A letter

Archive for December, 2015|Monthly archive page

Who you know, already.

In New Winter on December 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm

It’s kind of an odd world we live in. We get to see so many people and have the opportunity to know so much about so many people. We can follow as many people as we desire and can be followed by as many people as find us curious or interesting. We can, thanks to various avenues of social media, be inundated with all the juicy and gory inter-workings of perfect stranger’s lives. It’s fascinating. It’s a part of our now life that was not even available to us when we were in junior high.

Remember when we were kids? We knew who we knew. We knew our neighbors, we knew friends from church. We knew relatives. We knew people our parents knew that we visited from time to time on road trips, and we knew from a distance the people from whom our parents got Christmas cards. We may have know about a few other people, perhaps from reading a book, or following the news. But, for the most part, it was quite simple.

Those days are long gone, and sometimes I wish them back. It seems the world we now live in can leave a voracious desire to have moreto know more. It can lead us to believe that meeting so-and-so would somehow greatly improve our lives. Now, this is not always not true. Meeting people and making connections and new relationships can always add to our lives, and sometimes can completely alter them. But more often than not, I think it’s a bunch of hog-wash that fills our lives with ungrateful discontent.

The past week, I’ve been thinking about the people I know and how rich my life is because of them. It’s been deeply meaningful to say the least, and so wonderful to reflect on the gems of people I have the privilege of knowing. The things I think I want, I have in the people I already know. People who have shared life with me. People who know I’m a savory not a sweets girl. People who value me and want to spend time with me. People who have seen me at my worst and love me anyhow. People who have taken risks for causes greater than themselves. People who have altered history by their quiet lives of sacrifice and character. People who laugh with me until we cry. People who are raising amazing little people. People who are generous and inspiring. People who have come and gone but still hold their place in my heart. People who are heroes, and people who inspire me to love Jesus more than I do right now.

If you stop and look at who you have around you, you’ll be surprised, too. There’s not much to be left wanting.

Thankful for you, friend.


The Gift-Giver. And then there’s me.

In New Winter, Uncategorized on December 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm

As you know, I am the world’s worst gift-giver. Or maybe I should say I’m the worst gift-giver when I have to get a gift for a specific someone, by a certain date and time. I actually love spontaneous giving, but that’s not the point. The very thought of Christmas and finding perfect gifts under such rigid constraints of deadlines and wish-lists is enough stress for me for the entire year. David and I have celebrated 13 Christmases together and I think I have only successfully surprised and delighted him one year with my valiant gift-giving efforts. Thankfully, he still loves me and buys me amazingly perfect gifts every year.

This year is no different, and mixed in with the general pressure of Christmas gifts is the pressure of trying to be that mom. We’ve talked about this before, the kind of mom I greatly admire that I am clearly not. I had a brilliant idea on November 30th that I wanted to do something for my kids for Adventlike so many moms I know. Thankfully I still had one day to figure it out. So I loaded up the kids to quickly hit up Marshall’s and Home Goods in search of the perfect Advent calendar. I thought it would be fun to have little things to open, or activities to do each day until Christmas. I quickly realized after purchasing several “little” items that there were in fact 25 days until Christmas and it would cost me a fortune to supply gifts each day until Christmas. I also remembered that I am not a baker and the thought of baking multiple times from now til Christmas with my not-so-tidy children was probably not a brilliant idea. Five hours later I had a pile of returns and a very frustrated soul.

I’ve realized I feel this same way about bringing gifts to Jesus. I often feel frustrated and inadequate. I start off with great intentions and end up a mess with nothing to give. I had to pause and remember the greatest part of this whole Christmas season–actually, this whole lifeis the person of Jesus. It’s the gift-giver Himself. It’s the Man who pours grace into my cup daily knowing I can’t fill it myself. It’s the Wonderful Counselor who is exactly that, a counselor because we so desperately need it. It’s the Everlasting Father who doesn’t have bad parenting days. It’s the Prince of Peace that our chaotic and frantic lives need so desperately. Andit’s free.  It’s freely given with love, over and over again. It’s a forgiveness waterfall. It’s unspeakable joy. It’s hope and mercy in the mornings. It’s the perfect gift, the one I so need and so don’t deserve.  It is the gift I can unashamedly open again and again. It’s the huge sigh of relief I can breathe because…Jesus.

So now, it’s a few days into advent, and we haven’t really done much. But what I have done and what we are going to continue to do is open the gift of our Saviordaily. I’m going to drink in the full dose of who He is, freely given to me.

Merry Christmas!


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