The First Holy Night

Today is a day of celebration for many Christians in the Western World – Christmas Day culminates weeks of planning, giving gifts, fasting – into a festive day of celebrating light coming into the world. The Council of Tours in 567 AD proclaimed the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany as a sacred and festive time, contrasted with the preparation of Advent.

This is a time seen as a thin veil perhaps between the spiritual and earthly planes, and a time to divine inner wisdom and listening as we look forward to the year ahead. Within the darkness of winter, a bit of light is emerging if only we care to find it. Energetically, we are wrapping up the year and looking ahead to what will serve us and humanity best. This experience of Christmastide is to examine the depths of our own soul.

Today is about Light in its many forms. My favorite is the beginning of the Book of John, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (ESV version). I also enjoy the beautiful version of this passage in The Message translation.

Every night during the 12 Holy Nights I am journaling. My questions for tonight to myself are:

How am I (are we) a light to others?

How am I (are we) a light in the darkness?

How will I (will we) hang onto light in a tenacious way through the ups and downs of the year? This, to me, is the intertwining of a more anthroposophical look into the Holy Nights on this day as we look at this Holy Night representing the month of January and with that the planetary influences we see in January.

How do I (will we) become self confident, practical in our goals for the year and sustain meeting these goals in a patient way?

On this note of goals, I chose a word for 2023, “BOLD”. Then I took this word and thought of ways I would like to live my life more boldly than before. This came down to areas of personal health, family and relationships, faith, work and finances, our farm. This made it easier to see a vision in each area and how to break down these ideals into smaller and not overwhelming goals.

You might ask why there isn’t a homeschool goal listed? This is simply because homeschooling is to me an extension of the health of our family and the health of our relationships. So homeschooling is in those categories.

The last thing about this day is that perhaps this is a day of community, family, joy, relaxation, laughter – how will this play out in the year? How can we include more of these qualities in our year to come?

Thinking and pondering with you,

Carrie

Finding Peace In Our Homes

The idea of light and festivals of light during this season is perhaps as old as mankind. Making light in the darkness and the union of light all over the world to carry goodness is a picture I have in my head of this time of year.

It begins in our homes. If our homes are not peaceful, we cannot peacefully connect as a family.

What is stealing your peace?

Is it the physical environment of your home? Are you a visual person who needs a peaceful place for your eye to rest? I think social media is overrrated and has lulled us into thinking people have beautiful, perfect, barely lived in homes but there is something to be said for a clean, comfortable, organized place to rest and rejuvenate.

Is it sniping at each other, side comments, yelling? Some personalities or temperaments love to have the last word, or love to bicker. You can stop it in your tracks by not participating! Set down the rules of how you would like to communicate as a family.

Is there no peace because everyone is running off in different directions? Are you never together? Can you plan for being together for meals or for a family night? Can you include your teen’s friends or your young adult’s significant others?

Is your lack of peace due to finances? That is hard, because the price of everything is high right now in the United States. I have an entire pinterest board devoted to saving money. Let’s prioritize the simplicity of being together over things. And let’s not limit ourselves in terms of beliefs surrounding money or what we can do with our time. Many of work and homeschool, and many of us have teens who are working. The teens in our family always work outside the home, so something to consider is how money and employment fit into your family structure when you have older children.

Is there no peace because you are anxious or depressed? Counseling is for everyone! Taking care of our health is imperative. Hydration, sleep, whole food nutrition, exercise, sunshine, nature. We cannot lead our families if we are drowning. Do what you need to – find a sliding scale counselor, talk to someone, work with a life coach or a health coach. It is worth your peace!

Are you anxious because you have no community? It is a lot of work, but you can form a homeschool group or a book club or a hiking club or whatever it is that would bring you some joy!

This season of light, let’s get “unstuck” so we can face 2023 in a bold way!

Blessings and so much love,

Carrie

PS. I have had a few questions about parenting and homeschooling consults. I am not taking any consults until after January 6th, but do feel free to reach out and get on my schedule. Blessings!