Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

     We have a family tradition. At dinner, we go around the table and state our "Highs and Highers." It used to be "Highs and Lows," but the lows lent a negative aspect to our conversation. One Lent we started the new version, for example, substituting "I need to pray for the kid who wants to pick fights in school," rather than, "So-and-so picked on me again," and it stuck. When there are visitors the tradition is explained and they are welcome to join in or pass. Most join in.

     Bobby is from Thailand and is Buddhist. His Highers are thought provoking. Some of our little boys will say things like, "Jesus told me to listen better." We smile. Jim, two, just likes to say, "In my heart!" We all coo and he hugs whomever is closest. Many times they'll say that they want to be more thankful for family, or for all that they have. Bobby said the other day simply, "It is better to give than to get." Today his Higher was, "We need to remember the reason for our celebrations...and that giving is better."

      Tonight the older children are going to a Benedictine Abbey for Christmas Eve. They will be invited back to the Monk's private dining room for homemade cookies and eggnog. The monks will share their food and laughter and will break into song. Their lives are full of prayer and work and giving. "Ora et Labora."

     Bobby ran out of the house this morning, with flipflops and no coat, into the new-fallen snow. He's never seen a snowfall before. He's almost sixteen but he looked like a five-year-old with sheer delight. It was a treat to watch. We have been blessed with really great foreign exchange students. It is true what Bobby said in his Higher, about giving. It was said thousands of years ago by someone whose birthday we celebrate today. One who taught us that in giving we receive treasure from Him, and peace and joy on Earth.

     May God bless you. We pray especially for those whose loved ones are deployed, or who have passed away, and those who are lonely, sad, scared or suffering. May you know God's comfort and peace.

Merry Christmas,

from the Abbey Farm

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