On the 12th Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to Me:

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​ …Twelfth Night.

After college, I was fortunate enough to meet some people and get involved in a historical reenactment group. We’re still family but I miss the day to day. Facebook is not an adequate substitute.

We held events, most were annual favorites, and one of the ones I loved was Twelfth Night. It was when we exchanged gifts for the holiday season.

I didn’t pay much attention to why we did our “Christmas” later despite doing ridiculous amounts of research into my Welsh persona. I think I just thought that everyone was busy with their mundane lives and this was when we all got together as a medieval family again.

It wasn’t until later, teaching, reading about a multitudes of December holidays, and really looking at the liturgical calendar that I noticed that Twelfth Night falls on the twelfth day of Christmas, Three Kings Day, the Epiphany.

Everything makes sense now.

Well, not everything, but this does.

And since that journey of the three wise men and others who are not so lauded or remembered, more than I can count have journeyed to meet the Christ child. We can’t all go to Bethlehem, but He will meet us where we are, and he does.

On the 11th Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to Me:

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…The Unexpected.

Waiting in line today, I did a thing.

I don’t want to talk about the thing because it was a small thing, it was a kind thing, it was a spontaneous thing, and talking about the actual thing sounds like I’m asking for a pat on the back, which in reality I don’t deserve. It really was that small.

So I did a thing, a good thing, a random acts kind of thing.

The woman was surprised.

I was surprised at my stepping forward so publicly.

The people between us weren’t quite sure what to make of it. They could have done the thing, but it didn’t occur to them. That’s not a value judgment. I went back and forth for what seemed like a long time deciding if I wanted to go ahead and draw the attention to myself. That’s just how it is for all of us. We’re going about our days, and the opportunities arise. We either take them or we don’t. It doesn’t actually matter either way, but what happened today was – 

The Unexpected.

The woman received something unexpected that wasn’t about the specific thing, but about something else, and I received something unexpected as well. 

We shared this moment, but it wasn’t just our moment. It was her toddler son and her husband across the way. It was the women between us, and the women behind the counter; a moment shared by all.

A shared thing.

I didn’t realize how good it would make me feel. It wasn’t hubris or pride, but it was that I did something that made someone else’s life a tiny bit easier, and it made my life a bit better and positive.

So when the moments appear, do the thing.

On the 10th Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to Me:

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Quiet.

Peace.

A little time.

I missed the eighth day of Christmas yesterday, and I apologize. I try to keep a series on track as best as I can. I’ve been ill since New Year’s, and then yesterday when I was feeling slightly better, my daughter passed out at school. No worries. It was a combination of not enough sleep, no breakfast, and overheating during gym class. She’s fine and she’s back at it. In fact, after a lie-down with me yesterday, she was already back at it. Her birthday is tomorrow, and she has plans. There is nothing that will get in this little girl’s way.

So today, I’m in recovery mode. List mode. Balance the checkbook.

Stay quiet.

Stay peaceful.

Take a little time.

There are only a few more days left in my Advent/Christmas reflection book and today I’m going to meditate on their suggestion of how I discerned my vocation and my call to follow Christ, and which people mediated that call.

Possibly to be continued with a reflection.

🙂

On the 8th Day of Christmas, my True Love gave to Me:

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…a new year’s cold.

Why do they call it a cold when it gives you a fever?

Bones mini-marathon.

I love having enough writing and reading experience that I can come in in the middle of a story arc, and pick it up as if I’ve been watching it from the beginning.

It makes sick days very convenient. LOL.

On the 6th Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to Me:

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…more snow, a Walking Dead marathon on AMC, and a New Year to be better in.

Tonight we’ll look back and collect our thoughts, gather our prayers, and look forward. 2017 is less than fourteen hours away, and the work’s not done. 2016 was extraordinarily difficult for several of us, and 2017 won’t miraculously be easier, but it will be, and so we need to be open to it.

Are you open to it?

On the 5th Day of Christmas, My True Love gave to Me:

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​…gumption.

This is disguised as a book rec. Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers by Nick Offerman. It is funny, historical and biographical, autobiographical, serious and not, and there is quite a bit of language, both of the English and the salty variety.

Comedian and all around great guy, Nick Offerman profiles many gentlemen and gentle-ladies who have that one thing that lets them hit their goals and more importantly to keep getting back up when the lemonade stand knocks them down. Making lemonade is fine, but adding a shot of whiskey is better. I think Mr. Offerman would agree with me.

Oxford Dictionaries defines gumption as:

shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness

A few synonyms are: ingenuity, imagination, acumen, practicality, spirit, pluck, courage, moxie, spunk, and my favorite: wherewithal.

In total, in addition to an epilogue and a bonus chapter, there are twenty-one profiles, some you’d expect: Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Benjamin Franklin as well as founding father, George Washington, and some you might not expect: Conan O’Brien, Carol Burnett, and Willie Nelson.

Those last three speak directly to my prejudices. Despite loving many celebrities, finding inspiration in them, and respecting them, I am still under the impression that they and celebrities of all types are expected to be more because they do more. Or rather, they do more publicly, and often hide their hardships, not always because of shame, but because of being so far ih the past as to not talk about anymore. They appear to just do it, which I suppose defines those with gumption better than the Oxford Dictionary.

Just get it done.

When you’re a kid that phrase usually means clean your room, finish the dishes, put away the groceries, but responsibilities foster more responsibility.

Some shrug off the fall; others cry, but they all get up and make a new plan.

That, my friends, is gumption.

Read the book, learn something new, meet someone new in its pages, and find out where your gumption is and how to find it; to reach it.