hope. Hope is coming. But it isn’t here yet…not until Christ is born. Which is in 14 days.

I feel the exact same way. I’m in darkness. I’m waiting for the light. I’m wandering, searching for hope. I haven’t been able to feel joy lately. I smile sometimes, I laugh periodically. But I haven’t been feeling the joy that everyone claims happens in the ‘holiday season’ leading up to Christmas.

I think I’ve figured out why. Well, one big reason is because Dad isn’t here. But I think another factor is that we’re still in Advent. We’re still waiting, preparing. Christmas is not here yet, and the Joy of Christmas comes when Christmas is actually here, the day of Jesus’ birth.

I know it is just a day, Jesus is already here and all that technical stuff. But the way that we celebrate each year is a reminder of what the first Christmas was like. Everyone was waiting for the Savior, and they didn’t celebrate Him until he was actually among them. And I hope that maybe because I feel so dark, lonely in my grief now, that possibly I feel like many did before Jesus came. And I will feel the joy on Christmas day. Maybe.

I don’t think I’ll be as overjoyed as they were, since I already know He is here, but I think I might be able to find some happiness, even with the huge hole in my heart. Hoping that maybe things will get better. Remembering that the true joy is in the coming of the Savior of the world.

And Dad is with Him.

P.S. All of my posts about my grieving process are meant to help you understand what I’m going through. I need you to know that I am doing the best I can and that it may sound that I’m not doing well, but I’m just being honest about my feelings. Nothing is really going to make me better except time. And the support of you!

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