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Friday, December 15, 2017

The most practical thing about Christmas

I have a really weak stomach. So when I spend time in the Old Testament, reading about the reasons for and rules around animal sacrifice… I get kinda woozy. It especially strikes me as I say the Lord’s prayer each day, My Father in Heaven, holy be Your name.Your Kingdom come; Your will be done,On earth as it is in...

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Advent 12/14: Did Jesus “have” to come?

For a long time it was hard for me to see God as Good and Loving. I worried, deep down in ways I didn’t have words for, that God the Father sat on a remote and righteous throne somewhere. And that he put Jesus, his very own Son, on the chopping block for my sins. I thought Jesus had to take the punishment...

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How I’m embracing life’s tension during advent.

I tend to get lodged between things. Issues. Ideas. Party lines. Points of view. Arguments. Stories. Emotions. I can see the varying perspectives. I can feel mulitple feelings. I used to think it made me wishy-washy. Unable to commit. Indecisive. Weak, really.   Other people thought so too. I’ve been told more than once, “Pick a side already. You have to stand for something.” So I’d try. To...

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Advent 12/12: the power of “yes”

It’s easy for me to say “no” to things that will stretch me. “No” to invitations and challenges that take time and attention and big thinking and bravery.   It’s easy to say “yes,” to things that keep me distracted. “Yes” to people pleasing. “Yes” to other people’s expectations of me. “Yes” to a one more commitment on the calendar....

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Advent 12/11: When my plans don’t work out.

I like a good plan. Having a plan makes me feel like I have control over a situation. I have my own idea about how things should work out before I get started. And if they aren’t going to work out the way I want them to, well, maybe I won’t start after all.   I like to fill in the blanks first. If I do X, then Y should...

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Advent 12/8: Diligently doing the hard things.

I am so deeply impressed and humbled by watching people do hard things. Raising kids. Starting a business. Making a marriage work. Doing at a job that’s not ideal. Pursuing a dream year after year. Persevering through an uninvited illness. Caring for someone persevering through an illness. It’s the showing up. Day in. Day out. When they feel like it. And when they don’t. When someone notices....

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Advent 12/7: Oh what a big, fat mess

It makes my stomach churn just thinking about it. I can close my eyes and imagine… For real, being Mary. A pregnant teenager who hasn’t even done anything to warrant being pregnant. When my family figures it out, they send me away “with haste” to stay with my cousin. They need time to figure out what to do about my “condition.” For...

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Advent: 12/6: Who says, “it’s not personal?”

I have a confession. It’s scary to write things other people will read. Especially when I tell the truth of my own story.   It would be much easier to write from a professional place. From the view of an “observer.” To write at an arm’s length. To give advice. To tell other people what they should do. To pretend like I have the all answers.  ...

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Advent 12/5: Just do it already

It’s something I’ve struggled with. Taking action. Because too often analysis paralysis keeps me stuck.   I want to do something brave, but I overthink it. Over scare myself to death, believing that failure might actually kill me. But of course failure won’t. Failure only kills my courage. And my dreams. And the big things I’m supposed to do with my life.   The fear of failure...

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Is the Christmas story outdated & unrelated in 2017?

It felt like it was 90 degrees and rising inside. The giant store had just opened its doors the Friday before. My mom and sister had decided to take my four month old nephew on the “outing” and asked me to go. The isles were over crowded with shopping carts that were overcrowded with Christmas crap. Trees and tinsel and toppers...

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