A Year In Review

I want to end the year reviewing some of the highlights of 2015, some things that I’ve posted about, and some things that I haven’t.  I hope you also spend some time to think about the blessings of 2015, ones that are obvious and maybe even ones hiding in a dark corner.

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-Going to a Michigan vs. Purdue basketball game in W. Lafayette for my birthday

-Being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s

-Going to a Penny and Sparrow and Josh Garrels’ concert

-Visiting my sister at Grove City for a sister trip and at graduation

-Visiting Chelsea in Memphis

-Celebrating that Chels went into remission and moved to Indy

-Living with two different families in Indy

-Working at Vision Academy and Dyslexia Institute

-Hosting a “I’m getting healthier” party in May

-Eating at several local restaurants

-Traveling to Chicago

-Sharing my testimony at Redeemer

– Attending a liturgical church and Tuesday night sermon discussions at the barn

-Starting my spiritual direction course

-Taking a poetry class

-Participating in 3 different retreats

-Completing one year of blogging

-Tweaking treatment plans, slowly getting healthier

-Watching plenty of Gilmore Girls and Parks and Rec

-Shopping at farmer’s markets

-Baking for fall and winter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, friends!  Be on the look out for more thematic writing in 2016.

What are your blessings of 2015?

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Christmas Prayer 2015

I started a tradition of writing a Christmas prayer or poem every year.  I wanted to share this year’s with you.

 

Because of Your tender mercy,

the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us

 

You give light to us who sit in darkness, in the shadow of death

and to guide us to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.                                                   

 

You bring us home from our wanderings

to dwell securely and hear Your voice.

 

We wait for the day the wolf shall dwell with the lamb

but show us those moments of peace even now.                                            

 

You promise a safe dwelling,

bring to mind thankfulness for safe people and places.

 

Allow us in the safety of our relationship with You

to be a person of safety for others.

 

Let us taste sadness, so we can savor hope.

May we know you as One who suffers alongside.

 

Let us feel the loneliness of waiting

so we learn to wait eagerly, with deep longing.

 

Come, Lord Jesus.

Come, and keep coming.

 

Thank you for making your dwelling in us

For allowing this broken body to be your place of safety.

Amen.

New Holiday Staple

This weekend I went to a Christmas dinner party.  Everyone was asked to bring their favorite holiday dish.  And I honestly asked myself, “What’s mine?”

I decided to depend on a dish I just made for Thanksgiving: Sweet Potato Casserole.  It was my first time contributing to Thanksgiving dinner–and everyone loved it!  And the best part of it, is that it’s so easy.  Minimal ingredients, minimal work, just time for chopping and baking.

Here’s what it looked like pre-baking:

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You can find the recipe here.  Happy Christmas cooking and baking!

Winter Thoughts

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“Winter here is a demanding season-and not everyone appreciates the discipline.  It is a season when death’s victory can seem supreme: few creatures stir, plants do not visibly grow, and nature feels like our enemy.  And yet the rigors of winter, like the diminishments of autumn, are accompanied by amazing gifts.

One gift is beauty, different from the beauty of autumn but somehow lovelier still: I am not sure that any sight or sound on earth is as exquisite as the hushed descent of a sky full of snow.  Another gift is the reminder that times of dormancy and deep rest are essential to all living things.  Despite all appearances, of course, nature is not dead in winter-it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for spring.  Winter is a time when we are admonished, and even inclined to do the same for ourselves.

But for me, winter has an even greater gift to give.  It comes when the sky is clear, the sun is brilliant, the trees are bare, and first snow is yet to come.  It is the gift of utter clarity.  In winter, one can walk into woods that had been opaque with summer growth only a few months earlier and see the trees clearly, singly and together, and see the ground they are rooted in.”

-Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak pg. 101