*No, this isn't a picture of me and my daughter. I'm a picture thief!*
Have you heard of FridayLight? It's this great organization focused on helping women and girls 'light up' on Friday nights. They send you a weekly reminder about the timing for lighting the Shabbat candles, and a nice little weekly thoughts.
I love their weekly thoughts. They share such a depth that I don't always think about. When our family got started, when Working Dad and I were just DINKs we decided to start lighting the candles on friday night. It gave us a sense of stillness, a moment to reflect, renew and really connect with one another and with something beyond ourselves.
Since having EG we've expanded upon the tradition, trying to invite people over, putting out linens (EG can put out the napkins!) and really set things apart. We even let EG use her silver toddler fork and spoon for the event. We don't always dress it up, but we always take time to be a family, and give our thanks.
One of the traditions we've instituted has been to comment between the candles and the wine on one thing that we're grateful for this week. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard, but I think it's always important. Since we both work lighting the candles gives us a chance to separate from weekly to-do lists, to weekend family time. I also think it's nice to turn off other lights (even if you turn them right back on again!). It adds a little mystery, a little focus. It helps EG to see the light and the wonder that much more.
One step at a time for all of us.
I will also share that though FridayLight is a Jewish endeavor, it's also something nice for women around the world, regardless of your denomination. To think about how much a little light can envelop so much darkness, push away the fear and the angry and the hurt with a moments peace and light.