Christmas pondering…

This year our family has grown from five humans to seven (with one still on the way). We couldn’t be happier to welcome these two “others” who have captured our children’s hearts and our as well. We’ve been getting to know each other and are finding our stride as a family of seven (almost 8). Relationships are stronger and gatherings are much more fun. Not perfect, but great fun. Continue reading “Christmas pondering…”

Celebrate now…

Sometimes I wait to celebrate. I wait for the last present to be wrapped, the last dish to be cooked, the last of the to do list to be accomplished. I wait to celebrate until all the things are done. The trouble is, I push off the joy and celebration of this moment for another moment that may not come. Continue reading “Celebrate now…”

Decorating cookies…

My mom learned to decorate cakes in a Wilton class decades ago. She spent much of our childhood using this skill to provide beautiful and creative treats for family and friends. One Christmas, she baked stocking cakes for every family in our neighborhood. They were amazing creations. She made cakes for birthday parties for young and old alike. For years when she began a project, I assumed my position. I was the expert icing mixer. I could whip up a batch of buttercream and swirl in the color like a boss. Continue reading “Decorating cookies…”

Emmanuel…

Where is God in the face of war, famine, terrorism, and natural disaster? Where is God in the realities of violence, addiction, abuse, and neglect? There is much to celebrate in this season, but for many around the world and right here at home, life is difficult beyond our understanding. This is the paradox of the world in which we live. Continue reading “Emmanuel…”

Leaning into joy…

I don’t really understand joy. It seems to shout, to demand a party. I have moments of joy that fill my heart and overflow in tears, or laughter, or singing but they are fleeting and far between. I have come to understand that while joy seems elusive, there are other parts of it, I can grab a hold of. I can enjoy… I can intentionally direct my heart to enjoy the moment I am in. Continue reading “Leaning into joy…”

Life interrupted…

The Christmas story is a story of life taking an unforeseen turn. This young couple had plans, hopes, and dreams. I imagine that they spent hours talking about their future, dreaming of life after marriage. They were walking down a familiar and well trod path, until the angel Gabriel appeared and sent their lives skidding off in another direction. Continue reading “Life interrupted…”

Nurturing new life…

The angel brought shattering news. Life as she had planned it, as she had dreamed it, was over. For the virgin betrothed to be married, the news couldn’t be any more amazing. How did she explain? How did she make sense of this news? She was to give birth to something God conceived, and she did not have any way to explain her part in the story. “He will overshadow you” the angel Gabriel said (Luke 1:35). Indeed. Continue reading “Nurturing new life…”

Killing Christmas…

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for folks, and if I’m honest it has been difficult for me. I want to do, to give, to make, to spend time doing things to make magic for those I love. I long to make the house just so, to make the perfect meals, to purchase the perfect gifts… Continue reading “Killing Christmas…”

Against hope…

The truth is, I have trouble with hope. I know it is important, incredibly important. The Bible tells me that when all else is gone… Faith, Hope, and Love will remain. I like Faith and Love. These are nice strong verbs. They require action. Hope is different. It is more passive and vulnerable. It feels like a set up for disappointment. Continue reading “Against hope…”