Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Small pile of Christmas cards neatly stacked for the postman... table cluttered with the remaining. Trees decorated in winter bliss while my kitchen looks like it's been hit by a spring tornado. Christmas gift list tackled while the Gospel of Luke remains unruffled.
This year's Christmas looks nothing like the previous. Knowing that I would be celebrating solo, I focused on nothing but Jesus, but this year, filled with family and friends, I've slipped back into the temptation of should.  I should send a Hallmark to everyone, I should have wrapped the very last present weeks ago with Pinterest execution, my house and front yard should invite friend and stranger alike with twinkling lights and wafts of cookies baking in both ovens. 
The joy I felt last year is replaced with tension and guilt, emptiness and longing. 
I've failed; I can't serve two masters: the Christmas of expectation and the Christmas found in a feeding trough.
I hope I've learned my lesson, even if only a few advent days remain.
I'm packing up should, unwrapping linger.
Sit a long spell with Jesus who shines throughout the Holy Scripture, write that long letter to my late husband's frail aunt, pray for the friend who can't call her Christmas merry, share the story of great rescue with a lost soul.
Linger with one Master.
It just so happens, I write this reminder to myself on the winter solstice, the very day of the year with the fewest hours of sunlight. Light increases with each day forward. That's my desire for the rest of the season.
May the Son increase.
 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

Saturday, December 3, 2016

On the eve of Rob's third year in Heaven, I've been thinking about how much he loved Christmas music. How fitting that tomorrow my church will be filled with carols from young and old. Rob accompanied the littlest voices to some of the finest soloists I know. Our home was filled with the wonderful sound of his piano throughout December and he made sure the students took time to carol for nursing home residents and staff. He'd drag an old piano or keyboard to each wing to make sure the kids were accompanied. I was in charge of making sure he remembered his readers, but really, he knew them all by heart. I don't know if he is playing an instrument (I hope so!) but I know he's singing with the choirs of angels, singing in exultation! Make a joyful noise, my love.