Joy has Come

Christmas is one of those times in the year that is always crazy busy… demanding much from ones senses…
Laughter, fun, celebrations and family time…
…as well as
An ever increasing, enervating, downward spiral of too much food and drink, too much noise and traffic, too many trips to the shops and line-ups everywhere…
In addition, expectations reap disappointment as we long to be affirmed as significant by people and the trimmings of this life….
Comparing ourselves to those around us our insecurities condemn us….
And so, often, the romance of Christmas is fleeting at best…
….and yet….
This is the season we celebrate the Gift that ended all this need to focus on the temporal…
The seasons’ activities, tables, gifts and friends do not define us…
Peace and Hope are in the midst of the confusion ….
Meaning and True Celebration are present – no matter what our circumstances…
God is with us.
Joy has come!

It’s not the Day but the Life

Last week we celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. We did so quietly with individual thanksgiving and wonder. No one who was at our wedding lives where we do now. No one who witnessed our early days of establishing our marriage was here either. There were a few messages of congratulations from people away but for the most part we enjoyed the day doing what we do every other day of the week. Although, for the first time in a number of years, we gave each other small gifts over our daily ritual of early morning coffee – our evening wasn’t a romantic one but instead was spent at a business dinner (albeit it was with interesting, warm and genuinely lovely people).
When I hear people around me talking about their expectations associated with marriage I could be tempted to feel that in some way our anniversary was a “dead fail”. I am fortunate, however, to be more concerned about all the days that lie between the annual event than the day itself. All the many ways my husband and I enjoy each other and drive one another crazy. The love and companionship enjoyed every day – even in the midst of the annoyances and disappointments.
Our marriage is far from perfect but the sum of our days spent together is fabulous and is so much more than even the best gift or dinner celebration could portray.

Wonder to Worship

In recent months everywhere I go I find myself wanting to take my camera out of its neoprene skin and use it to try and capture some of the wonder I am experiencing at having my eyes opened to the simple things around me. I am constantly looking for the insignificant things to photograph, and as I do I uncover the joy in the regular and in the unusual and find that suddenly all my senses are informed as to the Glory around me. Stopping shows me that there is so much more than just the original subject matter and in that place I discover worship in its truest sense as all my senses are awakened….
I have discovered for myself what Addie Zierman in “The Daily Work of Wonder” (http://deeperstory.com/author/addie/) says is true: “There is nothing passive about true wonder. It is not dependent on bigness or limited by smallness; it is not the response to entertainment or to spectacle. Wonder is a choice. It comes only when I choose to stayIt’s that thing that happens when doubt and astonishment and mystery converge. It happens when I stand in one place long enough. When I stare out at the broken cattails or the winter-bare branches or a dew drop until it stops being about me. Starts being about the branch. And then about more than the branch. And then about God.And it doesn’t always feel like epiphany or the climax of a hit movie. Sometimes it comes and goes so quickly that you almost can’t believe that it was there…. But in that moment, something in your heart reaches towards God. And for a small span of space, you believe Him to be all He says He is, and you know it is enough…and this is the true heart of worship”.
Attached are some pictures some of the things I have been marveling at…… although I cannot share the smell of the roasting chestnuts, the sounds of the squirrels in the leaves, the touch of my friend’s skin as we hugged or the wet in my shoe after the puddle…..but I can share that in everything I saw God…
 20130303-091730.jpg 21. 2012 December 2nd - Wonder to Worship 3  20130303-091817.jpg