Monday, December 6, 2010

White-Knuckling the Promises

We stirred early this morning. It's seems habit now that M crawls into bed next to me around 6:30 a.m. She tucks her cold little toes into my side and I ask her what she dreamt. This morning, she said "I played."

Sounds lovely. I snuggled her and prayed with her, for her. I want to say I dreamed about playing, but I didn't. I just thanked God that one of us is burden-free, and prayed that maybe I, too, could revel in some carefree-ness.

I'm finding these days it's easy to write about the heavy things.

That's probably why I've written six blogs in the past three days and not hit "publish" on any of them.

There's a time for brutal transparency. There's a time for tears. And lately that time needs to remain in my heart, in my room, in my quiet whispers at dawn.

We opened the fifth door of our Advent calendar last night. Christmas is absent of it's typical nuances this year. It's not worse or better.

Just different.

This year, I pulled out the old "family" Bible I picked up at an auction a few years ago. Something about it's old, aged pages, and spilling articles and notes dated back to the 1800s makes me feel like I'm brushing holiday shoulders with the March family. (Wouldn't that be grand?)

I laugh as M reaches for the chocolate. (She makes her priorities quite clear.) Her giggle is contagious as she grabs a kiss and runs off to catch the last 10 minutes of a Barney Christmas special.

So it's just me. Sitting on the floor. With an old Bible.

"This doesn't feel much like Christmas," I say to myself. No sparkling joy down to my toes. No abundant blessings filling my world.

Just dirty, chocolate hands.

A weary soul.

Ancient words.

These quick moments seem to drop gently on to me.

The reminder hits as Barney sings something about imagining and love.

Isn't the advent about waiting? Anticipating? Hoping?

The long watch. The desperate longing.

The open hands waiting for redemption.

I'm reminded that promises of redemption are made because things seem unredeemable.

Hope shines brightly in the dark, because if we could see, hope wouldn't be necessary.

Grace hits those spots where the wounds gape, because any other treatment wouldn't heal.

Maybe it's not time for celebration yet because we're still in the advent of this season.



I'm looking back at promises, white-knuckling them, curling my toes into the dirt and holding on.

If that's not a good starting point for the Advent story, I don't know what is.


  1. "white-knucling them" i love the imagery. christmas is different for my family as well. but it's still hope. thank you for the reminder.

  2. This just pierces my soul. I am left with my jaw slightly agape -- hoping for and waiting with you.

  3. I love you. You don't know me from Adam... but I love reading you! I love your raw reminders about what this walk... this dependance upon God in this walk really looks like.

    Blessings, Casey Chappell; Fort Worth TX.

  4. Casey — it's so nice to "meet" you!! :)