2013 and Packing up Christmas

Dear Friends,  Happy New Year!

As we start into 2013 I want to thank you, many of you who have stumbled across this blog or had someone forward it to you and you kept coming back over this first full year of “Awake My Soul”.  Thank you to those of you who have commented, or FB messaged or texted or emailed me sharing your thoughts or how God may have used a particular post.  We’re all in this together, and although our individual stories are unique, the grand themes of God’s story in our lives are what we hold in common – hope, fear, brokenness, redemption…

My goal is to get better in 2013…to post what is more God-honoring, compelling, encouraging, smile-bringing to you so that you look forward three times a week to stopping by, or opening your email if you subscribe.

If you have suggestions or feedback I’d love to hear from you.  Other than that, I don’t want to sound too Holy-shmoly but I’m truly aware of my dependence on God for writing material.  Today, since many of you are newer, I’m going to repost a favorite from last year titled Packing up Christmas.  

Blessings,                                                                                                                         Laura

Daughters Katy and Maggie have gone back to D.C.                                                                      It finally snowed here in Minnesota (righting a cosmic wrong).                                          And I ‘m sitting by the fire in our kitchen at dusk with a cup of hot chocolate as I write this.  Maggie insists I call it hot chocolate instead of cocoa.  No idea why.

The Christmas decorations are packed away til next year.  Ornaments made with chubby hands and glue of love.  Unusual baubles brought from far flung places.  Decorations marking special times.


As I pack up Christmas I feel so conflicted…

I love and hate this time of year.                                                                                                      I hate it that it’s the end of my favorite season.  The end of twinkle lights and anticipation, shining stars and awe-struck shepherds.  Putting things away is such a mark of endings, while Jesus is the celebration of new beginnings that I love.

Jesus.  Every-day grace and fresh starts.  Every day.  Not just at Christmas and not just at New Years.

As I was taking decorations down and wrapping up the creche I got to thinking maybe I should keep the baby Jesus out as a reminder.  Maybe not pack Him away.


It made me think of this Frederick Buechner quote:

“Those who believe in God can never in a way be sure of him again. Once they have seen him in a stable, they can never be sure where he will appear or to what lengths he will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation he will descend in his wild pursuit of us. If holiness and the awful power and majesty of God were present in the least auspicious of all events, this birth of a peasant’s child, then there is no place or time so lowly and earthbound but that holiness can be present there, too. And this means that we are never safe, that there is no place where we can hide from God, no place where we are safe from his power to break in two and recreate the human heart because it is just where he seems most helpless that he is most strong, and just where we least expect him that he comes most fully.”

Isn’t that great?  “no place or time so lowly and earthbound but that holiness can be present there, too…”

The decorations that have heralded Jesus’ birth may be packed away, but He is not.  He’s here!  Among us and in us and around us…holiness invading and redeeming the ordinary and the ugly and the broken.

Today, an “after Christmas” day, a back-to-routine and back-to-work day…How are you feeling?  Where might you see Him?

“Steep your life in God-reality, God initiative, God-provisions…Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now…” Mt. 6 MSG

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