Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Mince Alors! It's the 200th Hodgepodge!

1. What is something in your life right now that feels a little 'hodgepodge'?

Our meal "plan". When I had six people to feed every night, I usually had a plan and we all ate the same thing.  A 9x13  was the regular size dish I used. Or a full crockpot. Or my 12" skillet. But now that there are just three of us, we typically have leftovers and my guys are easy to please. What's for dinner, you ask? Lasagna, chicken and dumplings, and crab soup, that's what. Sometimes I'll even say, "We're hodgepodging it tonight." And I watch my son reach for the
cereal, my hubby for yesterday's meatloaf, and me for the eggs and
pancake mix.

2. What does 'peace on earth, goodwill to men' mean to you?

Oh, boy, this is a PhD question at 7 a.m. and my brain is still in kindergarten. Can I give the kindergarten answer? "Peace on earth means everybody just gets along, and goodwill to men is the cheap store my dad shops at on Super Saturday for two-dollar shirts."  

 But my PhD answers includes the fact that peace is not contrived on earth, is not the absence of conflict, but Jesus is our Prince of Peace. He is Peace and he gives it through forgiveness of our sins, through simple prayers we pray for peace in our struggles, through scripture that assures us that he will never leave us nor forsake us. It is from that peace that goodwill to men actually flows. If you have peace, you won't fret, fuss, fear, demand your own way, insist on being right. Rather, you will desire the good of everyone, the blessings and not the curses for them.

3. Which edible treat you are most looking forward to sampling this December?

The cookies that my friend Bonnie and her girls drop off every year to neighbors. 

As a trio, they spend hours and hours making sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies,  and peanut butter cookies, and then deliver them on cute plates with homemade cards. It's always a surprise which night they arrive, and the cookies never last long

4. It's that most wonderful time of the you agree, and if so why is it so wonderful?  If not, what would you say is the most wonderful time of the year?

It's wonderful when circumstances in one's life are wonderful, but for many people Christmas is like a neon sign whose message blinks "Sadness Here," or "Lonely, Party of One," or "Dysfunction Junction."   

I am going to say something here that I told my sister, which probably won't sit well with everyone. But even as a Christian, I have come to believe that Christmas is not nearly so much about celebrating the birth of Christ as much as it is an emphasis on gift-giving.  When people have money and can buy gifts because they want to, or to save face, or because they'll be receiving gifts, they feel okay. But when hard times hit or the family dynamics are terrible and no one can or wants to give gifts, the "wonderful" is nowhere to be found.  When Christmas reminds us of the people we've lost, where's the wonderful? On a personal level, it hurts that my parents stopped celebrating Christmas a long time ago and decided to go with Hanukkah, which I don't celebrate. It's complicated, and not so wonderful.

Besides, the day after Christmas often is a let-down. 

I personally like Easter better.  While Christmas puts the focus on Christ's birth, it doesn't mean much without knowing that Jesus came to die--and to be resurrected--as the only way for us to have peace with God.  To celebrate the risen Lord with other believers is the absolute best. No letdown the day after Easter. 

5. What was the last word you looked up in a dictionary 

(actual or online) and why?

Mince alors. Why? Because I posted on Facebook that I had checked out at Home Depot in a self-checkout lane , and for fun I used the French language button.  When my friend Glen in Belgium read that, he wrote "Mince alors..." for my brave attempt.

 "Mince alors" literally means "thin then" which is senseless, so I looked for another translation . It also means "wow."  

6. Besides a Christmas tree, what is your favorite thing to decorate this time of year?

Are you assuming I like to decorate my tree? No, I like having it done, but not doing it since the chore has turned into a solo venture.

What I do enjoy decorating all my myself is my dining room table.  I love a pretty centerpiece, nice dishes, sparkling silverware, flickering candles, cloth napkins, the whole bit.

7. Share one thing you've learned (about yourself, people, or anything at all) in the Wednesday Hodgepodge, or through blogging in general.

One thing? Mince alors, it's hard to narrow it down to just one. But I'll say I've learned that I find myself truly caring about a handful of bloggers whom I regard as friends.  To share their joys and sorrows, to pray for them, to enjoy their posts and pictures, to read their comments, to get their opinions, advice, or perspectives on things I need help with--those are all things I enjoy about my "real life" relationships.  I would sincerely miss and be saddened by the loss of any of my blogging friends.

FYI this is Blog Post 2025 for A Penchant of Pens which began in 2005.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I posted last week in the morning that the search for my daughter's friend's sister  Jessica (33) was still on .She had disappeared on Friday, Nov 21.   I am beyond sick and grieved to report that Jessica Padgett was found dead Wednesday the 26th--which happens to be MY sister's birthday, so it affected me even more, the day before Thanksgiving. Jessica's stepfather confessed to raping and murdering her and then burying her body under the shed.    What a sick and evil man!

Every single day, many times  a day, my thoughts go to the family, my prayers for her husband, three kids, her mom and dad, her stepmom, her sister and brother, her best friends, her daycare co-workers and children who loved her.  It is in times like these I have to cling to my Prince of Peace and trust that vengeance is His.

I didn't want to end on a down note, but the reality is that I can't fathom what every day, and every holiday, and every birthday (December 15th), will feel like for Jessica's family.
Please pray right now before popping over to someone else's HP.


Cranberry Morning said...

Wow, for so early in the morning, you came up with some pretty great PhD answers! :-) It is true that our society totally hijacks Christmas and turns it into a huge ungodly and selfish party. And we do need to reach out to those who suffer at this time of year, whether from tragedy, poverty, or loneliness. I enjoyed reading your answers to the Hodgepodge!

Sally Henry said...

Oh sweet friend... I have been praying for Jessica's family ever since I heard the news. And for you. And for everyone who is dumbfounded at this horrific event. Sigh. Come, Lord Jesus... Come. Bring peace. Bring comfort. Take every tear shed, every wailing heart... my heart is heavy this morning.

But on a much lighter note, I hereby vow to use the term "Mince Alors" in conversation today - lets see what my office coworkers think of that! Knowing them, knowing me, they will simply shake their heads and walk away at me, chuckling as they often do!

April said...

Just heartbroken to hear the news about Jessica. Evil lurks everywhere. Prayers for all who loved her.

Joyce said...

So sad to hear about Jessica. Some things in this world just cannot be explained or understood. May the peace of Christ flood the hearts of her family.

So happy to know you through our blogs : )

Lea said...

How very, very sad! May the peace of God carry through as no one else can.

Glad to have you among my great "blogging buddies."

Marla said...

December 15th is also my birthday. No need to say I will be thinking of that family without their daughter this birthday and all the days after. So sad. Yes, evil in this world. Thankfully, we know evil will NOT win. God prevails.

Jhona Oberholtzer said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of a precious daughter. I will remember to pray for her family and friends. Your honesty was refreshing and I agree with your sentiments about the holiday. I do love Christmastime and I work very hard to keep our focus on Christ and not the commercialization of it. You really have my mind and heart thinking. Thank you! Praying as soon as I hit enter.

Sally Henry said...

OK, so I DID use "mince aloes" in conversation on Wednesday... and my coworkers just kind of looked at me funny and went on with their conversation. Harrumph. So, I persevered and used it that night in the car with my Little C. He stopped and said "Huh?" to which I was so proud to explain that "Mince Alors" means "WOW!" in French... and he replied, "Well then why don't you just say "Wow"? that's what I get for trying to expand their word vocabulary horizons. Sheesh!

Zoanna said...

Hilarious! I can just hear him saying that .