Joyful Presence

Like every year, the week before Christmas was a whirlwind of activity. Before the 25th, there were presents to still be wrapped (not part of my typical reality since I like having things done ahead of time), groceries to be bought, a table for sixteen to be set, music selections to be chosen (yep, just a […]

The Present of Presence

This post was originally published in 2014. I had it on my calendar to post again today (8 days before Christmas 2018) and coincidentally (or not, since things like this happen all the time), it was the topic at church yesterday. It’s eight days before Christmas! Emails regarding last-minute presents flood our inboxes. Anyone we’ve […]

Unpacking Christmas

I’ve been unpacking boxes of Christmas ornaments. In the boxes, there are the little drummer boys that Sara and Erin made with their grandmother thirty years ago, fragile glass ornaments and precious works of art that say, “best Nana ever”. There are gifts from friends and special pieces Mom gave me. Some are many decades […]

The Perfect Christmas Tree—An Annual Retelling

This is the annual retelling of the ninth post I wrote in 2013. It still brings me to tears and reminds me of how incredibly blessed I am.  Stories about Christmas abound. Some of those stories are filled with the sadness of missing a loved one. Others retell a time when we were far from home, […]

Premeditated Kindness

We often have a myopic view of the world, which limits us from “seeing” outside our own—frequently very limited—life. This narrow perspective leads to behavior that can be anything from inconsiderate to downright mean. We get so caught up in our reality that we don’t “see” how we sometimes behave. I truly believe that “nice” is underrated. I also believe […]

The Present of Presence

It’s six days before Christmas. Emails regarding last-minute presents flood our in-boxes. Anyone we’ve ever purchased anything from has exactly what we need to finish our shopping! Mall parking lots are packed with cars. Stores have long lines. Frustrated, and sometimes frantic, consumers are trying to find: the right gift, the perfect gift, the gift that says, “yes I do pay […]