Monday, December 12, 2011

Counting Gifts

Like most folks, we've been busy this time of year.  Fun busy.  And though I am tempted to go on about this day, I will pause long enough to reflect here on a few of the many gifts from the passing of these days.

Our boy and girl the night of their Christmas concert at Our Lady of the Lake
how grown and handsome looking he was
seeing him do well at something I didn't even think he would try
her focus and her joy and her sparkle

My love coming up with a Stay-cation list for us
his planning and driving and doing and smiling

the Christmas wonderland at the Grotto's Festival of Lights
the gospel gently spoken through speakers along
paths lit with luminaries
hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights
candles representing lifted prayers
the aromas of barnyard animals and churros y chocolate
the decorum and reverence of a Catholic chapel
evangelical indeed

My love calling this Christmas his favorite
our littles stating, 'but Christmas isn't here yet"
he and I saying, "ah, but it's advent"
Christmas is here

the joy in giving

the anticipation of this advent week


  1. your littles are lovely; handsome and beautiful. my heart swells with appreciation. and, yes, i cannot deny the bittersweet longing to have been there.

    ~ ~ ~

    i share in your joys. especially the joy of this Christmas being a favorite for your love and your family.
    i have the feeling that from this year forward i will hear that sentiment, that somehow each year will be more and more wonderful.... as we focus more sharply and draw ever closer to Him it seems there is room for little else - wonderful and more wonderful

    i join you in praise!
    and i join you in prayer for the wonder and 'fun busy' of this advent and stay-cation week

    love you,
    thankful -t-

  2. Kara, I'm assuming that you've just taken the Christmas season off to be with family instead of writing. And messages like the one in this post – that it's Christmas when Advent begins. Really heart that message. It's been hard for me to comment lately – I've run into some online bullying and cruelty that I didn't think this community had in it. First came sadness, then anger, and it's turning as I pray into the only right response which is love. Anyway, places like yours, writing like yours, and a heart like yours – that's why I read in this community – and write in this community – I just want to say thank you, God bless you and yours.

  3. Craig,
    Yes, I've been taking some time off to spend with my mom and dad visiting. It's been a wonderful time. It's good to hear from you again. I really hate to hear of Christians bullying others. It really ruffles my feathers in a big way. To think you have endured any of that saddens me greatly.
    I remember one of my saddest and angriest days of late was about a year ago when I stumbled upon online bullying of Ann Voskamp over her books final (and lovely and true) chapter. Some outspoken commenters had decided to hold a modern-day witch trial of sorts.
    It sickened me. It still sickens me when I think about it.
    That was a day when I had gone outside of my normal online boundaries and that is how I found this ugliness. I was kicking myself that I didn't get off the computer when I should have.

    So yes, I have seen that sort of thing. I'm so sorry that you have gotten caught in any of it. Oh, and for me (and I would guess for you too), it's not that there is no room for disagreement in online Christian communities. Of course there is! We will not all see eye-to-eye all the time.... in fact that is one reason why we are able to challenge and encourage each other... because we have differing viewpoints and perspectives. But love must reign over all of it... and should be the overwhelming aroma even in our disagreements.

    Blessings to you my brother,

  4. love as the overwhelming aroma... the incense of our praise to God, our Most High King - - always, and yes, especially in the midst of 'discussion'.... beautiful.
    as are you, my Dear Birthday Girl.
    Happy birthday, Kara. Happy birthday, Dear One!
    i love you,

  5. Happy birthday, sweet sister! Love seeing your handsome son and beautiful daughter. My love and I enjoy looking at that pic and seeing you and your love in them! Glad you are well and enjoying some special time with the family. Miss you and so enjoy your counting and encouragement! Be blessed, my sister!