Advent

A Hand upon the Forehead

  In Filipino culture, Mano Po is a sign of respect shown to our elders. When greeting a grandparent, the younger takes the hand of the elder and gently taps the back of the hand on the forehead. Mano means hand in Tagalog. Po is a term of respect. Respect. Obedience. Two terms that do […]

Becoming Human

As I flick on the switch, the tiny bulb meant to act as the star casts a warm glow over the scene below. “You have a lot of nativity sets, Mom,” my son comments after he helps set up the wooden, ceramic, hand-carved, and clay sets next to the snow globe manger scene and the […]

Christmas Unabridged

A light glares in my eyes as I’m lowered into position. Handheld torture devices encircle my head. I am at the mercy of my interrogator. There is no mincing of words in THE CHAIR. There is only cutting to the quick:  “How was your Thanksgiving?” she leans in. The dreaded loaded question. (You know.) How […]

Tree Hugger

I am a literal tree hugger, and my husband can vouch for it. I’ve embarrassed him often by curling my arms and cheek around a gnarly old trunk. My favorite trees are the sprawling, ancient live oaks that grow where I grew up. We planted one in our backyard a few summers ago, a tiny […]

Happy, Happy Christmas?

Listen to Ingrid Michaelson’s “Happy, Happy Christmas” here. “Happy, Happy Christmas” There’s something about this time of the year It’s always so dark out and you’re never here But I hear the whispers inside of the snow Live well and let go Happy, happy Christmas Love the ones who love you (too) They say time […]

Her Liberating Love Song

Mary’s Song  And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord      and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,  for he has been mindful     of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,      for the Mighty One has done great things for me—     holy is his name. […]

Will You Drink?

  And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;     for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation     through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God,     by which the rising sun […]

Green

It’s 3 AM, and “Pachelbel’s Canon” is on loop in my head.  So much for a silent night. Is that too much to expect after a year of noise? Apparently. More music. More tossing and turning. More of the sheet escapes from its comfy home between mattress and box spring. Newly exposed feet embrace a […]

W(hole)

With summer in the rearview mirror, Christmas in the U.S. officially begins. I pretend to be disgusted with this premature nod to my favorite holiday. I may even roll my eyes and heave out a very audible sigh as I push past the seasonal aisle at Target (where green and red replaced sequins study pillows […]