• The Church Year

    The Day I Cleaned the Front of My Fridge & Found the Heart of Advent

    The arrival of Advent marks the beginning of the church year, anchored  on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. In the year of our Lord 2020, the date is November 29th. Side note–New this year for 2020 FREE PRINTABLE cards for each Sunday of Advent. Just click HERE. The word ‘advent’ is from the Latin word ‘veni’–adventus–coming. The cornerstone of the Advent season is the idea of making room for God to come.  It is a time of waiting, as Mary did, with the impossible promise that a Saviour would be born, the miracle of light coming to a dark world. What does that have to do with refrigerators? Let me…

  • The Church Year

    What’s in a Name? Only Everything {an Advent Post}

    There can be no manner of doubt a name is more easily remembered when its meaning is understood.  –A.J. Macself, from the Foreword, “Plant Names Simplified” I forgot to plant my amaryllis bulb the week of All Hallow’s Eve. I wrote about the practice in my Christmas season book, how planting a crinkly, brown bulb with antenna-like roots can be a lesson in patience and waiting during the Advent and Christmas season. But I was too busy to remember. Goodness. So, I potted the inglorious bulb the other day after soaking the accompanying ground-up coconut shreds in warm water, watching them miraculously expand and nearly overtake my 32-ounce glass measuring…

  • My Poems

    Advent-Waiting {a #poem}

    shadows smudge on the wall beside me, gray on red as I look up, pensive, pen in hand to write. how to right this over indulgence, too full of my own bloated worry? I’ve buried my prayers, fed one saturated heart with cares not meant to be carried. fasting from the thoughts that also fill my brain seems a lifeline in this season where we’re drowning in too much. I shut the door, shutter the blinds and feast on silence, making space in my waiting for the gift to arrive, though it tarry. it occurs to me, that like the Christ child’s birth, answers may look far different than I…

  • The Church Year

    Merry Christmas, Dear Readers

    It seems very fitting that Christmas Eve should be on a Sunday, when we gather for worship, wherever that is. A morning to set our hearts right in a posture of worship and thankfulness is a good way to ease into the gift giving and receiving activities before us, whether we gather tonight or tomorrow with family and friends. As I prepared my head and my heart this morning for church I found Handel’s Messiah on Youtube and through the miracle of livestreaming from my tablet, was able to listen on my Bluetooth speaker while I put on makeup in the bathroom. Yay, technology. There are 4 sections in the…

  • The Church Year

    Christmas: Mystery, Miracle or Magic?

    “Did not a great grey servant Of all my sires and me, Build this pavilion of the pines, And herd the fowls and fill the vines, And labour and pass and leave no signs Save mercy and mystery?”                                                 –G.K. Chesterton, from the Ballad of the White Horse, Book IV The holiday weeks are often heralded as the most wonderful time of the year; God knows we also W O R K to make it the most wonderful time of the year.  Unspoken pressures and unrealistic expectations—whether from others outside or inside ourselves—can back us into a corner and leave us, if not defeated, a little discouraged. We want magic…

  • The Church Year

    God With Us, Always

    I realize it’s still a few days before Halloween, but unless you’ve been under a rock (or in North Dakota somewhere) you know the Christmas parade has started in stores all across the land. (My apologies to anyone in either of the Dakotas). Yes, the holidays are fast on the heels of All Hallow’s Eve and we’ll be reminded once again – I hope! – that God is with us. I guess we can blame capitalism and commercialism, but Christmas seems to come sooner every year, doesn’t it? No doubt due to Seattle’s drizzly weather (and the Costco displays), I started humming this Christmas song* the other day and realized that…

  • My Poems

    Ad Vent {a #poem}

    Glossy pages proclaim paltry purchases as life savers for my overrun soul. I’m run over as they bellow, beckoning, “buy me! buy me!” I cannot partake of one more iota of input– how can quiet paper carry so much loud weight and end up selling me nothing? This war of words promises joy and happiness are but a wallet-full away. Enough greenbacks and I’d have a temporary ticket to  here-on-earth wealth yet penniless and empty still. Bare bodies bear needless gifts, overbearing bling shimmering their iridescent faux shine. There is no gleam, no honest light shining save that announced by the staggering Star far, far away heralding His arrival, harking…

  • The Church Year

    A Circle of Seasons–Book Review

    Halloween has come and gone, the elections are settled. Now it’s begun–the Holiday Season is officially upon us. How do I know?  Because Advent officially starts on November 25th this year. I had never before paid attention to the idea of Advent until I met Kimberlee Conway Ireton. Kimberlee is a lovely Christian author and speaker who also happens to live in Seattle–a rare and blessed thing. We connected online and set a time to meet a few weeks back.  When we got together (in between playing on the floor with her children and drinking tea) she shared her book with me– The Circle of Season Meeting God in the Church Year. I’ve been chewing…