Sunday, December 29, 2013

It Finally Feels Time to Sing Stille Nacht (Silent Night)

As the sugar rush wears off and the fog envelopes us, we still ourselves from all the activity to rest and reflect. We reflect on time with family, reminisce over memories made in 2013, and ponder the coming of 2014.
I can't help but ask myself: What will we testify to in 2014? What will we live? What paths will we walk? What hope will we impart? What hope will we gain?
 Where in the world will we create altars? 
What will we bow before and below?
What nature will we nurture and protect, and what in my own nature needs to be nurtured and protected?
Quietly, I will enter 2014. Praying for peace. Praying for the path to be made known. Trusting in His presence.Watching for His Spirit at work in the world.
I feel it is finally time to sing Stille Nacht (Silent Night), for certainly He has arrived. He didn't arrive quietly, but in order to receive Him, I must be silent. 
And so, may the new year dawning be a year of His presence and peace. May His indwelling Spirit abide within us, and may we learn to recognize His presence - which is indeed all around us. May I be what He has created me to be, and thus content in Him. May I bring my offering, as meager as it may be, and lay it at His feet. For if the rocks can praise Him, certainly so can I.
(Photos: mine)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Advent from Another's Perspective

We don't usually write St. Nicholas a note, nor sit on his lap. But, this year they couldn't resist the urge to write, and I wasn't about to stop them. Friday, we marched their notes down to the post office and put them in Santa's big red box. Thankfully, they don't charge postage for letters to Santa and they don't make you wait in their line! But, I'm wondering: Does a note to Santa go to the North Pole or Turkey?

Dear Santa,

I would like these three things:

1. more hex bug batteries - lots of them.
2. more helicopter blades.
3. a refrigerator box.

Your Friend, 

Shh. Don't tell. He's getting two of the three, and the other one will arrive in time for Epiphany!

Sister's note was more typical for a ten year old girl: She wants an ipod and a pony. Here's to wishing!
Once an angel, always an angel :-)
The star of Jesus
above the manger
was made of tinsel.
Jesus liked to help
and love as well
as the dove.

by Brother
A "neighbor boy" for one more year. Next year, the costume will be to small.    
An ox
looked upon
the helpless 
babe, lying
in a 
A star
shone light on 
the Savior
who was
God's choice. 
by Sister

Talking to the birds, quietly being fed by his feet.
Ah, He gave us a voice, and we too, get a choice.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Drawing Near, the Magi and Me

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, 
thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, 
to give you hope in your final outcome.

Christmas draws closer, and I seem to draw quieter. We finally have a tree up. A Noble, and I dare say, she's not very noble. She's a bit shaggy around the edges. I feel the same this season. Still, she's deemed worthy and desirable. She's adorned, decorated, and decked out, and we lay presents at her feet. 

Last night at church, big and little girls ponder what we will lay at Jesus' feet for His birthday. The conversation requires conversing with one's heart. Both young and old are still, dig deep, pause, and ponder. A few are anxious to share, and yet others, are silent. The silent ones are still on the journey, with their gift in hand, and the destination is yet unknown.

I'm currently of the lot that is still trekking. My back bothersome to me these days, it feels like I've been riding a camel. I'd like to identify less with the Magi, but it is they who are speaking to me most this year. As Epiphany beckons me, I'd happily add inspiration to my saddlebag. Yet, my trek seems to lack inspiration, and leans more towards identification with ordinary men. Magi men to be precise: camel riding, dust ridden, tent camping, star gazers who wander and wonder when they'll arrive at their destination....

The Star of Bethlehem from producer Stephen McVeety (Braveheart and The Passion of Christ) is fascinating. See it this season or soon.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Advent Art and Slappy Happy

Tonight, we are inspired out. After several full days, the kids were very happy to head to bed. Surely, Mary knew sleep loss in order to appreciate and birth beauty.
Last night, beauty was found in breaking bread with friends, some old and some new.
A St. Lucia Day Loaf
This morning, we crawled out from under warm covers to see the beauty of the Samurai.

A creative and warm art teacher arranged a tour of the Samurai exhibit for her kids.
A particularly moving sculpture of water.
Brother and a Monet
He liked the electronics, a few pictures, and the gift shop books.
Who cares if it's a Picasso? It's time for fuel.
Happy at Slappy Cakes.
Pour out the pancake batter, add toppings, heat, and eat!
Chicken Fried Bacon with Caramel Sauce. Undecided. 

Then carolling, cookies, cocoa, and a bonfire...and now you know why it's bed time!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy St Nicholas Day!

 The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic God's giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves. 

~St.Nicholas of Myra

"My ear stings. She basically rubbed sand paper on it." 

"You know what you did. You took a handful of snow, and pretended it was talcum powder and rubbed my face in it."

"Well, they always do that in the Bobbsey Twins, when it's winter and whoever it is, someone, puts snow down their back. That's what they do."

"Rub it all over someone's face?"

"Yeah, and you put snow down my back. Come, help me get our wet things."

"Okay, but then I'm never leaving this house again!" 

"Let's pretend we are kids. No, let's pretend we are people."

And off they go to gather wet snow clothes. Why? So they can dry out and go play in the snow all over again!
Link Love

Fresh Cake Donuts, A tradition for us, at every first snow of winter.