All I had to read was Alicia's Welcome Message to know that I was completely pulled in---hook-line-and-sinker---to her new website:
I've had a little time to explore this new website of hers and it does something amazing. Something I've only envisioned in my mind. Something I've tried to capture in my Seasonal Planner in order to give parents/families something to gather up and glean and internalize. Rather than capture our attention with beautiful pictures, which is common nowadays, what captures us first at Alicia's site is the attention to truth thru words.
I'm excited about taking this website apart a little each day and gnawing on every little piece she offers.
We live in such a sad, desperate world. My friends and I have wondered and pondered it together on social media and over the heads of our children, and we contemplate it silently within our homes. And, in the end, we feel we have nowhere to go and nothing to offer.
We fret about the calamity of raising children and grandchildren in this brutal world.
But, in the end, we sigh and do like a host of other citizens. We go on with our lives. We turn back to our kitchen windows.
We make sure our families are fed. We work. We nurse tender young hearts. We read social media. We drink our morning coffee. We turn off the television. We say our prayers. And we go to bed.
I personally find comfort in reading the messages our Holy Father gives us to read. But other than prayer and fasting and heralding us to remain hopeful, one has to decipher the possibilities of what to DO.
It is one thing to act and think and hope and pray. But those things must become good works are they are mere fertilizer heaped on a wagon with unused potential. We can act-think-hope-pray-talk-walk-kneel but what good does that do unless we Live Differently. It is in living differently that shows the rest of the world who we are and who we follow.
I'm afraid, even the good of us, find ourselves stereotyped by prejudices and opinions of the past and others. Do we really, truly walk the walk and talk the talk and live the life we are meant to? Some say others have been brash and rude and intolerant with us so we should be likewise.
But if we are likewise, then we have become like them. Does brash, rude, un-Christian conduct win hearts? souls?
Some people see God in the Storm. There are enough people there to meet them. But that is not my place, nor do I have to make it my place.
When people who lead lives different from me feel able to talk to me or communicate with me through social media, I have to question why they are not approaching the people who are brash and fierce. There is something that makes them comfortable enough to question why I believe what I do...without feeling threatened. We meet in calm waters and, in those waters, I hope they'll let me show them the beauty and fierceness of my Creator.
Alicia's site---Living Differently---is something lovingly do-able that is neither brash or snarky in today's politically incorrect/helicopter hovering/delicate snowflake sensitive world. It's meaningful and simple and matter-of-fact and welcoming.
In this crazy, insanely arrogant, ultra-liberal world; this is more my balance. It's everything (and more) I could have hoped someone would present on the worldwide media.
I've cut down on referring to sites on this blog. I don't refer books anymore, though I would love to do so. My writing here has taken a backseat to real-life family duties, church ministry, and a search for a safe spiritual place in my otherwise busy, turbulent, crowded mid-life years. I'm at largely ok with this. Matter-of-fact, I'm better than ok with it. There are so many things out there. There's enough reading out there, there are way too many clickable links, and other people are more punctual and informative with their reviews than readers waiting on me to follow-up. And I'm blessed to be busy and surrounded by family which pulls me away from blog time.
But I have worried about what God wants of me and where I am called. The new Seasonal Planner allows me the quality and quantity and sharing of something which is precious to me: family life lived within the domestic church and planned throughout the liturgical year. And it's all on paper with just a nice little living room of friends to hold me accountable on this planning pilgrimage: Seasonal Beehive Group
This is where I belong.
In a world where rhetoric rules, Alicia's website is offensive to no one. That, my friends, is pure joy...to click on a site that is not out to win or shout the outcast quiet. She is not out to win any argument or over-debate anyone. She is not for-the-win. In a humble outreach (and I really have no idea what her original intent for the site was/is), she invites us all to
Because it is in living differently that we "win" hearts and souls and lives and we become the people God calls us to be.
I'm thankful for Alicia's work (she's been offering her insight and knowledge in many ways for years) and her sharing it with all of us.
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In addition, here are: