Monday, November 28, 2011

Welcoming Advent


One of the things we are doing this year is making a big Advent calendar as a visual. Each of us were invited to decorate a box to indicate what we want to fill our hearts with this Advent.



Iona Community: Cloth for the Cradle

When the world was dark
and the city was quiet,
you came.

You crept in beside us.
And no one knew.

Only the few who dared to believe
that God might do something different.

Will you do the same this Christmas, Lord?
Will you come into the darkness of tonight's world;
not the friendly darkness
as when sleep rescues us from tiredness,
but the fearful darkness,in which people have stopped believing
that war will end
or that food will come
or that a government will change
or that the Church cares?

Will you come into that darkness
and do something different
to save your people from death and despair?

Will you come into the quietness of this town,
not the friendly quietness
as when lovers hold hands,
but the fearful silence when the phone has not rung
the letter has not come,
the friendly voice no longer speaks,
the doctor's face says it all?

Will you come into that darkness,
and do something different,
not to distract, but to embrace your people?

And will you come into the dark corners
and the quiet places of our lives?

We ask this not because we are guilt-ridden
or want to be,
but because the fullness our lives long for
depends upon us being as open and vulnerable to you
as you were to us,when you came,
wearing no more than diapers,
and trusting human hands
to hold their maker.

Will you come into our lives,
if we open them to you
and do something different?

When the world was dark
and the city was quiet
you came.
You crept in beside us.

Do the same this Christmas, Lord.
Do the same this Christmas.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

With Thanks

It’s 4:45 a.m.  The house is sweetly silent, and the turkey is happily cooking, all slathered in butter and spice.  Of course, I am most mindful of what is right at hand- three healthy, happy, fun kids returned from school and all under roof.  I’m so grateful for them that it makes me weepy- for their health and safety for another year, for the mostly wise choices they are making as they grow, for the opportunities that lie ahead of them.  DH is snoring and our littlest dog has taken on the challenge of outdoing him, and in this rare moment even that is cause for thanksgiving.  For my mother, my sister and her family, for my church and my friends, for meaningful work and great folks to do it with, I am filled with thanks. 

Today we will gather with our friends and our families and will with delight renew time honored traditions.  We’ll eat well and laugh a lot, but at the end of the day it will be these early morning minutes that framed this day of great thankfulness.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Prayers for a friend I’ve never met

It’s a funny world, this whole internet social scene.  In this world, I have many friends who I have never met, will likely never meet in person.  But I know the daily comings and goings of some of my blogging “friends” better than some of my day to day real life friends.  And the whole blogging community clusters and hovers over folks who are going through a difficult time or a joyous time.

I’ve been reading Alicia’s blog for years.  It was one of the first I ever kept up with regularly.  (It’s the third on my list of favorite places……out of hundreds and hundreds of others!)  We have all been waiting with great joy for word from Alicia who had gone to Chicago to be present for the birth of their baby girl.  We’ve all grown impatient and left hundreds of comments as we waited to hear all of the details. I don’t even want to say how many times I have checked in to see if there had been any news.

And today there was news.  And while I have always thought highly of Alicia, who has been through some very very big struggles in her adult life, I have never respected her more than I do after reading this post.

I can’t stop thinking of all of the people who get pregnant easily and take that for granted, or of all of the children who languish without love, and of all of the people I love right now in my own world who are longing for a child.   Praying tonight that big empty arms and little hungry hearts could find their way to each other, and soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Underneath the Same Big Sky

Tonight my heart is filled with love and admiration for two dear friends who stepped in to parent a newborn baby who needed lots of love and tender care.  From the neonatal ICU to his own bed in their home, they have spoken love and hope over him, have insulated him from things he wasn’t ready to bear, have given him the safe place he needed to grow confidence and strong legs and big dimpled smiles.  Today by court decision, they have placed him back into the arms of his birth mother.  The nine months of care that have undoubtedly changed the course of his life have also changed the course of theirs.    Somewhere, under the same big clear night sky, another mother is trying to get to know her son, and I sincerely hope she can be the mother he needs.  I hope that she will tell him in years to come that when she couldn’t give him what he needed that two amazing generous moms stepped in and gave him what he needed and more even at the cost of the heartbreak of saying good-bye.      Here’s to foster parents everywhere who don’t hold back, who give their hearts anyway. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday Link Love, at last!

As pretty as the aerial view of this cake is, it’s even more beautiful when it’s cut!

And it would be perfect to wash it down with a glass of this! I’m told that the ice cubes are made with jello and then sprite is poured over them. Drink it before it turns brown!

It’s about time to gather these supplies to start the holiday season off with a great smelling home!

Dear little Mabel- I wish you would come live with me. And bring the “It’s Okay” banner from your shop with you!

Oh my. My kids never had the rug, but I wonder if I couldn’t find one at the thrift store? These are so pretty and would be nice and cushy comfortable to stand on while doing chores.

Why do I love these? Well, for starters, they delight me!

Daniel is lucky to have such a crafty mom! From the looks of it, he could be a great fabric designer!