‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Monday, January 02, 2012

2012 - The Year of Stark-N*ked Blessings

We've all heard the somber warnings about 2012. End of the world. Apocalypse. Yada yada yada. I tend to think that those Mayans -- and all those other forward-thinking ancients who made prophecies about 2012 -- were intuiting about big changes. MONUMENTAL changes.

Humanity as a whole seems ever inclined to painfully slow growth. Like continental drift slow. But, you have to admit, there are times in history when we seem to take huge leaps forward. My guess hope is that all those prophecies and prognostications signal that kind of a leap, and I'm hoping it's of a spiritual nature. A collective reaching up towards Love.

Anyway, if truth be told, I am a little superstitious when it comes to New Year's Day. I always see the happenings of the first day as somewhat symbolic of the year ahead. (Blame my Irish grandmother.) That is why I was pretty darn agitated when our day started with a lot of frustration and obstacles -- the alarm failed to go off, I woke up to a zit on my chin (a zit at my age?), our fridge was empty, all our favorite breakfast places were closed for the holiday, the car engine light went on...you get the picture.

So I told Nastia about my little weird superstition as we drove to the mall, and she laughed at me.

'Oh mom, you're soooo crazy. You're just grumpy. Look for the good stuff!'

And so, as we walked into Sears to buy our new vacuum cleaner, we saw an elderly lady standing unsteadily at the bottom of the stairs we were about to descend. She was smiling right at us.

'Seeeeee.....?' whispered my daughter.

We started walking down the stairs as she walked up. Her smile breathed new life into my day. I was feeling hopeful, jubilant even. As we met in the middle, the smiling woman stopped to catch her breath and addressed us . 'Don't ever get old, you two. It stinks. It REALLY REALLY stinks!' And she continued up the stairs as my daughter fell into a fit of laughter.

Later, as we left the store using those same stairs, Nastia recounted the story of the old lady and laughed. 'Mom, she probably said that just because you were looking for the bad. You gotta look for the good, like me!'

My daughter, buoyant with her new-found optimism, runs to hold open the door for a young mother dragging a perturbed-looking toddler by the hand. As the door opens, we hear the boy mid-tantrum:

'I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU!' He is directing this tirade at his mother.

Nastia barely makes it past them before she bursts out in hysterics. 'Okay mom, I guess you're right. maybe there are a lot of bad signs today, but maybe God is trying to tell us something.Remember what you tell me, there is always a blessing in disguise.'

Note: Nastia and I have a running commentary on 'blessings in disguise' She thinks the very idea is ridiculous. I know it is almost always the case. Last week I sat at my kitchen table discussing 'blessings in disguise' with an out-of-work friend who was struggling to see any blessing in his current state of unemployment. Nastia chirped in from the other room in a very loud voice,


I've laughed at and pondered her declaration all week. Tonight it came to me -- I want 2012 to be my NAK*D blessing year. God knows I've had enough of the disguised kind. Now I'm on the lookout for straightforwardly au naturel, totally exposed, stark-nak*d blessings. 2012, let's see that patootie!

Note: I had to take out the full word (n8ked) because I was getting thousands of google hits from men searching the words RUSSIAN and GIRL(s) and N8ked. GROSS.


  1. The year of NAKED BLESSINGS! Amen, sister!

    (yes, I actually said that to the computer screen when I read it--AMEN SISTER!)

    I really want this next year to be *something* for my spirit, for my living love, for me being the fullest person I can be, for God to use me the way He wants to, completely. I want to be "sold out" to God, to Love, to Goodness, and everything He has in store for me. I am claiming it!

    Nastia was CRACKING ME UP in this post. What a cheeky sweetheart!

    Happy New Year, sister in Christ!

  2. This is the funniest, most charming, SWEETEST post! I was loving it because of the glimpse into the way you and Nastia relate, then it just turned totally sweet..... I'd love some naked blessings, too! Let's have a golden sky! No more silver linings to CLOUDS!

  3. Love the picture of Grandfather Frost and the Snow Man at the top of the post!!! Borrowed it to show our adopted daughter when she gets back from winter vacation with my parents!!! It's adorable!! Makes me think I'm back in Russia again!!!

  4. As the song goes... "count your blessings, not your sheep..." at bedtime. When you start thinking about all you have to be thankful for you do start to realize how lucky and blessed we are.

    I too tend toward the glass is half full, and looking for the negative, which of course leads to thinking the negative...it's a downward spiral, but I think 2012 has a good sound to it!

  5. Maybe we just need some of what that snowman's having in the top picture...

    I need to laugh once in a while when I get bogged down into my own grump. Really enjoyed the post, and maybe Nast has the common-sense right of it: blessings in disguise are stupid. I mean, it's just a figure of speech anyway. A trick to help us think differently. Let's let our own good run around naked. And maybe if we recognized what our blessings actually are we'd see them a little more easily.

    Anyway, I LOLed so thanks for that blessing this morning!

  6. They are always stark naked in hindsight. Maybe it's a bit of a striptease? ;>

  7. LOL! That was a great post! I can just picture that elderly lady saying that. :)
    Bring on 2012, whatever it entails! I just bet it entails Daniel! :)


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