Hi friends, so glad your here.
Around here we’re warming up to Christmas in a backhanded roundabout kind of a way. Our December first tradition of putting up the Christmas tree went pear shaped this year because we couldn’t rustle up the energy and teenagers simply have different priorities than their former ten year old selves. She finally went up last Tuesday with the usual rearrangement of the lounge room and the usual putting up of the Christmas tree barney. God bless us at least we kept that tradition!
It t seems like such an intrusion at first doesn’t it. Christmas asks things of us we’re not sure we have the time or energy or mental fortitude for (especially after this lulu of a year). But we are hungry for hope and light and new life always. So we slowly make room, we adjust, we stick up the lights, we skootch things about and we say hope come on in, light come on in, find us in our weariness, spread yourself around all over the place, make your home here, be born here.
Advent I think they call it
Frederick Buechner says this:
What keeps the wild hope of Christmas alive year after year in a world notorious for dashing all hopes is the haunting dream that the child who was born that day may yet be born again even in us.”
Happy Christmas friends and as always I’ve rounded up a few good words and reads, this time to keep you company as you head into this Christmas week.
So take a few deep breaths, grab something delicious to drink and enjoy – – –
A Good Word
A Good Look
“Raise your hand if you feel this in your bones. Bless his heart. It’s a lot, you deserve a cinnamon roll, a nap, and a hug. Propping you up, cheering you on, and collapsing in the middle of the (floor) with you”.
A Beautiful Listen
A Good Idea
from Kimberly Coyle
Has your year felt like a nesting doll of Hard Things?
Every time you crack it open at the seam the painted face of another Hard Thing stares back at you.
I’ve wondered with fear and trembling what could possibly lie at the center.
What Hard Thing will finally break me?
This year, I cracked the seams and unveiled the layers (many against my will), and you know what I found at the center?
I found a seed of hope that refuses to be crushed. I found a seed pausing in winter, waiting, gathering strength.
If you’re not sure how many layers deep you are into Hard Things, imagine your seed at the center.
Let the painted faces break at the seam. At the heart of this nesting set is the promise of life.
God placed it there, and It’s up to us to create the conditions that nurture it.
There is a hidden strength in your center, and you may have to crack open again and again to find it.
A Few Good Reads
From The Wandering Hearth
From The Guardian
My true objective is not to hate my body and not to worship it either. The less we speak about bodies, the better,
The holidays are coming, and I am ready. I finally know what to say when somebody tells me I look great, that I look like I’ve lost weight, that my skin looks good. I will quote Jonah Hill, the actor and producer, who wrote on Instagram, “I know you mean well but I kindly ask that you not comment on my body. Good or bad I want to politely let you know it’s not helpful and doesn’t feel good. Much respect.”
Do you think that will work? I’m not sure. This new policy may upset people. They could feel defensive because their intentions are pure. They don’t realize what happens in my head when the subject of my body comes up; the shock of remembering that I have or perhaps simply am a body.
I smell smoke; a bright white light obliterates everything, a loud siren begins to wail, sending urgent shots of warning throughout the aforementioned body. I am a body that sweats and bleeds and will inevitably disintegrate and fade into the ground. My mouth clamps shut, my fists tighten, and I don’t mind telling you that my whole butt clenches! That’s not the best energy to bring to the party – – – – keep reading
And another take on Hallmark Christmas movies from McSweeneys
She must be a high powered career woman living in a major metropolitan area
She was born in a small town, but she must move to the big city to become some kind of journalist or own a bakery or work vaguely in fashion. Now, she’s a successful career girl striving to be the very best version of some generic profession that doesn’t need too much explanation for a general audience.
She must go home for Christmas and throw that high-powered career in the garbage
Sure, she gets great satisfaction from maintaining her independence, achieving her goals, and surrounding herself with people who challenge and inspire her, but it’s time for her to stop working and start living the Hallmark way. It’s time for her to go home for the holidays.
She has to have a serendipitous encounter with a generically good-looking young man from her past
Once home, she will greet whichever of her parents is still living. She’s required to miss at least one of them tragically. Then she must bump into some guy she knew in high school. He knew her when she was still young and carefree, before she’d had any meaningful life experiences and before her brain was even really finished developing. He knows the real her.
– – – – keep reading
from Shannan Martin
A Delicious Snack
And for those of us on the Australian side of the pond wondering exactly how much a “stick” of butter is I looked it up and it equals 110 grams.
You can watch Shannan make it on Instagram here
That’s all for now friends. Wishing you blessing upon blessing.
I’ll take a break for two weeks and see you in the new year xx