Of Rainbows and Mud

(Part 4 of 4 in the “Grief in a Season of Joy” series)

Why do we never enter
the dripping, wild woods
As the rain starts to fall?
We fear the wet, the mud
The fallen leaves’ decay
Never noticing the fragrance
of new life they exude.

In our concern for comfort
Our endless quest for beauty
We do not look in such a way
As to see the foundational
Workings of new life
Leaf litter on the damp clay
Fallen timber awash with rain Continue reading “Of Rainbows and Mud”

Go in Peace

(Part 2 of 4 in the “Grief in a Season of Joy” series)

How long, O Lord, will we live in fear of Pain
Wary of being weighed down forever by it
I want to arrive in the city of Hope and dwell in Joy
But Pain will not be left behind while I journey
It clings to my legs, refusing to be forgotten,
And becomes a stumbling block
Continue reading “Go in Peace”

Grief in the Season of Joy

(Part 1 of 4 in the “Grief in a Season of Joy” series)

In this season of anticipation, I ought to be anticipating not only the birth of the Messiah, but also the halfway point of my fourth pregnancy. Instead, I find myself grieving loss, recognizing that grief is not always something you can defer to a ‘more opportune time’.

At an Advent retreat last week, I sensed an invitation to begin posting what I’ve written during my grief process, even though Christmas is nearly upon us.

So, for those of you who grieve your own losses in this season of joy, the next few weeks are for you! May you find the freedom to be present with grief as we remember the moment God came to dwell with us, pain and all.


To a Little One I may not get to meet Continue reading “Grief in the Season of Joy”

God in all the Wrong Places

In the interest of simplifying Advent, this week is a re-post of my favorite Advent blog from last year! Blessings to you as you find small ways to rest in this season.


 

“Oh no, for real?” I thought to myself as the band began to play. “Of all the Christmas songs, why this one? Can’t we sing “Oh Come Emmanuel” or something? This is a kid’s song…”

Despite my internal protests, the drums beat steadily, soon followed by the incessant refrain: “PA RUM PUM PUM PUM.”

And then I started to cry. Continue reading “God in all the Wrong Places”

The Journey of Advent

On December 1st, the season of Advent quietly ushered in a new church year with its uniquely poignant mix of anticipation and longing.

My three-year-old, to whom minutes feel like years, jumped right to the end of the month and began asking if it was Christmas every single day. My oldest, on the other hand, has been around the Christmas block before and loves to point out everything that’s great along the road to December 25th.

After a couple of days, the youngest stopped asking about his future presents and started asking about the gifts of that day – Who’s turn is it to add a magi to the nativity scene? What shape will my chocolate be today? How many candles do we light tonight?

They are learning through candles and chocolate and calendars that Advent is about more than just the destination, it is a journey worth paying attention to. Continue reading “The Journey of Advent”

On Being Present with Fear

“Will I be OK?” he asked, sitting on the edge of the pool.

“Of course! Mommy and Gammy are right here!” To myself I thought, “Even on the bottom step the water would only reach your chest. Why is this such a big deal?”

We were swimming for the first time in a long time. He only came to watch his baby brother swim, but something in him still remembered the exhilaration of moving through the water. So, he consented to wear a swim suit, and then decided to put it on in advance. When we arrived, he put his feet straight in, bottom firmly planted on the side of the pool, kicking and splashing.

But now we were asking him to go all the way in.

“Will I be OK?” he asked again. Continue reading “On Being Present with Fear”

Manger Song

When we find our wells of Peace have run dry
The world, within and without, misaligned
Into despair, the Incarnate Child
Brings his Hope and his Way Continue reading “Manger Song”

Repeat the Sounding Joy

There are many beautiful traditions to love at Christmastime: nights alight with dazzling displays, neighbors sharing family favorite treats, music evoking decades gone by, candlelit churches keeping vigil in song, gifts that bring delight and joy.

But every once in a while I wonder… why is it that I love Christmastime so much?

Is it the pumpkin spice lattes and repetitive playlists? Are we really that enamored of turkey that never gets done cooking at the right time or kids hyped up on sugar?

Continue reading “Repeat the Sounding Joy”