Michael W. Smith Wins the Christmas Music Trophy

Merry Christmas Eve Eve, beloveds! Today is the first time I’ve ever heard this song and  I knew I had to share it with you. It has made me cry and it keeps making me cry. I feel like this song should simultaneously be belted in a musical, sung in a church, and cried out in a quiet room in a quiet house next to a well-worn Bible to an audience of One.

I pray you can take a moment today to stop, calm your heart, and enjoy “the wondrous child” who “knows your joy and feels your suffering.” Thank you Michael W. Smith and Michael McDonald!

A Poem for Advent

Mary’s Song

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast
keep warm this small hot naked star
fallen to my arms. (Rest …
you who have had so far
to come.) Now nearness satisfies
the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies
whose vigor hurled
a universe. He sleeps
whose eyelids have not closed before.

His breath (so slight it seems
no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps
to sprout a world.
Charmed by doves’ voices, the whisper of straw,
he dreams,
hearing no music from his other spheres.
Breath, mouth, ears, eyes
he is curtailed
who overflowed all skies,
all years.
Older than eternity, now he
is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed
to my poor planet, caught that I might be free,
blind in my womb to know my darkness ended,
brought to this birth
for me to be new-born,
and for him to see me mended
I must see him torn.

Luci Shaw

Mary Did You Know?

Thanksgiving is over and it’s snowing on my blog, so that must mean it’s time for Christmas music! Thanks to Ransom for introducing me to this rockin’ acapella group, Pentatonix. And if you’re sick of hearing the same ole Christmas songs, check out their Christmas album (on youtube or spotify) for some fun new ones.

When I Heard Christmas Doesn’t End on Dec. 26th Because We Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas

I was like…

And I read this about the Twelve Days of Christmas:

“…the weeks leading up to Christmas can be crazy, sapping our energies and emotions. With Christmas Day over, we may feel more than ready for a return to “normal.” The culture around us will quickly move on, but we can treat these twelve days differently. We can live as if we have arrived on a spiritual island after a long and arduous trip. Take a deep breath now and settle in for the time being. Let yourself relish where you are in the year–and in the Story…continue your wonder and celebration of the glory hidden first in the womb and then the stable and even now in your own life. Immanuel–God is with us! Keep rejoicing.”

-Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross

A Promised Ruler

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.”

-Micah 5:2-5

peace

Lord, Let Not Our Souls Be Busy Inns

An Advent Prayer:

“Lord, let not our souls be busy inns that have no room for thee or thine,
But quiet homes of prayer and praise, where thou mayest find fit company,
Where the needful cares of life are wisely ordered and put away,
And wide, sweet spaces kept for thee; where holy thoughts pass up and down
And fervent longings watch and wait thy coming.”

– Julian of Norwich (1340-1426)

Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season are the carols! Here’s an Appalachian folk carol collected by John Jacob Niles in the early 1900s.

 

Jesus, Jesus, rest your head.

You have got a manger bed.

All the evil folk on earth

Sleep in feathers at their birth.

Jesus, Jesus, rest your head.

You have got a manger bed.

Have you heard about our Jesus?

Have you heard about His fate?

How His Mother went to the stable,

On that Christmas Eve so late?

 

Winds were blowing, cows were lowing,

Stars were glowing, glowing, glowing.

Jesus, Jesus, rest your head.

You have got a manger bed.

To the manger came the Wise Men.

Bringing gifts so rich and rare,

To the Father and the Mother,

And the blessed infant there.

 

Shepherds left their fields and flocks

And sat beside the ass and ox.

Jesus, Jesus, rest your head

You have got a manger bed.

Go to Sleep and Dream of…

Yesterday was the first snow of the season! And it’s supposed to snow again tomorrow! Let’s revel in it and enjoy the snow, beloveds!

Lorelai has a special relationship with snow

My instagram of yesterday’s snowstorm

my snow pic

Linus is reveling

And these kittys seem to be having fun

cat-loves-snow

cat hit snow

But if it’s too chilly ‘fer ya you’ve got two options-either huddle for warmth or do a little dance

And though outside it’s looking like this

wintry scene

I’m inside bundled in books

bundled in books

But that’s okay because I like these books, and I’ve got

hot chocolate

And

cozy blankets

And if you’re lacking snow in your part of the world, you can always get some through books like one

narnia

Or through favorite Christmas movies like this one

And with that, I’ll leave you with a happy lil’ snow owl

happy snow owl