Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Night before Advent







The Night Before Advent

New pajamas soft and pretty
Nativity storybooks sweet and quiet
Remembering together what Advent is and why it's special
Cocoa with marshmallows and sprinkles warm and cozy
Advent readings ready for reading
G.K. Chesterton's  "A Christmas Carol" calm and bright:

The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap
His hair was like a light,
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast
His hair was like a star,
(O stern and cunning are the kings
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart
His hair was like a fire,
(O weary, weary is the world
But here the world's desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown
And all the flowers looked up at him
And all the stars looked down.


~~~
(For those who are wondering, the sale of our house still hasn't closed.  Needless to say, we're frustrated and exhausted from the crazy up and down of the last 90 days since we received the offer but hopefully the end is very very near. We can't wait to keep moving ahead on arranging for our new home!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

rough

















It's been a rough week, friends, and it's only Wednesday.  No denying it.  When our house didn't close on schedule Monday (well, a month later than scheduled but rescheduled a few times already) because of an oversight on the part of the lender and then shortly after that we discovered that our sweet cat of five years is dead... Not a winning combo for a happy heart.

So I wait and cling to the only hope there is in my small mind right now:  God is God and knows what is best.   We pray for a miraculous provision that would allow our house to close before middle of December now, and meanwhile frustration cycles around in my head and heart over lame errors made by lame people.  Just, if you are willing, say a prayer because we are trying to buy another house so our timeline isn't just free and easy at this point. I know He can do it but whether He will or not, I don't know.  "Not my will but Thine, Lord."  Somehow I need to keep saying it and hoping I mean it more often than not.

My Buds and Bumbles shawl is coming slowly because I keep discovering an extra stitch at the end of the row and so I tink back a bit to fix it.  My mind isn't holding the pattern in place very well right now (see above...).  It's not even a hard pattern,  it's the same few stitches repeated in the same 8 rows over and over and I've got them basically memorized.  So there's that.  Fortunately I can't screw up my reading, and I'm really into Rebecca.  It's very good.  

Rolling beeswax candles.  That's therapeutic.  

{I've got to figure out how to adjust my settings on my camera and understand what is causing the grainy quality here and there.    They're nicely exposed for the most part but I'm such a newbie still at photography that I don't always catch what is wrong through the viewfinder and it's too late to adjust it now,  (suggestions welcome!} 

Joining the Yarn Along linkup today.  Are  you preparing for Christmas?  We are having a little "Night before Advent" family party tonight ala Ann Voskamp.  I know it's technically already Advent but our devotional and advent calendar and everything start on the 1st, so we're starting our Advent stuff tomorrow night.  New jammies for the girls wrapped up with cocoa and fixings, our advent devotional and Jesse tree ornaments.  They're going to be so excited!  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

yonder



















Sometimes you get to choose the broken you enter into with someone and sometimes you are pushed right through the door of suffering with no warning.  

Sometimes that brokenness slams through the world and seems to define everything and everyone in reach.  It dictates relationship and thought and plans and feeling.  The sorrow and pain hounds and whines and pulls in every direction.   Ones you love choose destruction and dysfunction, and helpless, you stand by and yearn for restoration and for undoing. "What-ifs" storm frantic and trust is far off.  Healing seems an impossibility.  The cymbals of sadness crash loud through your heart and your mind.

---

Peace.  Be still.  

---

There is hope and joy in the mourning.  We turn quickly from a season of Thanks-giving to a season marked by longing.  Christmas is a celebration of His coming- yes yes hallelujah! - but the more we see of the brokenness, the more it becomes a plea for His Advent: His Advent in our souls daily, His Advent in the laboring weary hearts all around us, and His Advent of full healing in this limping lonely world.  We continue our thanksgiving while also calling hungrily for more, more, more of His grace, mercy, and peace for our hearts, our families, our communities. 

There is hope and joy in the morning.  Circumstances may rock and jar but the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.  His faithfulness has no end.  His love never fails.  The ones with whom you swim muddled together through the murky sea of despair and anxiety are often the ones who become most dear because the relationship has no off-limits, no holding back.  You truly know each other and love each other.  There is no question of whether this will pass, if He is your Father; this WILL pass. The question is only "when?"  "How long, Oh Lord?" 

May I shockingly pray that the beginning of this Advent season stretches us both to see and embrace the broken as Jesus embraces us?  Where brokenness abides, there also is beauty much treasured.

~~A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.  Fall on your knees~~


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

buds and bumbles begins














The sunshine is so golden when it shines, but this morning I look out the window and it's frosty and white-blue with cold.  We are about to start running around getting ready to leave town. Suitcases are packed tight with clothes and the sweet potatoes are roasted, salad fixings ready to travel. 

I cast on finally with some of the birthday yarn from my Mama; I cast on Martina Behm's "Bud and Bumbles" shawl (which I apparently can't link to since ravelry seems to be down right now for me) using Schoppel, this incredible color gradient.  Isn't it lovely?  While I hadn't been knitting much, I've been cross-stitching like a fiend on Rosie's stocking.  I have made significant headway but I still don't really expect it to be finished and ready to use on Christmas.  Especially because the sewing bit may be a challenge with no sewing machine right now.  Cross-stitch is still my first love; nothing will replace it, even knitting with it's daily dose of calm and peace.

Lyddie had her seventh birthday.  How can that be?  I love that picture of her laying in the middle of the floor listening to her audiobook with her new headphones and holding tight to her balloons.  "Mama, I can't stop thanking you for these, I love them so much!!" she says.  Meaning, of course, she can't thank me enough. She is such a beautiful-smart-funny-interesting-kind girl.  A great big sister, a wonderful daughter.  I am thankful for her.  She is such a treasure and although of course not primarily my friend, yet she is in a way, my dear little friend.  

The girls have been beading away on these Wampum belts, which we first learned from our friend at church activities and I then replicated here at home.  I love seeing their random selection of beads and now that Lyddie has finished her first one, she has charted and designed the color pattern of her next one on a graph.  

We might sign for the sale of our house today.  It would miraculous if we did, and I don't quite expect it but I do hope for it.  Otherwise we will hopefully sign the papers early next week. There are so many "I hopes" going on right now. We are eager to finish the deal because there is now another house we hope buy on the market, a house we heard about through the grapevine before it was listed.  The seller is a friend of several of our friends and she said she was not very hopeful about finding a buyer when her husband got a new job far away, which made me smile because I felt the exact same way when we listed our house and the Lord provided a buyer for us and hopefully we are the buyers He is providing for them. It is an old farmhouse with a lot of character on two acres.  There are so many things that are almost exactly what we prayed for and I hardly dared hope for. I still feel like I'm holding my breath a bit.  This is really God's doing thus far, I think, and I am trying to be still to let Him lead us and finish the work. 

Last, I am back to reading Rebecca.  I took a little break and read Wonder by R.J Palacio- so good! - and figured I'd go back to this creepy crawly book to try to finish it.  

You can visit the Yarn Along link up and join in too!  Has the weather turned cold for you yet, or are you reading something really great I should put on my list for next year?  Happy Thanksgiving, friends.  If you are traveling, I hope you have safe travels, and if not, that you are surrounded by those you love in your own home or nearby.