Advent Series: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, EmmanuelAnd Ransom Captive IsraelThat mourns in lonely exile hereUntil the Son of God appear Rejoice! Rejoice! EmmanuelShall come to thee, O Israel As we sat together in our living room for our one-on-one, the student I was discipling began to share about a struggle she was facing. After awhile she summed it all up by saying, “But I shouldn’t talk about … Continue reading Advent Series: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Advent Series: Joy to the World

For several hours we stood awaiting the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan. The crowds pressed in as the anticipation grew. As the tree lit up regaled in glorious colors, the music began. “Joy to the World” was sung triumphantly! The tears ran down my face as the Gospel was proclaimed before thousands of people and countless others on … Continue reading Advent Series: Joy to the World

Advent Series: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected JesusBorn to set Thy people free;From our fears and sins release us,Let us find our rest in Thee. If I’m honest, the tune we are humming around here is … Come, Thou long expected college… Our oldest is a junior in high school and we are knee deep in ACT prep courses, college visits, and spreadsheets. To keep with our Advent … Continue reading Advent Series: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Advent Series: An Introduction

I’ve shared before on this blog about the difficulty I have with Christmas. It’s the time of year I feel most acutely how dysfunctional my extended family is – the estrangements, the alcoholism, the uncomfortable communication. Well, that is true, but actually, Christmas growing up could sometimes be a very joyful time for me. My parents and grandparents always did Christmas big. I mean BIG. … Continue reading Advent Series: An Introduction

When Holidays are Hard

Well, it happened. My oldest turned on the Christmas music a few days ago and songs of the season started up full blast in my kitchen. And I’m one of those people who instead of smiling and humming along, winces. Christmas is a difficult holiday for me. Songs, movies, commercials – they all paint idyllic pictures of happy families gathered around beautifully decorated tables having … Continue reading When Holidays are Hard

Responding to Clumpy Icing

This past week I worked on gluing together a gingerbread train for our family gingerbread house display.  The icing jammed in my plastic bag, the sides of the train kept falling off, and I found myself getting grumpy.  This was a moment meant for celebration and memories– Christmas music was playing, and all my family was around me happily working on their creations– and I … Continue reading Responding to Clumpy Icing

Mama Shepherds – A Christmas Devotional

In some seasons as a mommy missionary we can feel on the outskirts of all that is “happening” in the ministry on campus. Tending to our own little sheep keeps our days, and nights, full to the brim. There are many parallels with mothering and shepherding in the Bible. And the Christmas story is no exception. And in the same region there were shepherds out … Continue reading Mama Shepherds – A Christmas Devotional