Holidays

21 posts
Winter Party with Grain-free Chocolate Cupcakes

A winter party is one of my favorite ways to remind me to keep celebrating life. This was true as a fourth grader too. My golden blonde hair lay straight falling in my face. Sweeping it back to focus on weaving the purple & pink construction paper for my Valentine heart envelope to receive the next day’s Valentines.    My nine year old heart knew nothing of the 16 year...

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One Thing You Need to Know Before You Name a New Year

“Hey, mom. So, I still have to look through some stuff but my passport wasn't where I thought it was. I was wondering if you, by any chance, saw it when you were here.” I receive my daughter’s message at 10:34pm on December 23, less than 24 hours before she is scheduled to board a flight in Raleigh, North Carolina. A flight that will carry her to London to be...

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Merry Christmas

God asks us to give away everything of ourselves. The gift of greatest efficacy and power that we can offer God and creation is not our skills, gifts, abilities and possessions...In the end, when all other human gifts have met their inevitable limitation, it is the recollected one, the bold virgin with  a heart in love with God who makes a sanctuary of her life, who delivers Christ, who then delivers us...What...

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On Apples, Trees and the Light of the World

Tonight I’m turning off the lights and letting the low light of the candle flicker over Bing Crosby’s voice. For hundreds of years, people have been lighting candles for one reason or another. For comfort. For light. For hope. For prayer. To show someone which way to go. To find the way themselves. Tonight I’m keeping them lit because they remind me that darkness cannot extinguish light. No matter how...

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A Feast of Peppermint Jo-Jo’s: On the Couch with Jesus

Last Christmas our son was a fresh three months old, fitting neatly into six month onesies and footie pajamas with smiling husky puppies on the feet. The weather was unnaturally warm for December but we lived in the caution of RSV and ordinary colds—things that can land our little one in the hospital—so I don’t remember much of the outdoors. I think the leaves fell, wet with the December rains,...

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Advent: Waiting, Listening, and Hearing

wait (verb): to look forward to eagerly “Advent: the time to listen for footsteps – you can’t hear footsteps when you’re running yourself.” Bill McKibben "I am hunkering down right now. I don't know where I am. This year has been hard. I have not lived this year as I wanted to; I have had to live this year as I needed to with all that has been going on." A...

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Bring A Different Way-Reflections on loving Others During Advent

The other day while a friend and I sat discussing a complicated social issue, she turned to me and said something along the lines of wishing there were a book that would simply outline for her, how to handle the issue specifically--preferably with a bullet-point list of action points. I quickly shot down her fantasy with my own admission that I'd once hoped for the same thing, but after reading several...

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Letting the Nativity Inspire Our Celebrations

I’m hosting Christmas dinner for the first time this year. As soon as I found out I was going to host, I began thinking through the different menu, decor and guest list possibilities. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the details of planning a meal- finding the perfect combination of foods that reflect the season, choosing the prettiest flowers at the grocery store for the table, inviting...

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Grief, Gratitude, and Turkey Stuffing

Thanksgiving was the first holiday we celebrated after moving to this old red-brick farmhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, we will celebrate our fifth Thanksgiving in this place. Is it any wonder I am looking back? Every year, we have roasted a turkey bought from a local Lancaster County farmer. I no longer attempt complicated new recipes because these turkeys are so flavorful. There are many reasons to take good care...

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Finding Your Place At God’s Table When You’re Grieving

It was nearly five months ago that I saw a group of EMTs wheel my grandmother into the back of an ambulance. She hadn't been able to eat much and her body had become weak and frail. She often complained of stomach pains and said nothing tasted like it used to. We seemed so far from the days when I used to watch her standing in front of her seventies...

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