Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Sixth Day of Christmas: Seaside Holiday

As 2011 comes to a close, we steal away to the sea...

we enjoy unseasonable treats...

we seek treasures on the sand...

and we dream about the adventures 2012 will bring...

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Fifth Day of Christmas: Farther Along

Did you ever hear a song and wish you wrote it? I played this one on repeat for hours this past month after it was shared by a friend.  Click on the title below to listen along with the lyrics.  Enjoy!

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brothers, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand this, all by and by

Tempted and tried, I wondered why
The good man died, the bad man thrives
And Jesus cries because he loves em’ both
We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes
Hangin’ on by the last threads of our hope
In a house of mirrors full of smoke
Confusing illusions I’ve seen

Where did I go wrong, I sang along
To every chorus of the song
That the devil wrote like a piper at the gates
Leading mice and men down to their fates
But some will courageously escape
The seductive voice with a heart of faith
While walkin’ that line back home

So much more to life than we’ve been told
It’s full of beauty that will unfold
And shine like you struck gold my wayward son
That deadweight burden weighs a ton
Go down into the river and let it run
And wash away all the things you’ve done
Forgiveness alright


Still I get hard pressed on every side
Between the rock and a compromise
Like the truth and pack of lies fightin’ for my soul
And I’ve got no place left go
Cause I got changed by what I’ve been shown
More glory than the world has known
Keeps me ramblin’ on

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall
I’m free to love once and for all
And even when I fall I’ll get back up
For the joy that overflows my cup
Heaven filled me with more than enough
Broke down my levee and my bluff
Let the flood wash me

And one day when the sky rolls back on us
Some rejoice and the others fuss
Cause every knee must bow and tongue confess
That the son of god is forever blessed
His is the kingdom, we’re the guests
So put your voice up to the test
Sing Lord, come soon


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Fourth Day of Christmas: golden opportunity

move me to love the

     immeasurable treasure

You created in each of us

instead of etching law onto

     raw skin and

     brittle bones

to curse and control

     isolate and humiliate

enliven Your Word in my heart

that I might inspire

renewal from within

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Third Day of Christmas: hope

“have hope”
a wordless whisper
canopies  the formless earth
Spirit of God
breathes promise over waters
when darkness was all that existed

“have hope”
an infant cry
pierces the silent night
Son of God
breathes promise into life
when true light in the darkness existed

“have hope”
a thunderous truth
shadows all of creation
Savior of Man
breathes promise over all
when He overcame the world
and in Him darkness ceased to exist

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Second Day of Christmas: Do You See What I Hear?

This post is in response to the PhotoPlay Challenge/High Calling Focus.  We were invited by Kelly Sauer to photograph the sounds we heard this holiday season...

So much of my advent season was filled with silence.  Not a deafening, defeating silence, but a hopeful, expectant silence that allowed me to deeply connect with each task at hand.

This year, I spent time making gifts of poetry and photos, in various packaging.  I heard tears flowing freely, uncontainable laughter, words of encouragement, joyful song and restful space.

I spent time photographing
feathers and lace around our pretty tree.

I wrote a poem

and made an art box for my daughter.  I heard questions, MORE uncontainable laughter, secrets, hopes, dreams, girl-drama and a lot of Taylor Swift music.

I did not hear too much meow-ing.
Cache, unused to supervising my home projects
at such great length, was pooped.
Lucie was hiding.

I made creme de menthe brownie cupcakes, an adaptation of a recipe Nanny used to bake for me.  I thought about all of the wonderful Christmas Eves we celebrated in Nan and Pop's tiny kitchen apartment, 12 of us smushed elbow-to-elbow around the long table.  I can still smell the smelts, the baccala, the stuffed calamari, the shrimp, the aiglio e oglio... Nan, thanks for all you did for us without sitting down once to take a rest.  I really miss you and think of you everytime I cook for someone and it warms their heart.

Tori made my gift this year, too.
*cue tissues*
Love that girl,
a true wonder of God's creation
in the center of my heart!

The richness and depth of the sounds of silence...
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The First Day of Christmas

The "Girls Rule" Trees

It's been awhile since I have posted, but all excuses aside, I came into the Advent season this year completely depleted and in need of quiet listening and reflecting.  I knew I was in trouble when I started having panic attacks about not having a describable Advent tradition to blog about, or that I would never get through the three artsy but way overkill Advent devotionals I had purchased online.  When I closed my eyes before sleep at night, a neon sign kept flashing in my head, with a voice-over that screamed,

"Jesus VS. Santa, JESUS WINS! 3D
playing in select cities on December 25".  

Not in any way conducive to a restful night's sleep!  Sooooo, I traded in most of the cultural seasonal demands of celebrating that even seep into church life this time of year to stay close to home, close to my daughter, and closer to God through scripture.  I had to sit in the quiet to allow my heart to prepare Him room.

After this advent season,  I feel so much clearer about God's presence among us in the world, and so less sure of my own place within His design.  I think that's exactly where He wants me to be, in a place of reliance on His leading every minute of the day.  One scripture whose meaning deepened for me this advent is this:

1 Corinthians 13:12-13  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then, face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

What a comfort to my soul, that I am Known. In these past few weeks I have witnessed great expressions of His hope amidst tragedy, I have listened to people's struggles for which my only answer could be to love, and I have seen the fulfillment of hope no longer deferred in the birth of my dear friends' adopted baby daughter.  Somehow I have been woven into the tapestry of these lives and received great blessing by them all.

Merry Christmas, friends! May His light and love continue to burn brightly in your lives this Christmas season!  Much love in His wonderful name,