Tuesday, December 20, 2011

C.a.m.e.l - Not Just For The Kings

I've never really thought much about camels before yesterday. Now, I can't quite get them out of my mind. A couple, who I met last year, came into the bookstore yesterday to add pieces to a nativity set and shared with me a family tradition. They have a very large camel (about knee high or more) who stands with a leg relaxed back, head cocked and a large smile upon his face despite the huge burden upon his back. They shared that their family members each give a symposium on a subject around the camel and the best work, wins the camel. The acronym they shared for c.a.m.e.l is Calling All Members to Enjoy Life. As I wrapped their gift, I could not get the image of the smiling camel bearing the huge burden out of my mind. They shared that subjects have been chosen such as marriage and family and work, etc. as in despite any of the huge burdens that may surround our relationships, our lives, our journeys, do we somehow smile and find a way to enjoy life? I will never look at another camel in quite the same way. I can envision the camels (skinny legs and knobby knees) wearing that smile while carrying the Kings with their gifts in all their heavy clothing. And all I could ask myself is How Do I Bear Life's Burdens? Are they truly burdens? Do I smile when I am tired or when I am stressed or when I have what I feel is the weight of the world on me or do I allow others to feel sorry for me? Or worse, do I want them to know I bear the weight so they will be concerned about me? Today, I am Calling All Members to Enjoy Life! Bear burdens with a smile. Take on the weight of your difficulties with grace and humility. People in this world need strong examples of perseverance. Take the challenge. Enjoy life. Everyone wants to be king. Let's get over ourselves. Be the Camel.
Thank you Dr. and Mrs. Donahue www.messengersindenim.org

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You'd think...

You would think that a person working in a Christian Book and Gift Shop during December would have something to blog about everyday. You'd think she would be dying to share all those awesome stories that she hears from customers and from employees and from family. You'd think she would take the time to tell about the visit from Emanuele Fontanini and the request for the city to remove the port-a-john from the parking lot for the day, the visit from St. Nicholas, and I mean St. Nicholas, and the stories told about his life and the families who's lives he has touched, the trip to Memphis to set up a Christmas shop for the students at St. Benedict and St. Francis and the response and remarks of grateful kids and teachers and the constant oooos and ahhhs as customers enter our West End store and spend time and enjoy the season. You'd think that being in the midst of the reason for the season day in and day out would bring about some sort of daily writing but instead it has all made me busy. And I mean a good kind of busy. I am busy doing all the things I need to be doing and I am enjoying it all. I want to write and sit and write some more but I need to keep moving. As I sat with my kids and watched the movie Finding Nemo last night, and I needed to sit and watch that with my family, I was reminded by Dori to, "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming." You see this year although you'd think that I have so much to share and to tell, I think that I have discovered that there is a right time for everything and I have to go with my gut and I believe that my gut is telling me to enjoy what needs to be done. Roll around in it, take time with it, breathe it all in and write about it later. Things may be different tomorrow but for today, just when you'd think I have so much to tell, I am silenced by the season.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lessons From Work

Whether we work inside the house or outside the house or both, our work can teach us many things about life. Our work can teach us virtue in action. Love in action. Christ in action. Our work can teach us about responsibility and relationship, about allowing others to help, about family, about patience, about humility, about listening with the heart, about the importance of the aged, about youth, about the homeless, about passing on gifts, about using gifts, about being gifted.
I am very fortunate in my particular work that I have these opportunities right smack in front of my face. Working in a Catholic bookstore with my family gives me plenty of possibilities for success and for failure. Faith is all around me. We talk about Christ, we share Christ and we often miss meeting Christ face to face because we get wrapped up in ourselves.
Let me start this morning with the lesson of allowing others to do their job. If you are like me, you know that in your workplace you have the capability to do everything. You can do it all. You can work the business, do the bookkeeping, open, close, answer the phone and run errands. You can do anything necessary. But, I believe that we are here on this earth, in this place, in this house or this business to work together. Don't we think that when Jesus became man and went out to preach and to teach that He could have done it all? But, He didn't. He called others to come and to work along side Him so that when His time here was over, His work would continue. It is important, not just for that reason, but also because when we allow others to do the job they believe they were called to do. They too are allowed to have some success in the journey. Our children putting their laundry away, doing their dishes and finishing their chores not only teaches them that they have responsibilities but also gives them self worth. Our co-workers finishing projects and helping customers and serving the needs of other co-workers allows them to have that same sense of self worth. People need to be needed. People need to do their jobs. People need to work together to build what we hope to someday be a better world. Today, we have to let others do what they do. We need to allow others the satisfaction of accomplishing the work for which they have been called. God knows we can do it all but He wants us to work together and to love one another.