The Twelve Days of Christmas

Merry Christmas! I have a gift for all my readers, a book of reflections to help you focus on continuing the Christmas celebration for all twelve days.

Based on an almost certainly inaccurate but still fun interpretation of the traditional carol’s lyrics, this eBook contains reflections and prayers written by members of Everyday Ediths (I am one of them and have submissions therein) and compiled by Anni Harry.

You are free to download this, print it, and pass it around any way you like. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for reading Life in Every Limb.

Download your copy HERE.

Check out the contributors’ Facebook pages below:

Sweeping Up Joy
A Beautiful, Camouflaged Mess of A Life
Not So Formulaic by Ginny Kochis
Pinot Noir and Prayers
Under Thy Roof
A Drop in the Ocean
Life in Every Limb

I Don't Want Your Freedom

Read the title.  Can you hear George Michael (RIP) singing?  Is the song stuck in your head now?  Because it’s been stuck in mine for the past couple of days as I contemplated this month’s theme!
I’m not sure what George Michael intended to convey in the song, but it got me thinking.  When my husband and I were married, someone thought it was hilarious to bring a ball and chain to the reception and attach it to his ankle.  I was not amused.  Which, however, leads me to another song, this one by Paul Overstreet and aptly entitled Ball and Chain.  The relevant lyrics are: Love don’t feel like a ball and chain to me; when I’m close to you my heart feels wild and free.
Read the rest at Everyday Ediths!

A Different Image of Catholic Femininity

If you ask someone to choose an illustration of “Catholic femininity” what do you think they might describe?
An aproned Mother in a kitchen surrounded by a small army of well-behaved children?
A traditionally habited nun, eyes downcast in prayer?
A modest school girl with a plaid skirt covering her knees?
An elderly lady kneeling in a pew, clutching her rosary?
A statue of the Blessed Mother?
Read the rest at Everyday Ediths.

Womanhood: Made in God's Image

In my first religion class as a freshman at Knoxville Catholic High School, I was introduced to the concepts of literalism and contextualism in interpreting the Bible.  I was excited to learn about all the symbolism in the Genesis creation stories, some of which directly relates to the passage above.
Our textbook said when the Biblical writer said that Eve was created from Adam’s rib, he wanted to express that she was equal in dignity with Adam–not from his head to rule over him, not from his feet to be trampled on.
Read the rest at Everyday Ediths!

Fighting Fear with Faith

Before the last couple of years, worry and anxiety were never challenges for me.  I have the kind of mind that just doesn’t hold on the those kinds of things.  Unlike my husband, who is consumed with worry pretty much all the time, making him miserable, I have always been able to put problems aside to deal with whatever is right in front of me.
But more recently, I’ve suffered from anxiety of the free-floating variety.
Read the reset at Everyday Ediths.

Sacrificing Lent

Maybe the problem is that I have always enjoyed Lent just a little too much.  I’ve actually looked forward to it with excitement, thought of it as a challenge, taken on some serious disciplines and stuck to them.
But it was last year at this time that I realized that Lent wasn’t meant to be an endurance test, that unless I offered up my sacrifices in prayer, they weren’t helping me grow in holiness.
It was a lesson learned the hard way, as the Lent I wanted fell prey to the Lent God sent me.
Read the rest at Everyday Ediths.

The Power of Love

“For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
There was once a sad and solitary man named Mr. Hatch.  He lived alone, had no friends, and led a lonely, routine existence–until one Valentine’s Day he received a gift.  It wasn’t so much the giant box of candy that changed his life as it was the anonymous note enclosed:  “Somebody loves you!”
Read the rest at Everyday Ediths.

Modern Manifestations: Encountering Christ Today

Going back again to the historical event–imagine the wise men, weary with their long journey, seeing that star growing closer and closer, finally beholding the infant king, being able to present their gifts to Him!  It was the culmination not just of a physical journey, but of years of studying and waiting and no doubt praying.  Don’t you wish you could have been there?
That first manifestation of Christ can seem very long ago and out of reach to us, especially once the Feast of the Epiphany is over and the manger scene has been put away.  For insight into how we might encounter Him today, we can find clues in the story of the Other Wise Man.
Read more at Everyday Ediths.

The Joy of Children

Children don’t have to be reminded to be joyful.  Children find joy everywhere, effortlessly.  Think of all the viral videos of babies laughing at everything from funny faces to paper tearing.  Too bad that we grow up and away from joy and into worry and distress.  Joy ceases to be an everyday thing.  It becomes something to be found in only the most extraordinary events–a wedding, the birth of a child.   And yet if the joy of the Lord is meant to be our strength, surely adults need it as much or more than children do?
Read more here.

Counting Blessings: On Giving Thanks in Difficult Circumstances

Whenever I think about gratitude, I always come back to one Bible verse:  “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:18)
I first heard this verse a long time ago, and it wasn’t at Mass or in religion class.  I was ten years old, and for our reading class everyone was supposed to adapt a scene from a favorite book into a play.  I attempted a scene from The Hobbit, and it was a failure.  But my best friend chose a scene from Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place, a book which I would go on to read several times.  She asked me to appear in her scene, playing Corrie’s sister, Betsie.
You can read the rest here.