Posted in Candle, Holidays, Peace, Religion

The candle of Peace

Today we are celebrating the 2nd of Advent. Our first candle, the Prophet’s Candle was lit last week, with the candle standing for hope. Hope, something we all need, hope something we need to believe in and keep alive. Today’s second candle is called the Bethlehem Candle and represent Peace. Also something we all need and Peace is a central theme of the advent season.

Peace is one of those words that people use a lot and depending on what religion and philosophy they follow, peace can vary and be highly different from person to person. Peace is not always associated with our state of the union, with the world or with war. Peace is much greater and it is what we encounter or lack on a daily basis. While world peace is the ultimate goal, peace can also be described as the physically well being of people. We can find ourselves during world peace and still be at war, not feeling peaceful inside.

Peace can come from keeping hope alive, from trusting in all that is and in all that is yet to come. Peace is not just an act, but also a feeling, a state of being. It’s a feeling of harmony, of alignment, of kindness and mindfulness. It’s a feeling of compassion and looking after each other. It’s a feeling of understanding, of patience and of banishing judgement. Peace is universal. It’s a language we all understand and are capable of bestowing through our actions. Christmas is known as a season that is more giving and more forgiving. More random acts of kindness can be found during this time than versus other times. It’s a time when we allow the heart to be involved just a little bit more, and by doing so we might even experience a moment of bliss and satisfaction. Have you noticed how good it feels to give? Have you ever been so excited to gift something that you could hardly wait for the person to unwrap it, so you could see the joy on their face and likewise feel their excitement?

And while we can’t buy gifts to feel these moments all year around, I think there are plenty of other ways we all can contribute to all little more peace for the world, for our neighbors, for friends and family and for ourselves. Challenge accepted while wishing you a week full of peace and hope.

Posted in Christmas, Holidays, Religion

A season of hope

The advent season has started last night and I almost missed it. After a long holiday weekend I felt emotionally and mentally exhausted from my trip into town, providing care, errands and companionship to…let’s just say a friend. I will write more about it when the time is right and the words don’t come by so hard.

You can definitely feel that a new season has begun and Advent is a time to pause and cherish God’s most precious gifts to us. Coffee shops add special items such as peppermint mochas and pumpkin spiced latte’s to their menu, seasonal menu’s are found in restaurants, Christmas music is playing all around us in the shops we visit, we begin to make our wish list, we start to decorate our houses from the inside out and set up our Christmas tree, start buying gifts for family, friends and loved ones and might even find a random act of kindness throughout this pre Christmas time. This is a season for hope and kindness, to show just a little extra care and mindfulness. It’s a season for giving and sharing, especially with the less fortunate ones and those who have less. It’s a season and the anticipation of Christ’s second coming.

Yesterday was the 1st of Advent where we light the first candle. It is known as the Prophet’s candle and it stands for hope. We all have things we hope for. Maybe some of those things will hit your Christmas list and perhaps some of them will appear under your tree, while others are much harder to come by. This is when hope comes in and when we need to let go of stress, worry and even envy. Hope brings meaning and power to our thoughts while carrying us through without despair.

The Christmas/Advent season has always been my favorite holiday. For many years I was unable to enjoy it, working a hectic schedule in retail, ensuring everyone else’s season was perfect while being too exhausted at the end to enjoy my own. Also for many years I missed my home in Germany, being with family and loved ones, celebrating this special time with the same fond childhood memories. With another round of covid surging through Europe my heart feels especially heavy as Christmas markets are cancelled for the second year in a row and shutdowns threaten to be inevitable in the near future. Plus I need to go home and clear/sell a house. All thoughts that weigh heavily on me as I remember for myself to keep hope alive this season and always.

Last night I paused and ditched the plans and chores of what I was going to do. I remembered the 1st Advent and counted my blessings. It felt like a continuation from Thanksgiving but in a more intimate setting. I was alone, besides Cinnamon. I lit a candle, my Prophet’s candle and filled the air with an aromatherapy candle made from ginger, ginseng and honey to promote tranquility. It didn’t take long at all to fill the tiny abode with a fragrant aroma. It was simply wonderful and once again, I sat there in amazement, realizing that I haven’t taken care of myself nearly enough lately, realizing how busy I have been and that these moments of rest, of truly doing ME are so essential and needed. Not only for balance but also for my well being and sanity.

In addition, Christmas music was softly playing in the background while I was sipping hot tea, and soon I decided to make some farmhouse style beaded Christmas ornaments. Creating and crafting is always the ultimate relaxation for me and by the time I was finished, 5 ornaments with little bells were born. They now hang from a smooth branch I was picked up while hiking and it seems they now have found their perfect spot over a doorframe. I hung a banner in black and white houndstooth with deep red letters of “Merry & Bright” from the ceiling, along with a few wooden ornaments from the store. The solar Christmas lights are said to arrive this week and the small pine outside the living room will be decorated as well. Deers pass by my window frequently and I am already imagining a scene where I will see them softly walking through the snow while the lights are lit. Perhaps they will pass as reindeers, we shall see. 🙂