Fast Friday Facts!

Everyone! I’m participating in the “Seven Quick Takes” for Friday…just because. Woo hoo!

— 1 —

It needs to be known that I have a super cute guinea pig. Super cute. She greeted me at the door this week, on Paul’s shoulder like a little pirate-parrot-hybrid.
Paw

— 2 —

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Nicholas, that one man we know as “St. Nick” or “Santa Claus.”

I told one of my coworkers about the tradition of finding gifts in your shoes on the Feast Day of St. Nicholas–and he had never heard of it! Maybe this is a European tradition that some don’t know about?

Anyway, it’s a tradition for children to find gifts, chocolate coins, or oranges in their shoes on December 5th in several European countries.

So today the coworker told me that something was bothering his foot today, so he took off his shoe and found…a nickel! We both laughed and said, “Oh, St. Nicholas found you!”

And I thought it was funny that it was a NICKEL. C’mon…nickel…Nicholas…you must see this! πŸ˜€

Christine and D.J. with Mrs. Claus at a holiday festivity.
Christine and D.J. with Mrs. Claus at a holiday festivity. Mrs. Claus is a newer addition to the lore.

You know what else is funny? How people abridge stories to tell children. The real St. Nicholas is credited with giving gifts to children because once there was a man who couldn’t pay dowries for his daughters, and they were to be sold to slavery/ prostitution. St. Nicholas heard about this and gifted the family so the daughters wouldn’t need to end up in that situation.

Not exactly a kid story, huh?

st-nicholas-heretics-presentsAlso, yesterday the Archbishop mentioned St. Nicholas challenged the heresy of Arius, that Jesus was created by God. In fact, at one Council St. Nicholas addressed his frustration by punching Arius in the nose!

I do not believe violence is the answer to frustrations. However, this meme is pretty humorous. πŸ˜€

— 3 —

It’s Advent. I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job at “Advent.” We don’t even have candles, by golly!

My little candle
My little candle
I had the youth group kids make little magnets out of clothespins…painted to look like candles, though. I have one, too.

The theme of the first week of Advent is “hope.”

Hope.

Do you feel hopeful?

What do you think it was like to wait for years and years for the promised Messiah?

If you want to be awesome, the Pope’s wrote a letter on Hope…and it was so good. I started rereading it this week. Didn’t finish, but that’s OK.

He quotes an awesome St. Josephine Bakhita, who encountered God after being enslaved for years:
I am definitively loved and whatever happens to meβ€”I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.

(So good, right??)

— 4 —

I’m still working on the Camino.
Still concerned about the Camino.
Still trusting God about the Camino.

It’s not easy stuff throwing your hands up and being like, “OK, God, everything just needs to be in Your hands!”

But, it’s beautiful when I start to see things happen that I never would have imagined let alone would been able to accomplish myself.

— 5 —

From middle school through high school my science was taught by one particular mom, Mrs. S., who had a son around my same grade. Last night my mother was like, “Mrs. S. is graduating tomorrow, you should stop by and watch the ceremony.”

So, I told my boss and ducked out from work for an early lunch. Well, “ceremony” turned out to be “DISSERTATION.” Holy cow, you guys. I prayed the meter police wouldn’t find me and listened to her PHENOMENAL presentation on embryonic stress (right? Are those the correct terms?). She had illustrations of cells and pictures of her processes…and I was like, “GOOD GRAVY I NEED TO GET A GRADUATE DEGREE.”

It’s not like I know what I would pursue, OK? It’s just she had such grace and poise that it was inspiring.

— 6 —

This ornament is so cute with Santa flying over the city. The neighborhood where he is flying reminds me of the neighborhood where I work.
This ornament is so cute with Santa flying over the city.
I decorated our lobby at work, a process that involves me and many heavy boxes and several different floors.

But, do you know what’s fun? Pulling out Christmas things that you’d forgotten about. It’s like finding old friends, OK?

One of my favorite sets of ornaments from my work are four bulbs, white with a gold city skyline painted on top. In the sky, Santa flies overhead.

The neighborhood where he is flying reminds me of the neighborhood where I work. I love it! I hope that Christmas spirit reaches into the corners of this beautiful but broken place as well. πŸ™‚

(For the record, my fav ornament at home is a silver mosaic-ed star…what’s yours?)

— 7 —

GIFT BAG WITH THE BEST LOTION! (And newly-decorated tree in the background!)
GIFT BAG WITH THE BEST LOTION! (And newly-decorated tree in the background!)
When I started this blog post I didn’t have a seven.

But then a strapping young man stopped by my work and gave me lotion. “From my blog readers.”

How good! Thank you, blog readers! My hands are so soft already. πŸ˜€

I appreciate your big hearts!

Friends encounter St. Nick at the Holiday Festival. There was no punching of noses. I had the kids present their shoes, so St. Nick could remember to fill them later!
Friends encounter St. Nick at the Holiday Festival. There was no punching of noses. I had the kids present their shoes, so St. Nick could remember to fill them later!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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