Nurturing your village… with thank you notes

A recent encounter with grief, and the subsequent outpouring of love from friends necessitated a personal resurgence of the once dreaded task of writing thank you notes. There are some who are great at this, taking the time to thank loved ones and strangers for their kindness, but I have never been one of their number. And even when I have gotten past myself and actually written my thanks and mailed it, I’m sure many have contained somewhat trite and meaningless scribbles of gratitude. Continue reading

Chatting with Paige: Anglicanism and Prayer

Last week I crossed the beautiful Brazos river to Paige Gutacker’s home, cozied up with a hot mug of licorice tea, and had one of the most amazing and humbling couch chats of my life. Paige made an instantaneous good impression on me when we first met in January on our first Sunday at our church. She has the best laugh, and the most hospitable spirit, and it was exactly that kind of love and warmth that I had been craving since finding myself planted quite firmly in the heart of Texas, and not at all excited about it, either. In this first part, we’ll learn a little about her move to Waco with her husband, Paul, and the relationships they left behind. Then we’ll delve into a discussion on prayer, corporate and personal. I have read these words over an over again and glean new things each time. I know you’ll be encouraged as well. So grab a warm drink and enjoy these wise and delightful thoughts from Paige.

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Preparing for Christmas

Every year I have the best of intentions when it comes to observing Advent.

I try to do all the usual Advent things, but in the end I’m always left feeling dissatisfied. It feels busy, forced, and I certainly never manage to do much of anything that I had hoped to do anyway. And forget about waiting to decorate and indulge in Christmas music! Maybe I get hung up on the waiting, to which there is a certain amount of pain. But I think if we can manage to set aside what we assume the month of December should look like, we find something rich and not so exhausting as we thought. I’ve heard many say (mostly in reference to vacations) that the anticipation of exciting things is the best part. Although this certainly isn’t true when it comes to the miraculous birth of Christ, it is true that when we hurl ourselves into the arrival of the long awaited Jesus, we miss the opportunity to prepare and reflect. Continue reading

Creative Spaces

Last night I found myself putting 5 1/2 year old Sebastian to bed for maybe the third time. Unable to turn off his whirring brain, he said to me, “I love you! Mama? You look like the smallest kind of monkey.” I knew he must have thought of this clever comparison because of my hair, which was looking quite wild having been somewhat dirty and relishing in its recent release from the top knot it had been confined to all day. I responded with a, “Thank you!.” But Seb is very polite and I think realizing that maybe I would take this comment the wrong way, explained the similarities between my hair and the monkey it had brought to mind. Continue reading