AdventPhotos 2018 – Watch

3 12 2018

 I haven’t felt great today, so I’ve hung out in bed; watching TV.  I’ve also been on the phone, dealt with some insurance stuff, done some reading and writing, handled emails & texts, and surfed social media while watching TV.   I could tell you some of the stuff I watched, but I know I missed more than I caught.

When I decided to eat something a little bit ago what I wanted was a soft-boiled egg.  Now, I’m pretty flexible on most things food-related, but I want perfection when it comes to a soft-boiled egg.  It needs to have a completely set white with the yolk just begining to set around the edges, slightly thickened, but still loose enough to sauce over the white.  It’s a very precise process.  At the moment the 1/2″ of water comes to a boil I slip the egg in, cover, allow to boil/steam for 6 minutes and 30 seconds then immediately plunge the egg into iced water for 10 seconds, and eat at once.  However, if at any point in the 6:30 I’m not seeing steam escape around the edges of the lid I know I’ve had the heat up too high, or let it boil for too long before covering, and my pan has gone dry – this is bad.  It will crack the shell, not only ruining any chance at a perfect egg, but making a mess in my pan.  Once I decide to make the perfect soft-boiled egg there is no sitting down to check email, or running downstairs to switch out the laundry, or loading the dishwasher…(ask me how I know,) I’ve got to watch my egg.  So I do.  I stand right there, in front of the stove, watching my egg.  

I guess I watch differently when it’s something that matters to me.

AdventPhotos2016 – Play

3 12 2016

Emmanuel did not come as a person of power and position, although he certainly could have. He came to this existence the same way we all come. A baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager. He was not God junior for the first few years waiting for the “real” God part to kick in like some sort of divine puberty. No, He was always fully God. God was digging makeshift roads in the dirt, running, climbing; playing.

When I have the privilege of watching a child play I’m always inspired by how unconstrained their narrative is by time, place, or resources. If they are on a flat, sandy beach with a plastic wagon and they decide they want to play bird catcher – missing gear, lack of knowledge on birds, or even the absence of any visible birds are in no way preventive to their play.

I don’t know exactly when it begins, but it does happen. We start brushing away the pieces of our child self, eager to do whatever we must to be considered an adult rather than a child, and one of those pieces seems to be our ability to really play. The capacity to see what is not as though it were; the creative imagination, our hope, becomes subordinated to what already exists. I really don’t think that playtime is something we were ever supposed to outgrow, and there is no easier time to decide to play again than the season of Advent and Christmas. I mean, if you ask yourself “WWJD?” sometimes the legit answer is, play:-)


AdventPhotos2016 – Time

29 11 2016

As a more task-oriented person, I’ve always had a pretty intentional and structured approach to managing my time. I tend to value time by what was completed within it. I order my next year’s Moleskine calendar in September because the possibility of them selling through the print run and me not having my calendar for the coming year makes me break out in hives. I’ve got a daily, weekly and monthly plan, and every year I do an annual time-block plan – all the major milestones I plan to complete, plugged into a set time frame. I just reviewed 2016’s plan so I could set up 2017, and for the 2nd year in a row I accomplished less than half of what I intended to accomplish with my time. Chronic illness doesn’t play nice when it comes to respecting my time. But the longer I sit in this space, the more I come to understand the the importance and value of slow time. Time that adheres to priorities that I did not set. Time that has space in it to see, to listen, to think. Time that sits in surrender to a purpose greater than my own. Time that has learned to rest in the hope of what will be. Waiting time; Advent.

House – AdventPhotos (2015#17)

16 12 2015

We’ve been “Tiny House Living” long before tiny house living was trendy. We raised three kids with one bathroom. 3 girls, all teenagers at the same time – one bathroom. But I like my tiny house. It feels cozy, manageable, and safe. 

 The poor Innkeeper is always cast as the bad guy in the Christmas story, but what if he really didn’t have anymore square footage that he could have given to Joseph and Mary? We, looking back on the story, can say easily he should have sent someone else to the stable. He should have given priority to the Christ Child over anyone else he had staying in his Inn. But, he didn’t know it was the Messiah who was about to be birthed. He was just doing what Innkeepers do, fill up their space. I catch myself doing that same thing. My schedule is full, my relational life is full, my stomach is full, my house is full, my life is full. Advent, this time of preparation is an opportunity for us to make space. You see unlike the Innkeeper we know that Jesus, the God who came, is coming again. When He comes, will we have made room for Him, or will He end up on the periphery, again, because we’re just too full?