The Dreaded Holidays: Round #3

We made it.  (I don’t consider New Years – coming up this weekend – much of a holiday, as we didn’t really woohoo that one up as a family.)

It wasn’t pretty.  It wasn’t easy. In fact, large chunks of it were just a flat-out Festival of Suckery (sorry Mom and Dad; we all know my vocabulary is better, but this is just apt). I either thought of Mark “too much” – letting the grim and terrible reality of his death, his physical absence really sink into my marrow – or I got so busy that I almost forgot to think about him, and then I felt like an Awful Mom. But there were tiny glimmers here and there.

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Sunday Prayer – December 2, 2017

Good morning God of joy, God of surprises –

We are so grateful for a new Advent season, a renewed encouragement to slow down and find space in each day to focus on the reality of your gift to us in Jesus.

We can get so lost, God, in our sense of guilt, or shame, or inadequacy, that we forget who you really are and what you’ve already done for us, for every single person. We may feel you calling, deep unto deep, and yet we hide…oh God, we hide in so many ways, behind so many things. We hide because our burdens are often already more than we can bear, and we mistakenly think even more will be handed us; we forget you promise that you are walking with us through every valley.  We hide because facing our past, our pain, our mistakes, is too much. We hide and we forget that we are your delight, the pinnacle of your creation…you made us, crafting us tenderly to each uniquely reflect the very light and glory of God, whether we are playing the piano, clapping and appreciating, smiling at strangers, praying, drawing, crying with a friend, creating a delicious dinner, striving for justice, or fighting for freedom.

Today, Lord, help us to remember that LOVE is who you are and LOVE is what you DO…help us remember that you sent your son, Immanuel, GOD WITH US, because you love us and want us to be free. You want us to come out of hiding, to lay down our burdens and shed all those onion-y layers we’ve piled on. May we trust you enough to open our eyes and be surprised with joy… to allow our sense of wonder to reawaken until we might be just as speechless as Zechariah, or like Mary, filled to the point of overflowing with humble words of delight and awe.


The Water Bears, The Water Washes

floating candles

As October 8th approached again, I appreciated one particular thing: I no longer felt like I/we “had to” do something big – like last year’s Movie Night at our church – ON that day. It was OK if we moved it later in the month. It wouldn’t take away a thing from his memory. And we could only bear so much. So for the 8th, we decided to invite just a few people along – relatives, close friends of Mark’s, of our family as a whole – as we went down to our beloved lake to do a memorial of sorts.

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