Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hope Held

(If life was a musical, I'm pretty sure this song would accompany this post.  You can hear it at the bottom of the blog, too.  Just follow the link.  You'll be glad you did...)

I’m not sure about you, but my heart held Christmas differently this year. 

Like many of you, I cried openly to news programs and interviews of parents and law enforcement still trying to make sense of the heartache unfolding in a small Connecticut town, hoping it wasn’t true.   And when the 25th came, I couldn’t help but remember the twenty-seven seats around dinner tables in Newtown that were empty this Christmas.   Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals sat under trees, unopened.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

I couldn’t wrap my mind around the mom, who just hours earlier had made breakfast for two littles - now desperate to find them in the faces of the scared students filing past her.  She embraced her daughter, and then waited again.  She searched.  She traced the outline of each child, but her son’s gait never trailed the pavement.

He survived, miraculously found an alternate route to safety.  A trembling mother’s empty arms were filled.

Some years back another young mother’s arms cradled a son.  There was no school shooting that day, but despair hung thick and heavy in hearts, nonetheless.  And just in time, when we thought we’d never see His form, He exploded to our world and caught us up in His embrace…as a baby.  His hands were small and His breath, shallow.  And the cup of our hearts ran over.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men."


Empty to full.  All because of a child.  All because of a Son.  All because of a little baby in a humble stable, held by an obscure momma.  All because God would not stop looking for us.  Tracing outlines and searching faces, He wouldn’t rest until we were home.  He couldn’t give up.  Because we’re His.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. 

Emmanuel.  Rescuer.  Ally.  God with us.  Hope…victorious and near.

In two days, we will welcome a brand new year.  And my heart is holding it differently, too.  With more tenderness.  More heart.  More love.  Longing to grab hold of each day and live whole and well.  I don’t know what opportunities or heartaches await, but I do know that Hope has come.

I hope your Christmas was merry.  I hope your hearts and your New Year are full.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sunrise, Sunset

May.  It’s been since May. 

Holidays.  Vacations.  Birthdays.  Anniversaries.  Sunrise.  Sunset. 

Seasons have changed.  Our home address has, too.  The music player at the bottom of this blog now has to be opened in another window to play.  

The space between Then and Now has been full.  And I feel like we need to reacquaint ourselves.  To sit over pots of coffee and catch up while littles interrupt our every three sentences with a parade of dress up clothes and “Mom-can-you-help-me’s” and breaks of laughter.

We’d join in, you and I, cuz those little people remind us to play.  And eventually we’d get caught up.  ‘Cuz we juggle and adjust.  Catch and release.  We make room.  We welcome-mat each other and the fragments of life shared, moving ever onward.

 Tennessee.   Our annual May family trip, ten years strong.
I love my sisters.

The woods and trees and hiking that slay my heart every May.  I inhale and sigh just looking at this picture.

Summertime littles.  

Our Eden turned FOUR in July.

And our Maizy turned ONE in October.

Jon and I celebrated NINE years in August.

And my little brother got married in November.

We welcomed TWIN nephews, born in a country on the other side of the planet, celebrated madly in our hearts.

The sunrises in our new town are stunning.

And the sunsets are not to be outdone.

Trips back "home" to visit family and friend-family are sweet.

And creating new memories with friends in this new place has been, too.

And once we caught up, we’d celebrate.  ‘Cuz it’s Christmastime.  The gift of hope-restored has come.  And that kind of hope reaches out to grasp hands with the New Year.  All things fresh and possible.

This blog space will be changing, shifting in January.  White canvases.  Clean slates.  Suns yet to set and rise.  And I’m really excited about what will come.  All things new.

I’ll be back next week with a Christmas-specific post.  I’d love to welcome you back here one last time, and then move on together.  Join me?

Happy Tuesday to you and yours.