Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa

Christmas santa
Merry Christmas, Blessed Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa

Holy Holidays. The time of year to celebrate the gift of the spirit and reflect on the year past. What a year! Multiple miracles including the completion, and publication of my book Catholic Alcoholic: A Witness to Addiction and Redemption. Reviews poured in. One recovery journal, The Phoenix Spirit editor, Julie Edelman wrote “Catholic Alcoholic: Sounds loaded, doesn’t it-Catholic and Alcoholic-all in one line. It is loaded. Sutton’s first book is filled with all that life has to offer up-faith and doubt, compassion and abuse, death and resurrection, joy and suffering. It has pictures from her childhood that will send many baby boomers into immediate de’ja vu. And it’s loaded with honesty; she delves into some common themes (relateable) for many.” 
Julie’s response and reaction is one of hundreds of readers, who wrote, called or emailed to say the book “Told my story,” “It was like living down the street from you.” “I could not put it down.” “I love the historical aspect.” “Thank you for writing a story of faith.” “Every Catholic should read this. Let me rephrase this, every human should read this.” “Thank you for helping me realize our family was more normal than I thought.” “Oh My God, this is me. This is our family.” “Thank you for normalizing my life.” “I bought copies for our entire family. Alcoholism permeates us and no one is admitting it. Thank you for writing it.” One young man wrote “I read, and loved your book. I heard you speak before and came back to hear you again. You teach me. You care for me. You love me. I am never disappointed. Thank you for continuing to tell a story of grace. And thank you for sharing your brother with us. You give us struggling with addiction-hope.” The greatest prayer uttered, and I say it often, “Thank you.”
 
Nominated for the prestigious Minnesota Book Award, the book is available through www.beaverspondpress.com under Store, and then click either memoir or biography. Available in eBook and at Quinn and Magers Bookstore on Hennepin to name one. I want you to know of my deep gratitude for your love and support through this journey. Throughout this year the joy of meeting and visiting with readers brought serenity to my soul. Owning our story means never allowing the negative to negate the enormous positive miracles surrounding us. Your response affirmed this.
And the year was filled presenting on 12 Step Spirituality, Finding Serenity in a World of Chaos, Meditative Grief and Parenting: The Joy and the Journey. Opportunities to meet and greet.
I highly recommend Lincoln, the movie based on the book, Team of Rivals by one of my favorite authors Doris Kearns Goodwin. It portrays a thoughtful, authentic man of integrity. We all knew that reality. The movie portrays it beautifully.
Author and cousin, Laurel Johnson, writes eloquent poetry and prose. Natural beauty and truth pops from her words. One of my favorites is her meditation titled:
Benediction
For whatever remains of the natural world in contrast to the shambles man has made of it, I’m thankful.
Because the awesome sky exists, eyes can see beyond ghettos and landfills to catch at least a fleeting glimpse of wonder.
Flowers and forests, lightning and snow cleanse our air of chemical and biological impurities. Is that not glorious to know?
Oceans wash forever to the shore, depositing man’s trash, and yet, the deep supports a treasure trove of life.
Rocks reveal their history, whether small enough to fit the palm or towering majestic in the distance.
Oh, Lord, I pray you will forever let me listen and see beyond the ugly and mundane of life. Let me see beauty everywhere I turn, for in that beauty, I find your presence.
 
Yes, Laurel, we do.
 
The smell of Christmas baking with Elissa, Gemma and Maia, my granddaughters. The giggles of Samuel and Bella; and Charlie on Skype, continue to remind of the blessings God continues to provide. And my two oldest grandsons; Reed floats on skates and Cameron continues to provide me with early adolescent surprises and intellect. He is thoroughly enjoying Saint Thomas Academy.  And then those precious Christmas programs. They fill my soul. Those little faces singing about the birth of Jesus, Santa Claus and hope connects us to what is significant.
May we commit to a world of peace, gentleness and removing all violence.
May we celebrate this season and give the gift of LOVE throughout the year.

Annetta Sutton

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