Category Archives: holiday

The ‘Big C’ Doesn’t Stand for Christmas Around Here

It’s past time for an update from me.

Long past time. Those Facebook ‘year-in-review’ cards are taunting me. Also, the mailbox full of Christmas letters, which is something we’ve always spent way too much time and energy on in the past (we are a ‘family of writers’ after all). ‘Tis the season to put on a happy face, some matchy-matchy outfits and show the world how fabulous it is to be me; surpassed only by the sheer joy that comes from being one of my well-adjusted children.

It’s a festive filter. Not lies so much as a iron-willed determination to focus on all the happy, and only the happy. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ve often looked at a carefully staged family photo and been encouraged. Because we are those people, the best and the brightest parts of our lives.

But we’re also the dark and the ugly. The bickering and the yelling and the gritted teeth between flashes, the self-obsession, the focus on blemishes and fat and who-done-me-wrong, the jealousy and dissatisfaction and greed. Also, the heartbreak and grief and utter confusion, the disabilities and disappointments, the pain and suffering and dark nights of the soul.

No one wants that stuff on the record.

Which brings me to my lack of updates. I’m not sure where to start. I’m not sure what can be put into words.

Since our daughter’s diagnosis we were assured that we had the best possible prognosis (90% cure rate), a fact I didn’t realize I was banking on, until we got the news that she has an unusual mutated form of leukemia. The new number, 65%, is not nearly so bankable. Better than some, and ultimately, just a number… but it was a blow.

She responded well to treatment, although she did develop diabetes due to the meds. Shortly after our not so great news, it became apparent that she had picked up an infection from her latest bone marrow biopsy – skin, blood and, likely, bone infections, actually. Layered on top of that, a UTI and kidney troubles. A week later, a highly contagious, and frankly nasty infection called c-diff landed us in isolation. Add just a dash of liver function decline to keep it interesting.

Suffice it to say, we didn’t leave the hospital after the first month as planned. We ended up staying almost 8 weeks.

On Saturday night, we brought her home!

That’s the upside. The happy holiday snapshot that makes everyone smile. It is SO good to be home! We go back to the hospital every other day, but even that feels like a relief, because her immune system is non-existent right now, her meds are complicated and we are nervous wrecks – we’re happy to get her checked out, just to make sure. These people are on top of it, and they don’t mess around.

The other upside continues to be the support and love of everyone around us. We’re overwhelmed with gifts and food and encouragement from all kinds of people – ‘cancer swag’ is the real deal. Something about this kind of struggle taps into the kindness of all humanity.

Bureaucracy, not so much. But that’s a dark side story.

There’s a lot of dark side too. A lot of moments that don’t make the Facebook feed. We are living every parent’s worst nightmare, and there are very few moments that I’m not aware of that.

We’ve got our game face on most of the time. That’s what parents do. Get through. Research. Dole out comfort/attention/discipline as needed. Wrap up presents. Cry in the shower. Turn on the Christmas lights. Check to make sure she’s breathing.

I’m good at being a mom.

I’m just not so good at being a person right now.

I can’t read anymore, I don’t have the attention span. I spend a lot of time on Facebook instead. The stupid quizzes, celebrity news, whimsical quotes – that’s the depth I can handle. I’m forgetful and touchy and easily overwhelmed. I eat junk food, even when it turns my stomach. I don’t even make plans to exercise. Mostly, I’m angry. Not like usual, where I fuss and rant then feel instantly better. This is a low-level simmering that is far more toxic. So much around me seems pointless. And I am running out of polite.

For instance, the service industry: full of seemingly cheerful people who are paid to make inane small talk with strangers, has become a perpetual irritation to me. I used to be a cashier. It’s the job. Especially at this time of year. I get it. But it still makes my skin crawl. I’ve encountered several versions of: “What fun plans do you have this year?” and, “So, how are you getting into the spirit of the season?” and even, “You look sad, cheer up, we’re celebrating the Saviour’s birth – Christmas is the most wonderful time of year!”

I’ve started giving them an honest answer. Strangely, it doesn’t seem to be what they want to hear. My reality rudely interrupts their peace on earth.

I secretly enjoy their horrified looks. So sick of this pressure to be happy, happy, happy…

bah. humbug.

So here’s us, with the least inspiring Christmas update you’ve ever read. Have yourself whatever kind of holiday you need to have. Life is about more than just the merry. And that’s okay too.


Glimmers of Christmas

audienceWe’re tucked in together, shoulder to shoulder, like books on a shelf. To my left, my husband’s look-a-like, the grey haired version, his face and gestures strange on that familiar frame. His left leg is propped in the aisle, too stiff to bend completely. On the right, my mother’s sister uses her one good hand to maneuver her leg brace into position. Farther down my daughter clambers awkwardly over Daddy and brother, the mountain of coats chair, and Oma, who’s hiding a bag of candy canes at her feet. Nine-year-old arms and legs narrowly miss kicking the curly head in front of us as she wedges herself onto my lap. It’s a full house tonight. Warmth on every side.

pigskinThere’s a cool draft sneaking in under the door. The light stretches thin into this back hallway, the shadows at the end overpowering it entirely. Such a cold, industrial space would seem unwelcoming to most, but his appreciation echoes all the way down. “Baaaaallllllll!” he shrieks, chasing the imitation pigskin as it bumps and thumps its way down the tiles. I close the lid of the Lost and Found box, grateful to the careless student who unknowingly provided our intermission entertainment, my very own half-time show. As he falls on his prey, it’s hard to tell who’s winning the wrestling match. The unwieldy ball is much too big for his little hands, but his enthusiasm is larger than life. I’ve no doubt the ball will eventually concede defeat, collapsing in sheer exhaustion. I certainly do.

starThe stage is dark in every way: black floor, heavy curtains, every light extinguished. But I can hear them, the shuffle of ballet slippers and instructional whispers and nervous giggles. Every parent leans forward, peering past elf costumes, shellacked hairdos and garish stage make up to find their very own dancer. Mine’s wearing a chef’s hat, an apron, and a stage smile I’ve never seen before, but I recognize her shape, the impish twinkle in her eye, and the baking sheet she stole from my cupboard last month. My other dancer comes out more than once, part of senior company, she plays many parts; while I know her face, I don’t recognize her at all. She is so grown up, so graceful and beautiful. Not the baby I used to dance around on my hip.

These moments, these details, fly by so fast. Each one, a brief glimmer of joy and family and the Christmas I’m hoping for. But I’m more focused on keeping us all out of trouble and inside the lines. Shushing the littles who holler and wail at the worst times, making holiday plans with the in-laws, feeling hemmed in by the crowds and worried about dinner, snapping at my partner for not knowing what I need and taking offense when he does the same.

I miss them. Over and over again, I miss the glimmers. They slip through my fingers while I juggle my worries and obligations. I need to rewind, to relive it in slow motion and taste the best moments again.

I guess that’s why I write.

So here’s us, hobbling and flailing, shrieking and wrestling, and dancing our way to Christmas. It might not be postcard pretty, but we’ll get there.

This was written for the Word Press Weekly Writing Challenge: Collecting Detail Weekly Writing Challenge: Collecting Detail | The Daily Post
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/challenge-collecting-detail/
write about three original details I noticed from encounters during my day.


Music to my Ears

It projects across the room, flat and forced, more like yelling than singing.

It’s a step, or two, behind the rest. A discordant echo chasing lyrics that roll off nimbler tongues with ease.

It’s one of the most beautiful sounds in my world.

We’ve had two Christmas shows already this year. At one, she sat front and centre, arms flailing in an approximation of the actions her classmates were performing. At the other, deciding she didn’t like her spot on stage she pulled up a chair and sat behind the rest of the choir.show

There have been years when the traditions of seasonal performance have stung. When she refused to sit with her class or jingle her bells. When she decided scratching her bum onstage was more urgent than saying the words we had practiced so many, many times. When she pulled her dress up over her head for the duration. And while my mouth laughed with everyone else, my heart ached to see her set apart yet again.

But this year… this year her voice rang out above all the rest. Like it has for the last two Christmases, like it does each week at church, and in the car, and lying in bed at night.

She found her voice. She unleashed her inner diva. She fell in love with the spotlight.

Now, the holiday concert is joy. Vibrating with excitement, waving madly, calling out enthusiastically to familiar faces in the crowd, body and soul pouring out in a musical offering, bowing with a flourish at the end, two thumbs up and a toothy grin in my direction. “Good job!” she says to everyone.

No talent scout has darkened our door. No voice coach has approached us with accolades. Her imperfect efforts in these little shows don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.

In fact, the Christmas show is standard fare for most kids, most schools, most families. Everyone does it. No big deal.

But these molehills are mountains to us. We don’t take any of it for granted. Which makes it even more magical.

At the church pageant our daughter’s friend, from Special Olympics, lisped a single line into the microphone. Heavily prompted. Two words at a time. I had to choke back tears as the crowd clapped and cheered.

Next week, we have another Christmas concert. I can’t wait. Because that toneless, tuneless, guileless song is music to my ears.

So here’s us, where performance is judged purely on enthusiasm and effort. And the ability to keep one’s clothes on in public.


Standing up to December

December is the giant of the calendar year. It bullies all the other months with it’s frantic, festive persona. Both the fun-loving life of the party and the obnoxious character who sucks all the attention in the room. She’s busier and happier and larger than life.

But she’s also lonelier and sadder and phonier.

December bullies people too. She’s a hard task master. More than any other time of the year we want to do it all, and be it all, and get it all right. Or at least look the part in the family photo.

santa

Not to worry. This isn’t a nihilistic, anti-Christmas post. It’s not another ’embrace the true reason for the season’ sermon. This is just me, trying to make peace with December, the month I anticipate and dread in equal measure.

I love the trimmings and trappings of the holidays. I relish the music and the decorations and the warm, spicy smells. I’m deeply touched by Nativity, and the connotations of Immanuel: ‘God With Us’. I even enjoy rushing around to create those special seasonal moments.

Except when I don’t.

In December, there’s a fine line between ‘have-to’ and ‘want-to.’ Traditions can either comfort or consume, enhance or ensnare, delight or dilute. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: do our rituals serve us, or do we serve them?

Advent is meant to be a time of reflection, of mindfulness, of living with intention. This is both a spiritual discipline and a practical skill, and it doesn’t just happen, no matter how many garlands we hang.

So here’s me, making it clear from the get-go: December is not the boss of me!


The 3 Year Old

6003559370Every year on their birthdays, Glen and I write a Birthday Letter to each of our kids. What they were like that year. What strengths and talents we see in them. What words of wisdom we have for them.

Someday, they might even appreciate the gesture.

From Mom…

I write about you ALL the time! This past year you’ve hogged the ink in my journal and the word count on my blog. Sometimes I wonder if I’m overdoing it. If one day, you’ll look back and shake your head at all the gushing and worrying and over-analyzing. Will I embarrass you?

A decade from now, I can practically guarantee it. But right now, you don’t know the meaning of the word. That might be the best part of being 3. Especially a 3-year-old YOU!

You are wholeheartedly and unabashedly yourself. You have no use for limits at all…

Not social conventions.

Not medical diagnoses.

Not the laws of gravity.

Not fences or child-proof locks or boundaries.

And while this tendency can be both exhausting and terrifying for us, I hope you don’t lose it entirely.

You are my exuberant, half-wild, but entirely charming boy! This year we will try to keep our wits and keep you alive, without taming you completely. If you need to run, run toward us, not away. If you need to climb, chose somewhere safe. If you need adventure, take us with you.

You are a fearless explorer in perpetual motion! Right now your most common phrase is “I GO TOO!” as you race as fast as your little legs can go toward your next adventure. You were not made for sitting still. Or staying in bed, apparently, which has caused no end of late night power struggles and overtired shenanigans. I know it’s hard for you to downshift from your high speed lifestyle, but trust me, sleep is good.

You have one of the happiest natures I’ve ever seen! While your moments of frustration are impressively loud and passionate, once the tantrum has passed, that toothy grin comes back in full force. Happy is your default setting. And you’re always eager to share the sunshine. Our Child Development Worker coined the phrase “aggressively affectionate” to describe you. Not all your friends and cousins appreciate the full-body tackle-hug the way we do, so this year we’ll work on reading people’s cues and showing love in other ways. If all else fails, know that Mommy is ALWAYS up for one of your tight-squeezy-whole-body-melting-into-it-Hugs (ALWAYS… like, this offer will not expire during the teen years or adulthood or, you know, ever).

You are an adorable chatterbox! This goes against all the boy-girl stereotypes, which shouldn’t surprise me, since I know how you feel about staying in bounds. Without a doubt, you are the most talkative child we’ve ever had. This time last year, you only had a handful of words, which you rarely used, but you’ve blown us (and your speech therapist) away with your progress lately. They call it a developmental leap. I call it, Unleashing Your Inner Announcer. Wherever we go, whatever we do, your cute little voice gives an enthusiastic running commentary.

I’m not going to lie. You keep us hopping. I’ve reached heretofore unknown regions of exhaustion this past year. But chaos has never been so fun.

I love being your Mom!

Happy Birthday 3 year old!

From Dad…

Dear S,

When I wrote your birthday letter last year, I barely knew you. We were still just figuring out this whole daddy-son thing, and you had just had your entire world turned upside down. New home. New family. New food. New routines. Everything – new.

One year later, we’ve all come a long way. We’ve learned to anticipate at least some of your moves, and you’ve learned how to play us to get your way sometimes too.

If I could sum up the past year in one word, it would be RUNNING. You, running, always on the move, finding ways to escape just when we thought we had you locked down, creating danger where we thought we had ensured safety. Us, running, trying to keep up with you, attempting to even get one step,ahead… occasionally.

You’ve forced us to become more creative and resourceful. If we’re not trying every strategy under the sun to keep you in your bed at night, we’re divining inventive ways to make it impossible for you to climb the deck railing and fall into the backyard two stories below.

You’ve forced us into action. For a family that loved their peace, quiet and a good book, the addition of a hyper-energetic little dude who can’t sit still for a second was quite the adjustment. It’s been good for us.

Most of all, you’ve forced us to love. Not that we didn’t love before, and not that it was against our will. But you, my son, are undeniably lovable. Sometimes we get frustrated by your latest escapade, but then you flash us that ear-to-ear grin and instantly transform our righteous anger into laughter. It’s really not fair. But it’s probably going to get you out of all kinds of trouble over the years. Because who can resist?

So here’s to you. Happy Birthday 3-year-old! And just so you know, I’ve been working on the assumption that by the time you’re four, our life will be slightly less frantic. Do you think maybe we can make that happen… please?

Love,

Daddy


What My Dad Does

toolboxHe fixes things.

With power tools. And goofy jokes. And ice cream.

He fixes the little things – baseboards and light switches and toilet bowls. He fixes playhouse roofs and sticky doors and bookshelves. He putters and fusses and rearranges until every is running smoothly. He jumps on every squeak and creak and unnatural sound we’ve been content to overlook.

He worries about money.

Our money. His own money. The government’s money. “Bunch of crooks.”

He makes budgets and savings plans and investment suggestions. He uses coupons and goes without and is always up for a “great deal.” He buys things for us anyway. He passes me a handful of cash on his way out the door – “for groceries.”

He makes plans.

To improve. To expand. To make our life easier.

He draws it on napkins and scrap paper. Then measures and figures and makes supply lists. A new idea, or 10, carefully sketched to dimension – “just in case.”

And when you listen very close, you can hear just how much he loves us.

Because my Dad’s love is practical like that.

Thanks for everything Dad!
We love you!
Happy Father’s Day!

So here’s me, so grateful to the man who  taught me to appreciate the True Story, and the great deal, and ice cream (no matter the time of day or weather), and to look for a gentle, intelligent, silly, responsible, loving Dad for my own kids.

Today’s Five Minute Friday prompt was: LISTEN

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker once again!5minutefriday

It’s easy to join in, just:

  1. Check what the prompt is on the blog.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog (or in the comments if you don’t have a blog).
  3. Link over to http://lisajobaker.com/and invite friends to join in.
  4. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url www.lisajobaker.com but your post url http://www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ }
  5. Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of my Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  6. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky.
  7. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.
  8. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you! – See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.f0tadvSa.dpuf

That’s My Future You’re Raising

That’s my future you are raising. That’s my children’s future and my grandchildren’s too. That is the spouses and friends and employers and employees and neighbours who will populate our world for years to come. That is the community we are making for ourselves.

mothersdaySo, to all the mothers, and the mother-ing, we wish you well. We think you are heroes! We appreciate you! We pray for your success and courage and energy and patience and unwavering love.

I know the job is rewarding, but overwhelming. I know that you are tired more often than not. I know that there never seem to be enough hours in the day to do it all (because there really aren’t). I know that most of you are doing your best, and all of you want to do better.

I know that you have beautiful dreams for your children. I know that you are haunted by fears for their health and their safety and their choices and their one day learning to pee in the potty (or maybe that’s just me). I know that you have good days when you see their eyes light up with discovery and are struck speechless at their sweetness and brilliance and beauty. I know that you have bad days when you wonder how you are going to survive this endless nightmare (granted it’s only been 45 minutes, but at 2 am, it feels pretty damn endless) and are equally speechless with frustration and exhaustion and despair.

I know it’s not easy, not for me anyway. But I know that it’s important. Not just for me and my children, or you and yours, but for all of us. That’s our future you are raising.

So we thank you.

THANK YOU for . . . every night of interrupted sleep, for every unnoticed menial chore (especially the smelly ones), for every second of patient listening, for every warning and inconvenient discipline, for every slobbery kiss and sticky hug you lovingly received, for every “but why?” you’ve answered, for every hormonal tirade you’ve diffused, for every teeth gritting smile while they make their own mistakes… for every sacrifice of your time, your energy, and your own plans.

This is love.

To love another person, as much as we love ourselves, is the most important job God has given us as human beings. I can’t think of a better here-and-now example of that, than a Mom.

So here’s to the Mom’s at the grocery store and school parking lot and splash park and church nursery and all around the world.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Excerpts of this are taken from my article on Family Life Canada


Why Lent is a Good Idea for Everyone

lentIt was the pancakes. That’s what caught my attention. Shrove Tuesday – a sacred day of pancake eating. How awesome is that?

There wasn’t much talk of liturgical calanders in my Evangelical upbringing. Just cautionary tales and the whispered suggestion that they might, POSSIBLY be Real Christians, but just barely. Poor, meaningless automotans with their empty rituals. And then there’s the Catholics. A superstitious bunch, I was taught, barely discernable from the heathens; who prayed to statues, and for some reason, like to eat fish on Friday.

We weren’t very comfortable with anyone who wasn’t Us. Like the Pentecostals. And the United Church. And the Mormons. And the Agnostics. And the very scariest creatures of all: the Atheists (word is, they have an “Agenda” and we should watch out for that).

My world didn’t stay that small. Most Evangelical circles have opened up somewhat in the past decade (or two… or okay fine… three) since I was a child. The popular Mitford book series opened up the strange world of Episcopalians to many. These days, it’s not unusual to hear a discussion on Lectio Divina in a Baptist bible study. Or a more casual Stations of the Cross set up in the local community church.

As I got to know (and love and be related to) actual people who followed liturgical tradition, I began to see the unique beauty of it (and not just the pancakes). It may not be the style of worship I’m used to, but it is deeply meaningful and steeped in history. Ancient traditions so much more powerful that the latest born-again fad at the local Blessings bookstore. Maybe WE are the ones who have been missing out.

Which brings me back to the pancakes. Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent. When you get your house in order both figuratively with confession and literally (by using up rich foods like sugar, dairy and eggs) before a period of fasting or plain eating. Enter: hallowed consumption of pancakes.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. These 40 days (not counting Sundays) are a time for the faithful to prepare themselves for the celebration of Easter Sunday. It is a period of fasting or self denial, prayer, contemplation, examining oneself, and starting over.

For most of us from an Evangelical tradition, or no tradition at all, it is known as: Another-Wednesday-Just-Like-Any-Other. But who’s to say we can’t make it more? Lent is a good idea for EVERYONE and here’s why:

Be part of history.

Hundreds of years ago there was a tired, middle-aged (though still hip and young-at-heart) Mom just like me, who set apart these six weeks to live simply and refocus spiritually. That I might walk alongside her and the women who came before her and women who came after and the women who will come after me is something amazing. The Church (big C) is more than the congregation of my home church or other people in my country who may check the “Christian” box of a questionnaire; it is a family of faith that encircles the globe and stretches back throughout history. When we worship through Lent, we worship together.

We have so much.

More than any people who have ever lived. More than any who celebrated Lent before us. We are a culture and a generation of so much. So much to do. So much to see. So much to know. So much to eat. So much to distract and burden and overwhelm. We need Lent more than ever.

It’s a prelude to the feast.

Lent is not about asceticism (a harsh mentality where deprivation is the ultimate spiritual virtue). It’s preperation for the ultimate celebration. For those of us who worship Jesus, Easter is more than another stat holiday. It’s more than chocolate eggs and pretty dresses and church choirs. But if we don’t put the time and effort into preparing ourselves, even an inspiring sermon and touching music will not soak soul deep.

Lent is a good idea for everyone. The Evangelicals, and the Catholics, and the Pentecostals… and the Agnostics, and even the Athiests. We could ALL use a Spiritual Detox.

Make Lent your own this year.

So here’s me, fasting every night from 7 pm until 7 am (which doesn’t seem like it should be a big deal, but for me it really is).

lentbookLent Resources:

This year I’ll be reading through Show Me the Way by Henri Nouwen

Lent and Dying to Yourself (video with Diana Butler Bass)

Why Evangelicals Need Lent by Tim Suttle

Get Lent by Andrew Santella


V-Day Project: Looking for 9 Good Humans

waterI was 16 when I ordered my first drink in a restaurant. Not a boozie drink. Just a pop (that’s a soda for you ‘mericans).

We didn’t go out to eat very often when I was growing up. My mom put food on the table almost every night, not only for us, but also for a rotating cast of “extras” in our open-door, hospitality-to-all home. Paying someone else to make our food did not fit into the frugalness-is-next-to-godliness family doctrine. Except, of course, for the occasional outing to DQ, since ice cream supercedes dogma.

When we did find ourselves seated around the table of a moderately priced family restaurant, usually pizza or breakfast food on the menu, we followed Standard Operating Procedure. Consult the coupon/weekly special/children’s menu for the BEST DEAL (yes, the BEST DEAL must always be capitalized; it is Important). Order water all around. And extra plates, because who would order a whole plate when you can share? Whatever you don’t eat, Dad will eat, including garnish. Wasting food was a terrible sin in our family; wasting Food We Paid Good Money For was UNTHINKABLE! On the way out, dessert for everyone: a chalky mint from the communal bowl by the door.

It was still a treat! As much as I like to tease my Dad about his miserly ways, he taught us that we can do without, and barely even notice. And so can you.

This Valentine’s Day, SheLoves Magazine is raising money to build a well in Burundi for the Batwa tribe. These people live at a level of poverty which we can barely contemplate. Most eat only once every three days.

Suddenly my frugal dining history is looking pretty decadant.

Which got me thinking… the next time I go to a restaurant, I will order water. I drink water, so that somewhere on the other side of the world another tired, frazzled Mom can do the same. And the few dollars I save, I give. A few dollars that don’t really mean that much to me, but to the town of Bubanza they mean clean water and a bright future.

This Valentine’s Day I’m donating $10 to build a well. I’m asking 9 of you to join me.

That’s it. Just $10.

sheloveswell-widget2Check it out:

O, That We May Love Well

Altogether, we are asking 100 SheLoves friends—yes, you, Beautiful one—to form a giving circle with your friends. When 100 of us say yes to gathering, we become multiplied by 10, each person giving $10, we reach our goal of $10,000.

100 SheLoves friends

x 10

x $10

= $10,000.

There’s a lot that needs doing in the world. And it’s overwhelming. And exhausting.

But this is very doable.

Please read up on the project and donate here.

And let me know.

1. Christie

2. Alison

3. Viva

4. Marjolaine

5. Walker

6. Marc

7. Thérèse

8. Eric

9. Shelby

So here’s me, $10 poorer, but richer in the long run.

February 15th Update:

“We did it! The SheLoves Well is currently at $11,025. YES, there will officially be a SheLoves Well in Bubanza and our friends will drink from this Well of Love and friendship and global community.

Thank you so much to *everyone* who gathered in Circles of Grace and gave from your hearts this past week. Happy WELLentine’s Day, from the bottom of our collective hearts.”

sarahbessey.com


Happy Birthday JC!

Today I spoke to someone who refused to say “Merry Christmas!”

I can sense the Evangelicals getting all in an uproar as I write this (cause nothing says celebrate with us better than arrogance and bossiness).

I decided not to litigate. Or protest. Or start a petition.

Not just because I think people have every right to celebrate what or how they want (free country and all that). Not just because she is incredibly stubborn and will not be moved. Not just because she’s my kid.

Because I think she got it right.

This past month I’ve read and watched and heard dozens of Christmas productions. From silly to profound, we come up with new ways and resurrect old ways, we add a modern twist here, a cool graphic there – all trying to communicate the simple but astounding truth: God was born!

My little B has cut through all the crap today. She simply says:

Happy Birthday Jesus!

20121225-162832.jpg

So here’s us, hope you’re enjoying the birthday party as much as we are. Happy Birthday indeed!


%d bloggers like this: