I walked out in the arctic air to dump the compost and stopped at the beauty of the setting sun on our fire ring.
I was reminded of the hot fall evening we spent with friends around that fire, roasting hot dogs and shooting cans with BB guns. Much has changed since that not long ago evening.
There have been new relationships formed as well as old ones broken, miracles and healing witnessed, death and tragedy lived through, hearts made whole, fears squashed. This, all of this together, is the holy work of living life together with others. There is absolutely nothing like it, surely evidence of His kingdom coming here on earth.
We had such a wonderful time caroling with our friends this season. (Please excuse the bumpy camera work)
Sol is sprawled out sleeping at the top of the stairs like a dog. He’s going through a phase where he doesn’t want to lay down in his bed, or do anything I ask of him, so he pouts at the top of the stairs until he passes out. Sometimes he dumps laundry on the floor, uses the hamper as a step stool and covers himself in deodorant from atop my dresser. He’s quite the booger and is really good at pushing buttons, but his sweet grin and dimples wins me over every time.
It’s the end of the year and I’ve been reflecting a bit on the fact that we’ve added two people to our household this year. We got rid of one restaurant. It’s quite a lot of change, but it’s good rebuilding change, and I am thankful for all the neat things God prompts us to do.
Our house feels so small now that it’s winter. We may have added an entire addition, but the kids and I still generally spend all our time in the same room. I remember fondly the days that we lived in a 2,700 square foot house and wonder how it would feel to have extra room with these four kids + one grandma. Of course, this thought process is impossible because this IS what we have and it’s great to be squished together all the time (or so I tell myself).
I was nursing Winnie to sleep tonight while watching the shadows of our paper snowflakes dancing on the ceiling. It is amazing how magical some cut paper can make a room look, and even more amazing that the boys are getting old enough to actually make some beautiful ones.
God is truly a God of miracles, of healing, and of answered prayers. It NEVER looks like what I think nor do I think I could write up an accurate portrayal of the amazing work he has been doing in my life and in our community. His timing is perfect, it is good, and it so much more radical, yet normal, than I could ever have imagined.
Brad and I are married so we have arguments. Often they’re stupid and about rabbits and other times they’re about big and important topics like our kids or what we’re doing with our lives. The days are so full taking care of others that when everyone is finally in bed (or passed out at the top of the stairs) the last thing I want to do is spend that time arguing. Sometimes we go to bed mad only to wake up with an anger hangover. Today my love brought home a huge bouquet of daisies, big enough to fill two quart jars, because of a difficult conversation (read: fight) last night. It’s so good to be loved and to love.
I was talking with a friend recently, a great fan of the Christmas season, who asked when we’re putting our tree up.
“Well,” I hesitated, “we’re waiting until December 21st.”
A conversation was sparked about how differently God calls families to within his Kingdom. They have felt called to really CELEBRATE holidays, and are gifted with the talent to do so in a wonderful and beautiful way.
Brad and I feel called to explore a different kind of Christmas this year.
When Christmas is over we often wish we had done it differently.
A couple of years ago I made a note from a book on mountaintop mining. Erik Reece says in “Lost Mountain”, “Individualism is the right to passively consume in pursuit of a happiness based on convenience; individuality is a more creative attempt to invent oneself and one’s life based not on commercial influences but on a more direct, intuitive combination of knowledge, passion and responsibility.”
This year we’re taking a risk, encouraged by an 8 year old who suggested waiting until Christmas Eve to decorate, and putting up our tree on the winter solstice.
We’ll celebrate the longest night of the year by hanging lights.
Light into darkness. The coming of the Messiah.
I am joyful in expectation of this experiment.
I wrote a couple of rants about Black Friday this morning and quickly deleted them all because I sounded like a jerk.
Finally I asked God what he wanted me to write about Black Friday and I heard “nothing.”
To those that choose to get up early and enjoy this time shopping with family, God blesses and loves you.
To those that choose to buy nothing today, God blesses and loves you.
That’s it. God loves us.
Spirit filled room,
Hands pressed into
My arms, head, back.
Powerful words spoken
As an act of Heaven
Reaching down to Earth.
Quiet parts of
My heart drawn
into the open,
Released into the world.
Soul renewed for the work
Of His hands
Via my hands.
Single tears pool at the
Corners of my eyes
And with a smile
I cry, “Joy!”