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I’m going to make a confession here. I just wasn’t feeling it before New Years Eve. The thought of making resolutions . . . blah. Whatever. Why? If I’m lucky, I do really well with them for a few weeks. But before too long they’ve gone by the wayside.

Then on January 2, I read a post by one of my writing buddies, Nicole Pyles. In her post, Nicole wrote that she just wasn’t going to make resolutions yet. Why? Because making resolutions when she is off work and has all kinds of free time encourages her to set unrealistic goals. Instead, she would contemplate what she wanted to accomplish in 2023 when she got back to work.

How smart is that?!

So with Nicole’s permission, I didn’t make any huge overarching resolutions for the year. I’m not reading the Bible in one year. I’m not meditating for an hour every single day. Or praying every morning and evening.

Instead, I’m paying attention to right now. When an anthem at church sends a chill up my spine, I thank God for the composer and the singers.

The bird feeders need filling? Instead of rushing outside and doing it so that I can rush back in and do something off a massive to-do list, I spend a few minutes outdoors. I listen to the birds. I watch the dog that lives behind us running about an enjoying the sunshine. And I take a few minutes to enjoy the sunshine as well.

When I throw some craisins on top of the yogurt in my bowl, I say of prayer of thanks for cranberries which I do adore but also my husband who does the shopping.

What do I hope to accomplish with this mindset? Initially, I wasn’t sure. But then I realized. I’d love to work up what I think of as an Irish blessing mentality. It was probably over ten years ago when I helped teach a class on prayer.  One of the types of prayer that we learned about was the Irish blessing.  These simple prayers call down God’s blessing on the everyday. These blessings encourage us to thank God for the little things. Bless this task, bless this house, and bless those who reside within.  

And really, that’s not a bad way to live. So that’s what I’m attempting to do in 2023. To live mindfully, to thank God for what is before me, and to pause a moment in the sunshine.


Practicing what you preach is tough.  But living a life that isn’t aligned with my values?  That’s even harder.

Even when we’re on the road, we don’t eat at Chick-fil-a.  I know, I know.  They donated bottled water and food after the Orlando shootings.  But they also still donate heavily to at least one group that “deprograms” gay teens.  Um.  No.  Not with my money you’re not.  Of course, we eat out so seldom that I don’t think anyone at Chick-fil-a is worried about my stance.  Whatever.  I know.

But it has to be more than what we don’t do.  It has to be reflected in what we do.

My son is all about local restaurants.  His favorite is owned by a Palestinian family.  And clearly they believe in putting their money and efforts behind causes they believe in.  The owner and chef is teaching a cooking class called Tastes of Bethlehem.  It is offered through “The St. Louis Friends of Bethlehem.” This non-profit promotes arts, science and cultural exchanges between St. Louis and Bethlehem to increase understanding and promote peace and harmony.

Practice what you preach.  Do it right and in it looks a lot like living mindfully.




Have a Mary Little Christmas

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