A quick search of holidays falling this time of year includes:
- Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
- Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
- St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
- Hanukkah (Jewish)
- Christmas Day (Christian)
- Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
- Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
- Kwanzaa (African American)
- Omisoka (Japanese)
Wow! So many reasons to celebrate no matter what culture you are from.
My family happens to celebrate Christmas, and because it is one of the few times my kids and I actually make it to a church, it gives us a lot to discuss! Everything from the oration skills of the minister, the choice of floral decorations, to the actual sermon itself gets scrutinized in the car on the way home.
I consider myself to be a very spiritual person who lives her life always with the intention of becoming more of the “woman that God would have me be”. That is often my prayer, when life seems overwhelming and I feel lost, small, isolated, and afraid. I pray to God to help me to be the woman that he would have me be.
During the holiday season I see people all around me get so caught up in the hustle and the spending that they start to lose sight of what the Christmas season represents.
For me, it represents the agreement between Mary and God to bring forth the Savior and Light of the World. Imagine how she must have felt!! Imagine the courage and the bravery she embodied in order to answer a calling that would impact all of the Christian world forever. (And some of us are afraid of speaking in public! HA!)
I feel our saddest days are those when we forget that we are all a part of God (spirit, source, Universal energy, whatever you are comfortable saying). We mistakenly start to think we are somehow separate from God, from others, from love. But just like waves comprise the whole of the ocean, each one of us comprises the holy spirit and God made manifest here on Earth. Jesus was just like you and I. A mortal man. In celebrating his birth on Christmas, however, we acknowledge that he was able to transcend the fears and judgements that WE experience as mortal humans. Instead, he was able to see with the eyes of God.
This is what I pray for as well. To see the truth and the beauty in everyone. To forgive as quickly as I can, not only myself, but others and injustices I see on the news. I pray to be more like Jesus, which is to say, more of how God would have me be.
So, on Christmas, let us all do everything we can to see the best in others, to forgive past debts, to look optimistically to the future, but most of all, to BE in every moment the person that God would have you be.
All my love,
PS – All that spirituality can really work up an appetite! Save yourself the trouble of cooking on Christmas morning by prepping this Mexican Breakfast Bake casserole the night before!!
Mexican Breakfast Bake from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age
Simple ingredients magically create this make-ahead scrumptious easy breakfast casserole recipe and fulfilled everyone’s expectations in my house.
Makes 8-10 servings
1 (4-ounce) can green chilies
8 ounces ground breakfast turkey sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 red, green, or yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 egg whites
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
5 (8-inch) 98% fat-free flour tortillas, cut into quarters
1. Coat 13x9x2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread green chilies along bottom of dish.
2. In large nonstick skillet, cook and crumble sausage until starts to brown. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until sausage is done and vegetables tender. Add garlic and chili powder. Remove from heat and cool.
3. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, and half-and-half; and in another bowl, combine green onion and cheese.
4. Spoon one-third of sausage mixture over chilies in baking dish. Top with one-third tortilla quarters and one-third cheese mixture. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole and refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours or overnight.
5. Preheat oven 350°F. If using glass baking dish, place in cold oven. Bake 50-60 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown or knife inserted into custard comes out clean.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 262 Calories from fat 28% Fat 7g Saturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 129mg Sodium 578mg Carbohydrate 23g Dietary Fiber 2g Sugars 5g Protein 18g Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 1/2 lean meat