Thinking of You As I Prepare Him Room

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I am thinking of you as I slip out the back door. Cracking the door and slipping through to a place of preparation, pondering, reflection, and above all celebration.

And I am thinking of you as I look back over the shoulder of the year, glancing back on the months and days in review. What they held, how they shaped and what they taught.

So it is I think of you as I look at this art, this ministry, this way of writing out life on a paperless post. Of processing and framing all the grace and all the life that comes on shore, wave on wave.

I am thinking of you but I will be quiet for awhile. As I step out and embrace all that is good, and there is much. As I step out and focus on all that is glorious, and there is abundance there too. As I focus on Love Come Down at Christmas and look for ways to see His love anew, I’ll say my Merry Christmas now.

I am off for a break from this writing life. And circling the outstretched arms around family and friends. And hoping for you glory and grace and peace of our Lord.

May you embrace the Love of Christ at Christmastime as you too prepare Him room.

Room to replace the disappointment, room to fill the gaps of want, room to pour out Love and Healing where there is pain, room to fill a soul with Peace where there is fear, and room to set us free from all that binds.

Praying the space in our hearts, our lives, our homes is deep and wide for Him to come and abide.

Alleluia Anyway and Always.

Grateful for your eyes and hearts in this writing life, always.

 And Wishing you Joy in the smallest of moments ,

in all the days of this , most holy of seasons.

Merry, Merry Christmas All.

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Joy, Comfort and The Element of Surprise

All the moments of joy, they can sneak up on a girl. I rest in the thankfulness of the moment. But not for long. For these moments of Joy, they propel me forward infusing new life, new hope, in all the new mercies.

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Yes, these moments of joy can sneak up when she least expects it.

Giving a desire to go and spread and carry and send it out. To give something away. Something of the gift.

These moments come when they are most needed. Like new skin, new flesh springing from a place of fresh healing. Where new sensations of tender feeling are born.

And the world bears  much new in this season. My heart would be wise to have eyes to see it. To wipe the foggy lense of despair and seek the tucked away offerings of life, and love and redemption in the folds of the new skin.

He did say He was doing that. Making all things new.

And old can look new to the eyes that can see, really see. See through and around with hope.

First born visits and walks around this home filled with light and life, by grace, singing. He is singing constantly. It sounds new and joyful. But as I visit the mental records of my memory, I think he always did sing.

I wasn’t always listening.

I think I surprised her as she stood stocking the shelf. Life is fragile and I had just come from a funeral. The sun shining and a full life celebrated. And we all long for those second chances. Mercifully I was given one. I told her I had woken in the night. That I felt a gentle nudge to pray for her. And I told her I should have offered to  the other day. She is a stranger. I am a stranger. We are wrapped in community by hearts, by hurting, and by need.

And she told me why I may have felt she was hurting and yes thank you for praying for me.

I was surprised by the joy of her smile. She thanked me and thanked me. But in the giving, I was left walking ten feet above the earth.  Buoyed by her tender gratitude. And I may have a new friend in this life. She smiled a smile that is blazed and branded on my soul. From her place of tangled worry and stress. She smiled and thanked.

Its as if the icy tundra, the frozen reeling earth which grieves is melting. The sorrow slowly melting from the cold. And the days, the few days between us and  His birth are a healing balm of warmth.

The pain and grief redeemed by new birth. And all that He brings as Light of the World, shining bright in cold darkness is warming the souls of men.

In these days, He brings Comfort and Joy. He is comfort and joy.

He sits across the table wrapped in budding new and I see what warmth and care of another  can do to the heart of man.

How the smile breaks so wide it wants to leave the face. How the hands wrap around gentle with comfort and joy.

My mommas heart is surprised. It is beautiful living breathing joy. And it is new. This is redemption from the piles of ash, and prayer has fueled this fire of burning joy. Its fragrant beauty drifts my way and I inhale. Billowing joy.

We dropped a gift of gold in a glass of liquid last night. For the girl who has the birthday rocking up on the heels of Christmas.  She looked down into the sparkling water and saw a gift, she knew it had been mine. I hoped that in a passing from mother to child there would be sweet surprise, in the offering. In the receiving. And in the receiving she smiled. But I realized the joy was mine…in giving of something I treasured.

Releasing  to another. There is  more joy in the offering than in the receiving.

I think I would do well to give it all away for the joy in the release. And I would be wiser than those three wise men to look to Him for all comfort and joy.

Listen, do you hear the hymns of praise. Can you hear the songs up in the heavenlies. A song of redemption breaking through the clouds, the icy pain melted by a baby born in the bleak mid-winter?

May each of you find comfort and joy in the receiving of His son. And may you seek and see and find the elements of surprise, the wonders of His love in the all around you in the beautiful days leading up to Christmas.

Alleluia Anyway Always.

Joining Emily.

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When You Don’t Know The End Of The Story–Just One Small Part

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I don’t know how this story will end. I only know one small part.

But I know what the logic and thinking of the world might be.

It might sound like this.

It’s too close to Christmas. All the gifts are almost bought. We are headed toward a fiscal cliff. There is not enough to go around in my own world.  There are great needs everywhere.

And this is what I know of God:

He is beautiful and strong and capable and  yet he longs to use us.

His miracles have always amazed and they always will.

He is merciful and loving and longs to heal the hurting.

And I know this about myself and my ability to see. I can’t. Not always. See past impossibles to possibles. I can’t always see Light and Hope in darkness. And I am terrible in math. So I try to draw a linear equation between the wants and needs and the generous and the givers and the you’s and me’s. But I am not good in math. But I do know the heart of God. And I know the touch and mark  of His work in lives is both tender and powerful. Both and.

I also know I have a heart for words. So my heart tries to jump out onto paper which is actually a one dimensional back lit holder of my avatar. Not paper at all.

God can fill the gaps between the need and the resources. Between my words and my desire to help. Between the givers and the needy. Between poverty and plenty.

And I don’t know the end of the story. I just know one part of it.

That’s where hope comes in. And trust too.

Compassion International has a goal for December to bless children in poverty and they have reached but a fraction. The space is wide and deep and long between the goal and the what’s come in.

I know that. And I write words. And God knows the hearts of man and how he can use each of us in a Christmas Miracle.

So in the bleak midwinter, I lay out the goal, God knows the end.

I only know a small part.

But I wait with an expectant heart, pregnant with celebration at the outcome.

This may be for one person. This may be for one hundred and one hearts.

My goal is $100 for Compassion International. Maybe its one giver, maybe two at $50, or ten at ten.

Here is the link to Compassion International’s Gift Catalogue. You can give some Christmas Joy there.

Wherever that is for you, may we  all find joy in the giving and peace in our offerings.

Merry Christmas to each of you. You bless my heart every day. And I am grateful.

God, the Writer, Editor and Perfecter of all of our stories, may you bless the children. And may you use us in your blessing.

Lord give us eyes to see the joy in giving, the hidden and the unseen that you long for us to be a part of, and give us hearts to bless the broken. Today and everyday. Amen

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Joining Jen, Emily, and Heather today

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Adagio: A Christmas Poetry Project–Black Night Of Hope

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Adagio: A Christmas Poetry Project

We are writing together. As we did a little while back( click the Adagio Poetry page tab at the top of the site’s home page). And we would love for you to join us. Holly and I and each one of you. There is a beautiful hymn, a song, sung by a  friend of Holly’s. This is our inspiration for Adagio: A Poetry Project, here in this Advent Season. Here, with Christmas upon our hearts. Listen here to Born In The Night Mary’s Child.

Holly’s offering can be found here, at A Lifetime of Days. 

It would be our hope, our desire, and it would bring us joy if you would allow us the privilege of reading your words, poetry or prose. Just add your link to your art in the comments here and at Holly’s. We are all travelers toward this Christmas Day in this Christmas Season with expectant hearts.

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Black Night Of Hope

Walk us, with us
Pray we now
Fabric frail our worn out covering
Wind howls through thin flesh

World’s cold wind blows cruel
But He, was born of you
To shield in love, save from cruel sin
Bone tired weary we and you

Cradled Him , sheltered Christ
Under covering black of night
Though radiant beams from
A Child’s face would tell of Holy

Graceful Mother out of town
Traveler on a road of dirt, dust
Let us grasp your servant heart
And sing of Holy Sacrifice

Sacred offering in the night
Reconciled hearts, gloria in excelsis deo
We proclaim the birth of King
From your very mother’s womb

And Hope was birthed in stall with muck
On cold, in winter, still of night
That when the sting of death and sin
Would weigh us down

A broken fragile mankind now is
Changed, we walk free with
Broken chains
You birthed our Hope

One still dark night
Black night of Hope
We, weary
World rejoicing

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