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Showing posts from December, 2009

Still Christmas

......well pretend like it is. Mainly because I am posting this about 3 days too late. My blogging friend Margie wrote it and it is too perfect to wait until next year.

Definition of Advent:
Decorations
Tree
Lights on the house
Stocking stuffers
Pictures with Santa
Cookies
Rudolph and Frosty
Teachers’ gifts
Updated family picture mailed to friends and family by mid-December
Last-minute dashes to store
Gift-wrapping frenzy
Menu lists

We are immersed in a culture that starts “doing” Christmas months before the event itself. In September, bright banners waved along busy streets to announce this year’s holiday market opened October 2. The girls saw decorated trees when we passed them on our way to buy this year’s Halloween costumes, and the Jack-O-Lanterns sat one aisle away from holiday wrapping paper that was promoted by a display of gifts topped with large, oversized bows.

Our pastor suggested that the synonym for Christmas is distraction.

In Preparing for Jesus, Walter Wangerin, Jr. writes, “Mindless…

The days after

The presents are all opened. Only one slice of pie is left. Now what? Why do the days after Christmas always feel like a let down.
Or a relief.
Like ok, Christmas done. Let's make our exchanges and go back to
our regularly scheduled lives.
If this was a book, that was the climax.
Then all the loose ends get tied up and we all live happily ever after, or just go back to work.
The build up is over.
All we can do is take the tree down and grade papers.
Or is there?
I think this is why we like to make new year's resolutions right afterwards.

Because it doesn't feel right to just keep going as normal.

Christ was born.
Our lives should change.
And somehow all those packages and gift cards don't seem to do it for us.
So instead we promise to be better, or thinner, or whatever.
Even if it is only for a few days.
or weeks.
And then we give up,
and go back to our normal lives.
until we have something else to look forward to.

but what if we didn't?
what if you didn't make ridiculous resolutio…

love and journals

I used to keep a journal, before I started this whole blogging thing.
What was different about my journal was that it wasn’t supposed to be read.
But I think maybe I hoped someone would read it anyways.
I wrote in fear
And also with a little bit of hope..
That someone. Anyone. Would read it.
And that I would be known.
Really known.
And I hoped that that someone. Anyone would want to keep reading.
And still want to know me more.
And still want to be my friend afterwards.
And they would learn all the things about me that I was afraid to say. Outloud.
Because saying something outloud makes it real.

And this blog isn’t my journal.
But it is still pretty outloud.
And personal.
And I go places that I have a hard time going in person.
And sometimes someone will mention reading it.
And I suddenly feel naked.
Like they just read my journal without my permission.
Even though I post it on the internet for the whole wide world to read.
Known. and vulnerable and exposed.

But being known means you can be rejected.
Not j…

1 corinthians 13 - christmas style (week 4 - love)

No, I didn't write this.......but the author is unknown.

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny tinsel but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a
myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on
Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table l…

The joy of giving....

.....LESS
.....and more intentionally.

of course I'm talking Advent Consipiracy here. I posted that video last year (if you don't know what I am talking about you can read about it here).

but now here is one from trade as one:

advent week 3: Joy

This is a guest post from my friend Sarah. You kind find more of her witty stuff here : http://alittlewhineandcheese.wordpress.com/

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. I Peter 1:8 (NIV)

Every Christmas I try not to miss it, to miss Him. I make it my goal to complete all my myriad tasks in an organized and timely fashion, so when the time comes, I’m serene, peaceful, and ready. I hurry and scurry and plan and prepare, so that when The Moment I’ve set to enjoy Jesus comes, I don’t overlook it.
The truth is I usually still manage to miss it. Every year I fall further behind. More unexpected guests show up, or my Christmas banana bread implodes, and I’ve got to make another batch. When I finally look up from the holiday wreckage, I discover that it’s time to pack up the ornaments, and I haven’t met with Jesus at all.
I can blame my busy schedule, my chronic procrastination…

advent week 2. peace and funerals

Phillipians 4:4
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The small house was filled with people. As usual, we were a bit rowdy and loud, even on this grim occasion. Owen ran circles around the living room. Tess scowled at anyone who tried to hold her. Too many people were in the kitchen and I was on at least my second cup of coffee.
But the little quiet old man in the room managed to get our attendtion because he wanted to say a blessing.
And we were silent.
And he thanked God for his wife of 66 years. He thanked us for being there. He thanked God for the food that had been prepared.
Even if we the cinnamon rolls were a little burnt.
His voice was barely over a whisper but we hun…

hopeful still

know it is Sunday, and we are already on to week 2 of Advent (Peace), but I just read this......and have to post it here.
It is written by my friend Beth, that many of you read about here.
I have been really pondering on these words ( hope, peace, joy and love)….and struggling to try and tell you what they mean and how to be them. To really offer up hope and peace and joy…and I have been coming up a little short. These little nouns and how to be them are more than I can wrap my words around.

But hope. I thought of Beth. She has been down an ugly path this last year. And she is so so sad. But she is also hopeful. I like that she doesn’t pretend and trade one out for the other. Her grief is real and visible on her face even these many months later when the condolences have stopped coming. But she also smiles and laughs and keeps living.
That is some ridiculous hope. And here is what she had to say……..

You can hope for silly things. Like, I hope Texas Tech wins the Big XII. And, you can hope …

Hope

Just a few years ago I gave birth to a son. I took a packed bag, received an epidural, made a mix cd, and I think the hospital even had cable…..although I never thought to turn it on. I had multiple doctors, nurses, pillows and morphine ( lots of morphine). All my friends and family showed up. A few friends even waited all night (literally!) behind closed doors for that first cry. Afterwards I received flowers, presents, 19 staples, ice chips and of course a beautiful little boy swaddled tightly in his hospital blanket.

Mary, was just a scared teenager out back in the barn. No epidural or even clean towels.
I love these humble beginnings.
This is the Christ child.
God could have orchestrated his appearance on Earth anyway He wanted. He could have been beamed down like an episode of Star Trek. He could have immediately sat on a throne. Or He could have at least reserved a room for him in the inn.
Instead he shows up where we least expect him.
Out back in the manger. Small and helpless with o…