Monday, December 19, 2011

Poetry in Unusual Places

I sat at Caribou by myself one morning, looking out the window. In my peripheral, I noticed a man sit down. We made eye contact and smiled a greeting. He looked semi-hippie, from the original hippie era. He was this sort of rough-around-the edges guy and seemed a little out of place at the coffee shop. He surprised my assumption of him by pulling out a book to read.

We sat in the same section in silence for awhile until two small children outside caught us by surprise. It seemed they were looking in at us, but after some time watching the situation, it became apparent that a bug on the outside of the window was the focus of their attention. They squealed as they watched the bug, fascinated at its every move.

The man turned to me and, speaking for the first time, said, "Is that beauty, still within us?"

I smiled at him and thought on that line for a long time.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In the Spirit

Tonight I am writing from a friend's home. I am babysitting her children and it has been one of the most enjoyable nights I've had in awhile! Not only are her children wonderful and adorable, but they love to read!

We spent the first 40 minutes of our night reading so many books together. We sang the 12 days of Christmas book and read a new favorite of mine, Llama Llama Holiday Drama. As we read together they snuggled in and I felt so lucky to be a part of their lives.

Now they are all cozy in their beds and I am in a peaceful home with TWO beautifully-decorated Christmas trees and quiet Christmas music playing in the background.

I think this is the closest I've come yet to getting into the Christmas spirit this year! What a gift these little ones were to me tonight and what a blessing to have quiet time for reflection.

Friend, if you are reading this, thank you for the gift tonight to be a part of your family. You are raising wonderful children and I am grateful to be involved in their lives.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent Reflection

As the calendar flips to December, I find myself turning inward. I'm searching for quiet and contemplative time. I'm creative space in my life to soak in all of the wonderful things about the Christmas season, and to examine again the meaning behind it all.

One of my favorite things about Advent is a devotional book I use called Child of the Light. It is written by Beth A. Richardson, and her writing in this book resonates very deeply within me. She says in the opening chapter that,
"The demands of the culture and of my own expectations overwhelm me at a time when I want to be more and more focused on God and the sacred events of Christmas."

I too have felt frantic and stressed trying to fit in all of the holiday parties, parades, TV specials, cooking, shopping, decorating, cleaning, and planning. At a time when we are to be preparing our hearts for the coming of our Savior, we are stressed and frazzled and consumed by our expectations.

In contrast to the chaos, her devotional has me reflecting on a different Advent hymn each week until Christmas, letting the lyrics soak in and thinking about what it means for my Savior to come. I love it. I love the daily reminder to lean into God and the real meaning of the season.

Inspired (again) by this devotional, my posts will be more sparse this month. I want to meditate, reflect, and be present in each moment of Advent and Christmas. I hope that you too can do the same. If you come and check my blog and there isn't anything there, please use that "found" time to prepare your heart for Christmas. Together we can create calm amidst the chaos and savor the beautiful holiday that is Christmas.