Joy to the World!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer let your petitions be made known to God (Phil 4:4-6).

Gaudete Sunday draws to a close…the third Sunday of our Advent journey.  This weekend was sprinkled with moments of ‘magic’ and I felt such happiness, so it makes perfect sense to me that in fact, we are encouraged to ‘rejoice’ for all of those moments and more!

On Friday evening my daughter Erin and I attended Cayley’s DJD dance performance.  It was so full of life and feeling.  I experienced the energy bursting out of the performers’ bodies as they covered the floor again and again, with extraordinary movement combinations.

Saturday morning, we headed out to browse the second-hand shops and stopped for breakfast at Diner Deluxe on Edmonton Trail where I enjoyed a good cup of coffee and Eggs Benedict with salmon.  I love to hear my daughters’ laughter…it fills me up with this amazing sense of connection.  I’m grateful that this weekend I have had opportunity to hear their laughter.  Next to the Diner Deluxe is the Urban Bakery where I picked up a beautiful loaf of apple rosemary flax sourdough to enjoy with Sunday’s family dinner, a homemade batch of ham and bean soup, prepared by my cousin Margy.  Now, the Urban Bakery is definitely on my list of places to pick up wonderful baking of every sort!  I enjoyed throwing frisbee for Max in the back alley when we returned home.  Snow was beginning to fall, the Christmas lights plugged in and the air was not exceedingly cold.  It had been a ‘magical’ day.  Rejoice!

Today the pink candle was lit at St. Albert the Great Parish and we celebrated a beautiful Mass as a community.  Father Jerome’s homily really hit home for me as he described that we are the Advance Guard, making straight the path to our Lord.  I’m afraid that this single sentence doesn’t in any way describe the depth of the message that I took home with me, but I simply want to record that I was both moved and filled with joy as I left Mass today.  I took with me, responsibility.

The snow was coming down hard by the time I headed out to meet friends at Heritage Park for brunch and a hay ride.  Once I was off the roads though and entered into the park, I felt as though I was in another world.  Everything slowed down and it felt remarkably like ‘Christmas’.  It was so good for my heart to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in such a long while…to share good food with them…and to rekindle the Christmas spirit with one another.  The sound of the jingle bells will stay with me throughout this week!  Rejoice!

This evening,  I met up with Mom for our skype-date and I chose to sing Silver Bells as our evening Christmas carol.  Mom joined me on the chorus and I absolutely treasured that!

City sidewalk, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there’s
A feeling of Christmas.

Children laughing, people passing,
Meeting smile after smile,
And on every street corner you’ll hear:

Silver bells, silver bells,
It’s Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.

As we gathered around the feast table for family-dinner and shared in our soup, bread and apple crisp, I felt as though the weekend had been a huge gift to me.  I shared in so many warm and wonderful conversations with my dearest friends and family.  This was indeed, a weekend of JOY and REJOICING!  I do not take any of this for granted, but thank God for so many blessings!

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