Repost: Hark

Ear

Tonight we'll sit in our churches. We'll half listen to the sermon while smile at the children adorned in their fluffy dresses and clip-on ties. We'll read our bulletins during the announcements. We'll "ooh" and "aah" at the soft candlelight as we sing Silent Night for yet another Christmas eve. Hark! The herald angels sing!   Our minds may wander to the people who we'll be seeing and our complicated relationships with them. We'll think about the co-worker who slighted us. The family member who annoyed us. The church member who offended us. The friends who we've drifted away from. The distances that we feel between us and our fellow man. Pleased as man with man to dwell.   We may feel uncomfortable about the sacrifice of Christmas.¬†Easter is easier. Giving up your life … [Read more...]

Advent Prayer

Night Sky

  Your Advent: The splendor of heaven left behind, now surrounded by dirt and cow excrement. Shrouds of glory abandoned for strips of cloth wrapped around you by a new mother after she carefully wiped away vernix and after-birth. Cries of "peace on earth" echoed across the hills and in the ears of the lowliest; the only announcement of your arrival. Beauty for filth Majesty for squalor Grandeur for obscurity All that we might celebrate our own advent. … [Read more...]

Afterthought or Celebration?

At our church, we're preparing for our Easter service. I go to a large church, and special services like Easter are large events that require a number of additional time and rehearsals. I'll be honest, I absolutely love it. Sometimes it gets a little bit frantic, and sometimes the rehearsals extend way past when they should, but for the most part, I love the time we get to spend together, getting ready for the celebration to come.But sometimes in the midst of the busyness of our preparations for the main event, those smaller, more quiet moments are lost. They become afterthoughts - elements that we recognize as necessary, but which aren't flashy enough to garner their own service. They are too depressing, too quiet, too ugly.I get that. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday. These … [Read more...]

My Funny Valentine

My husband and I are truly the least romantic people ever. When we woke up this morning, he rolled over and said, "Here's to yet another Valentine's day not celebrated with you."I love that guy.Regardless of how you feel about Valentine's day, I think we all like to laugh. So here are a couple of my favorite Valentine laughs.Strong Bad's Vamlumtime's Day Teen Girl Squad. I absolutely want to be in a band called She Likes Cloth at some point.35 Geeky Valentine's Day cards. I could totally see my oldest passing some of these out, even in 8th grade.Invader Zim Valentine's Traditions. If this was bacon, my youngest daughter would be smitten.Doctor Who Love Coupons. For the Whovian in your life.The Biebs singing Baby. Because really, how could it be Valentine's Day without Justin Bieber? (Also, … [Read more...]

Hark

Tonight we'll sit in our churches. We'll half listen to the sermon while smile at the children adorned in their fluffy dresses and clip-on ties. We'll read our bulletins during the announcements. We'll "ooh" and "aah" at the soft candlelight as we sing Silent Night for yet another Christmas eve.Hark! The herald angels sing!Our minds may wander to the people that we'll be seeing and our complicated relationships with them. We'll think about the co-worker who slighted us. The family member who annoyed us. The church member who offended us. The friends who we've drifted away from. The distances that we feel between us and our fellow man.Pleased as man with man to dwell.We may feel uncomfortable about the sacrifice of Christmas. Easter is easier. Giving up your life is huge. It's the kind … [Read more...]

Nuru International and CAWST Competition

Okay, so I know that I said that Nuru International and CAWST are not in competition just a week ago. And that is totally true. These two organizations work together to help end extreme poverty through micro-loans and education. I love the way that they play on one another's strengths and empower people to escape the cycle of poverty.All that said, I'd like to extend a challenge to you, my readers. I'd love to raise an extra $100 for both of these organizations this holiday season. So I've set up a Holiday Wish to ask you to donate to Nuru International. And I will match up to $100 to CAWST. I've already seen you raise $370 for Nuru earlier this year and I can't explain how much that means to me. And I would love it if you could help me get money for BOTH of these groups to close out the … [Read more...]

Christmas Music Winners

Thanks to those who entered the Christmas music giveaway. I appreciate all of you who read - you make this more fun.And now on to the winners!The Religion & Spirituality/David Crowder Band winner was #6, which is David Nilsen!The winner of the Coffee/Reliant K selection was #2, which is Mary!And the big winner of the Justin Bieber album (or N'Sync, if you so choose!) was #12, Liza!I hope you're all have a lovely holiday season! I'll be in touch with you to get you your codes ASAP! … [Read more...]

The Kid’s Table

The old card table that never got used for card games and the folding chairs that had been patched with duct tape that scratches your back were pulled out so the cobwebs could be cleaned off of them. Covered in plastic instead of cloth, so spills could be easily managed. Styrofoam plates and paper cups so nothing could be broken. Set up near enough to the the adults so there could be help with cutting the turkey, but far enough away that the grown-ups could talk about Important Things (tm) without interruption and we could just giggle about fart jokes.The kid's table.Now I'm at the adult table. We have the hard, wooden seats that make our older backs ache if we sit in them too long. We get to have the beautiful, festive tablecloth, but there are faint stains that won't wash out on it … [Read more...]