Advent Waiting

Waiting is difficult. My six-year-old daughter could tell you exactly how difficult it is to wait, if you asked her. Multiple times a day, she explodes like a firecracker into whatever I am doing at the moment, demanding my full and immediate attention. Sometimes, I can grant her request. But sometimes, she has to wait. […]

Coffee Cups and Emmanuel

 I knew now… why I could feel homesick at home. — G.K. Chesterton   O Come O Come Emmanuel And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear   Coffee cups I don’t remember much of the particulars of that conversation. I remember fumbling around for words as my […]

Feasting on Liturgy

When I left the Evangelical church for an Anglican one in college, it was out of proximity rather than theology. I had decided to attend university in France and there were very few English-speaking churches in Paris. As a freshman in college living abroad, I sought the ease of a community that spoke my native […]

When You Can’t Find the Merry in Your Christmas

It’s here whether we like it or not—Christmas. For many this season is filled with the fullness of family togetherness. The turkey with all the trimmings. It is the time for unwrapping the red-ribbon-gift we placed first on our list. It is the season of sparkly lights and the steady fragrance of evergreen. Cut trees […]

The Point of Christmas

I never understand more than at Christmas why people become atheists. Often I can understand it and empathize with the feelings and questions that led people there, but at Christmastime, I feel it so much more. It just makes sense. Jesus was born, and where did that get the people of his village, which probably […]

The Cost of Peace

I stare into the gleaming white lights of the Christmas tree until they blur together and dance across my vision, that tree adorned with symbols of peace and hope: The star that lights the way to the one who delivers. The angel that sings of peace on earth. The manger that holds the hope of […]

My Prayer for This Season: Rescue Us from Ourselves

The days leading up to and after Thanksgiving I was bombarded with ad after ad for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. They were shouting at me, enticing me, telling me “good news” in the midst of hard times. Free shipping! Buy One Get One! Lowest prices of the year! Such sweet words to my […]

When the Word “Holidays” Stresses You Out

You know what my idea of a holiday is? A normal day. Laundry, hanging with my kids, and, by 9:30 pm, watching a murder mystery with my husband while I eat raisin bran. Even better: doing all that in slippers. Normal days are easy. On a normal day, I have a routine. I know what’s […]

Wearing Our Lives Lightly

Growing up in and around New Orleans, I celebrated January 6 as the opening of carnival season, the several weeks of hedonism that lead up to Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, which precedes Ash Wednesday and the long, bleak penances of Lent. We went to church, and we ate a king cake, a ring of sweet […]