Let’s notice the blessings of life, Together
Christmas in a Pandemic
Everything has changed.
2020 has been a whirlwind, for the whole world. As the holidays approach, things are looking a lot different this year. How will our traditions adapt in the wake of COVID-19?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years – the whole Advent season – is a time to cherish togetherness and the blessings in our lives.
In seasons past, it might have been easier to get lost in the hustle and bustle. But now, what can this winter teach us? How do we open our hearts to this new, unusual Christmas, that doesn’t look quite the same as it did before?
Christmas in the Present
Focus on what matters this season.
The first of its kind, Christmas in the Present is a live, virtual gathering dedicated to connecting women during Advent. Laugh, ponder, and find meaning with Maria Rodgers O’Rourke as she opens up a conversation on spirituality, self-care, and true presence during the holidays.
Artist Credit: @duhaart
A mother, wife, and all-around communications pro, Maria Rodgers O’Rourke has over 20 years of experience in media and nonprofit management, and holds a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies. She and her husband have been married for more than 25 years and have 2 children.
Using the craft of storytelling, Maria dials in strong, positive messages for a variety of local organizations. From writing, to speaking, to marketing initiatives and content production, the heart of her work revolves around finding exactly what to say and how to say it.
In her books, retreats, blog and workshops, Maria offers light-hearted and inspirational wisdom about creativity, work, motherhood, faith, spirituality, and personal reflection and development.
An accomplished columnist, editor, reporter and scribe, Maria has contributed to a number of publications and blogs, such as:
Chicken Soup for the Soul
ALIVE Magazine, The Marianist Province of the United States
St. Louis Globe-Democrat
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Suburban Journals Newspapers
Books & blog
Over the years, Maria has shared her insights through an active blog, advice column, and social media presence. She has published two books in the Prepare Your Heart Series, and is currently in the process of writing her new upcoming novel.
Talks & Events
At speaking engagements, Maria lends her voice to connect with an array of audiences, from women’s groups, to writer’s workshops, to members of churches and attendees of spiritual retreats.
With her own unique mixture of approachable storytelling, curious reflection, and engaging facilitation, Maria opens up the conversation. She invites audience members into a gentle space, welcoming all listeners to share in a sense of laughter, meditation, and wonder at life and its many lessons.
Through a diverse professional history and donated personal time, Maria has collaborated with a variety of organizations and nonprofits. In both her career and volunteer ambitions, Maria supports the St. Louis community at large by lending her talent and skills to socially conscious causes and missions.
What My Mom and Daughter Taught Me about Santa
How could we have fostered this fantasy, all the while knowing one day we’d have to tell them otherwise?
Why You Should Put Your Kids in Charge of Christmas
My idea of a silver screen Christmas was a predictable plotline from a too-tired mom. When I let it go, my family’s Zuzu joyfully put her twist on our tradition.
Morning Pages Saved My Life
On Morning Page days, my writing sessions produced real gems. Rough and honest, my work became truer to my voice. Morning Pages blasted me past writer’s block to produce those important first drafts.
It starts with slowing down, even for just a moment. Observe the feeling. Tell a story. Remember gratitude, notice the gifts around you. Set an intention for the day. Write a list. Let yourself laugh a little. Remind someone you love them.
All I Want for Christmas is…
This song was the soundtrack to a scene I recently described as one of God’s kaleidoscope moments—when God takes various little pieces of our lives and brings them together in a beautiful way.
I’ll Have a Blue Christmas… and January?
The holiday season conjures up expectations, then holds up a stark mirror, revealing how our reality meets these expectations, and how it falls short.
Mary, the Ultimate Anti-Diva
Mary was no diva. Mary knew God was doing great things in her, for her, and through her.
Create a space and time in your home for daily prayer and meditation. Don’t worry about where the searching will lead you, just trust the search. Take the next step that appears, and the one after that, and the one after that. In time, you’ll look back and see how the path became clear to you.Maria Rodgers O’Rourke, Author of Prepare Your Heart for a Great Christmas