:: listening to
Kelly Clarkson’s WRAPPED IN RED Christmas CD and amazed at just how good her voice is sounding these days. Really loving song #9, WINTER DREAMS (Brandon’s Song).
::clothing myself in
Sweatshirts and hoodies since we are finally having some actual weather – cool, windy, and overcast.
Thanksgiving and how much it means to embrace family.
“Order is not pressure which is imposed on society from without, but an equilibrium which is set up from within.” – Jose Ortega Y Gasset
“Society without” is not just secular, but Christian as well. This is the time of year when we hear grumbles and mumbles from many of our brothers- and sisters-in-Christ regarding the “too early” on-set of Christmas songs and holiday advertisement. Warnings about overlooking Thanksgiving with daydreams of sugar-plum fairies and gingerbread houses. I can appreciate the sentiment, but I trust that we, as Christians, are capable of embracing all the holiday fanfare, while still managing to recognize Thanksgiving Day for the solemn, reflective, humbling day it is. I also believe we are capable of keeping Christ at the forefront of our Christmas even, and especially, as we navigate through the sparkling malls with bags fanning out over our arms like birds ready for flight. We’re Christians. We’re Adults. We are balanced; our holiday equilibriums composed and poised between the glitter and His glory. We can SO do this.
A LITTLE SALTY TO CUT THE SWEET by Sophie Hudson, BREAD AND WINE by Shauna Niequist, and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. Particularly loving Atticus’s bits of wisdom in TKAM, such as, “When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness’ sake. But don’t make a production of it” and “Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.” I think the same holds true with their fascination for that rebel middle-finger they observe and experiment with that isn’t necessarily sanctioned by American Sign Language institutes.
::living the liturgy
“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through the generations.”
– Psalm 100:5
I agree with Elizabeth Foss (Heart of my Home) that the “struggle between the secular calendar and the liturgical one becomes more pronounced as the children [grandchildren] get older, not because the children are becoming more ‘secular,’ but because they have obligations to outside elements.” And as “Their worlds grow wider…ours do to.” Our children grow up and then spread out in this wonderful and wacky world that God gave us. They go to university or into the military service or get a job, they marry, they have children – and their worlds expand exponentially. In doing so, we must all adjust. Time with extended family will change its shape and traditions will ebb & flow & ebb again. Sometimes we have to trust that we didn’t totally screw up in the raising of them and just breathe in the freshness of change.
For our four daughters who continue to grow in their own individual awesomeness as sisters, aunties, wives, and mamas, as well as how the youngest, now 33 years-old, still holds onto traditions and ways to implement them into our tiny piece of a bigger clan.
For seven grandson and five granddaughters who give promise to generations to follow as they stretch their branches up and out from the family tree.
For friends who tug at my heartstrings, or thump-me-head, when I need it and who know that I’m thinking & praying for them — always — amidst and amid the chaos and busy-ness of the everyday.
For my beloved husband and his siblings all of whom will be celebrating their first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a New Year without the physical presence of their parents.
For the brief time I had with Dad and Mom Heim here on earth. The were, in every sense, the best parents-in-law this gal could ask for.
For many, many nephews and nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces, who are the sunshine at every family gathering.
For my mother and sister, and the oodles of aunts & uncles & cousins I’ve come to connect with and cherish in the past several years. (And to Mark Zuckerberg for making it totally doable via Facebook.)
::loving the moments
We’ve been sprucing up our “galley” kitchen for nearly 2 ½ years now. Time and money are pranksters in Heim World. When my husband finally finished installing a new light over the kitchen sink, all I could do was feel happy each time I flipped it on. One evening I walked out of the kitchen and over to the couch where he was sitting with our eldest grandson. I leaned over, said “Thank you for my new kitchen light,” and kissed him. It was a blessed moment — then he slapped our grandson on the knee and whooped, “Did you see THAT? Grandma gave me some lovin’!”
::looking forward to
A soulfully satisfying holiday season – time to be with the ones I love and tinker with things I enjoy, including dabbling with the rhythm of this blog. When it comes to writing, Terry Tempest Williams sums up how I, and most writers, feel:
I trust nothing especially myself and slide head first into the
familiar abyss of doubt and humiliation and threaten to push the delete
button on my way down, or madly erase each line, pick up the paper
and rip it into shreds-and then I realize, it doesn’t matter, words are
always a gamble, words are splinters from cut glass. I write because
it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the
words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable
we are, how transient.