Sunday, December 22, 2013

the present you can open right now

Creativity is not about me.  It is not about you.  
It is not us somehow acting like little gods, creating on our own the same way God creates.  
The most we can hope for is to respond appropriately and creatively to who God is and what he means.   
Creativity is a response.

It was the first time I ever really saw the sun rise.  

I've seen sunrises but that big ball of fire we orbit is so blinding that our eyes can never really hold it.  Watching most sunrises is really just watching the space around it painted and brightened in indescribable shades.  
It's always beautiful...
but this particular day was different.  

From my chair in the hotel dining room, I watched the actual sun as it crept upward.  

There was a thin veil of fog that hung like a voile curtain between us.  It was just enough protection for my eyes to lock onto that climbing orb completely.  I fixed my gaze and watched it move slowly into position.  As it moved the curtain thinned and my eyes had to shift their focus onto the scene that was being painted all around the light.  Once again, the source of the light itself became more than my eyes could hold.
For a moment I had seen it's edges completely and tracked it's miniscule movements and then suddenly it burst into something more than I could take in.  As my field of vision widened I saw the sky brightening from gray to blue.  I saw the dark shadows on the sand disappear and I saw the waves...oh the waves...

Friday, December 20, 2013

the day i bumped into a secret service agent

This morning I knelt down to snap this picture because I had to capture it...snapdragons in December.
When I stood and turned to walk back into our hotel I nearly bumped right into a secret service agent.  OK...I don't know if he was really a secret service agent but he was wearing a suit and had one of those earpiece thingys and he looked really serious like he was using some kind of metal detector in his head to scan me for weapons.  

Behind him there were other secret service agents and a couple of big SUV's with U.S. government plates.  I tried to look at the whole scene without looking at the whole scene - know what I mean?  I didn't want to be 'that person' but I was curious.

Monday, December 16, 2013

with us

You will be experienced as a blessing - to the extent you have first experienced yourself as blessed.

When you set feet on holy ground the words don't come easy.  

For two weeks I have been sitting on a story that seems more like a work of art than a series of events.  It's hard to paint that kind of picture with paltry words.  
Today I finally decided it's better to tell a good story inadequately than to never tell it at all...

We were at my in-laws lake house when I got the text.

Friday, December 13, 2013

how to get close to christmas

One year ago tragedy shook our nation and left us all with more questions than answers.  Today I remember those families directly impacted and whisper prayers of hope and healing for them.  We all have tragedies that color they way we experience this season...and so I'm whispering those same prayers for you.  We each carry our own personal heartaches as we step closer and closer to the cradle of our Savior.  I hope as these winter days roll on you will set your tragedies down and allow your fingers the freedom to reach out and touch Christmas...

{The following is a repost from December 2012}

When I picked her up from school today she danced to the flying.  She was singing a new's always a new song with her...usually about princesses or Jesus or something that she's recently learned.  The girl can set anything to music.

I was thankful.  Thankful that today is just another sweet day for her.  Thankful that school still feels happy and safe.  Thankful that, in her innocence, she doesn't carry the weight of the world.  I'm taking her lead.  I'm singing a new song.

Now we are home and I see her by the tree with all the pieces of our multiple nativity sets lined up.  She plays with them every day.  Sometimes she takes down ornaments and uses them too.  

I overhear her saying things like 'Christ Jesus' and 'three kings' and 'the star of Bethlehem'.  Even if she doesn't completely understand every detail of that first Christmas, I am grateful that the words and the stories are familiar to her.  Hearing those words cross her four-year-old lips gives me a peace that her spirit is already connecting with the eternal.  Since i never know what tomorrow holds that's what i wish for...eternity tucked in her heart.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

if you're ready to be ready for christmas

He was created of a mother whom He created.  He was carried by hands that He formed.  He cried in the manger in wordless infancy.  He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.

How do you prepare for someone like that?

In our home we've learned not to measure our readiness for Christmas by how many lights have been hung or how many gifts have been wrapped.  On the 25th of December, we could possess no more than a brittle branch of a tree that stands without a thing to offer underneath as long as we'd made the preparations of the heart.