Treasure Up

With the hoopla over and done with, Christmas odds and ends now line store shelves bearing garish clearance priced stickers, just as Christmas leftovers line our refrigerator. (Is anyone going to eat the rest of this turkey? Please?) Carol singing and candle-lit services give way to the cold reality of January and our mentality shifts from…

Transformation

It’s here. Finally. Snow. We’ve been waiting for it, expecting it, watching the skies and the weather reports—this is Wisconsin after all—and it’s come. It came in the night and transformed our yards, covered up any leftover leaf piles and our oddly green grass. All is changed. All looks new. All is covered over, fresh…

The 12 blogs of Christmas #12: Packing up Jesus

It’s that time of year again. Time to put Jesus in a box. Pluck him off the shelf and swaddle him in tissue paper and stash him in the basement until next year. Christmas is over, right? And this final blog post is kinda late, right? Reason #1: I had the stomach flu. Reason #2:…

The 12 blogs of Christmas #11: Welcome

We step into a house with a newborn like we’re stepping into a bubble, in breathless wonder. Babies are so easy to welcome. So disarming, so nonthreatening. So unifying, because we all started out like that—as a trembling, mewling newborn. Utterly, almost frighteningly, dependent.All of us: President Obama. The artist/athlete/superstar you like. That guy from…

The 12 Blogs of Christmas #10: Old Eyes

She is old. She is weathered. Life has not been easy. She spends her days and nights in the temple. She understands prayer, she’s familiar with fasting, and she is waiting for something big. She is Anna. Anna the prophetess. One of the most (to me) obscure, intriguing characters in the account of Christ’s birth….

The 12 Blogs of Christmas #9: Disillusionment

Disappointment has a sister and her name is disillusionment. Mary certainly doesn’t come across as disappointed with the unexpected direction her life abruptly took (“My soul glorifies the Lord!”) but as a girl turned mother turned wife, I wonder if she was a wee bit disillusioned. Maybe there’s a better word for my life isn’t…

The 12 Blogs of Christmas #8: Disappointment

Disappointment is unwrapping a package of underwear on Christmas morning. At least when you’re a kid. When you’re a grown up, disappointment becomes intangible, harder to trace to its source, more like a hollow, reverberating thud. And Christmastime, with all of its twinkle and shine, can make the untraceable emptiness worse because maybe your life…

The 12 blogs of Christmas #7: Ponder

(This is a re-post. *First Ponder was written shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut in Dec. of 2012) Today is a snow day. A perfect day to ponder and lately, I’ve been pondering what it means to ponder…. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart….

The 12 Blogs of Christmas #6: little kicking kings

The Christmas story contains a villain and it isn’t Ebenezer Scrooge.  Naturally, we  focus on the angels, the extraordinary star, the sweet baby. But in the midst of all this lurks a villain: King Herod. King Herod the… um… Great. Or so he said. If he felt anyone was a threat to his power he…