All posts tagged: inspiration

The Advent Fulfilled: Because God is A Bit Like Clark Griswold

I hustled the ladder near the front of the house, as close to the windows as possible. Gathering the twinkle lights and the garland of fake pine, stepping around the see-sawing penguins in Santa hats, I began decorating the windows. The temperature topped out at about 15 degrees Fahrenheit. My nose was running, my fingers numb and my feet, they were there but I couldn’t feel them, gingerly climbed the ladder treads. The multi-colored lights twinkled even in the gray, snowless, sunshine-less day, their glow cheering me on to complete the project despite the cold seeping into my bones. Ah, all in the name of Christmas. And I feel a little silly. I feel a bit like Clark Griswold. Chevy Chase’s character in A National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a preeminent idealist. He wants nothing more than to provide a “Good Old Fashioned Family Christmas!” for his kids and extended family. We get a kick out of his sappy sentimentalism while he dons a purple turban and cries watching old movies in the attic. We …

The Advent Fulfilled: How to Be A Mother to The Son of God

What does a mother do when she holds this in her arms? “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2,6 And what does she make of these words, spoken tenderly from an old man to a young mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce you own soul too.” And after Simeon, wise and old, “righteous and devout” finishes blessing the child and cautioning Mary of the future troubles, ancient Anna hobbles up and with a great smile, toothless no doubt, nearly blind at eighty-four years of age, begins to praise Yahweh for this baby who would be the “redemption of Israel”.

The Advent Fulfilled: The Gift of Ever-Increasing Glory

For God, Who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. {2 Corinthians 4:6} Dark and silence had settled over the hospital halls. In the small hours of morning, I held my firstborn baby and marveled at her features, her black, serious eyes, her rosebud mouth; her presence, long awaited I now felt in my arms, her features, once imagined, I now traced with my fingertips. I drank in the full reality of her. And to this day almost two decades later, I never tire of looking at the faces of my children. That first-born child followed a pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, a blighted hope, a fullness that dissipated and disappeared instead of developing into a baby who would force her way from dark womb into the light. As the weeks stacked upon one another, I looked at my growing belly with more hope and less fear that this little …

What Clips Your Wings? {or, yelling at God}

What clips your wings? My youngest boy brought home an application to be a class representative in student body government, his first foray into leadership, politics, into submitting himself to the popular vote. The form says: List in this box text that describes why you should be considered for student leadership. His answers are adorable. But more than the cuteness of a nine-year-old stretching his wings in the confidence of his own flight is the profundity of his confidence. He is not tinged by doubt, he is untethered by past failure; his future is abounding in hope and choice and greatness. He lists his achievements  (in his best handwriting) and doesn’t see them as small, but sees them as toeholds and handholds to climbing higher. “I get to be line leader”; “I almost always turn in all my work on time”; “I am kind”. He is putting himself out there, testing the lift and strength of his confidence. The class votes next week on whom they’ll choose to represent them. And he may fail. A …

In Which I am Lost and Found Again {rediscovering purpose}

I sat before the computer for long, silent minutes. Fingers hovered, stiff yet from the night’s sleep, but ready and waiting, waiting for a message. My mind, my heart: there lie the problems in the wordlessness of this morning. The busy, flurried constant movement of life makes me lack focus, holds my fingers still and my voice mute but my mind and heart and the person within me that seeks to be skips about in the constant movement trying to gain purchase. I am squinting in an attempt to focus but I lose it amidst the fray. I can’t even define what IT is this morning.