The wind roars and trees sing out their song-dance as they shed their final trappings and become angel-nymphs, reaching up to God, raising hands in praise.

Leaf confetti fills the air–and watching, I can barely breath for swells of love that lift and swirl, sweeping me into heaven–soaring.

I am baking cookies.

I daydream that when the boys come home from school, they will sniff this sugar-perfumed-air and slyly move to the oven-top where sweetness waits…their baby fingers and growing bellies that have been fed from this body, their lanky limbs that they have yet to grow into…

All for them.

I am thinking this and I yearn.

For what, I cannot say, but the wind tears the flag from its pole outside and soon I am chasing this flapping piece of Christmas–running out into the yard with no coat.

Back inside, I put the flag in a drawer. I will wait until this windstorm passes.

I stand, hair rearranged, and gaze out window again–watch this picture of motherhood. This swirling, wracking windstorm.

I wrap arms around chilled body and see it.

This beautiful storm.

And I think of them.

The mothers.

I think of how they too wait. Through beauty, through storms.

And the Advent of motherhood stirs names and faces.

The mother who waits for a new day, as she watches her son mourn a lifelong friend.

The mother who became grandmother; and waits with grace– carrying the light of Jesus into the midst.

The mother acutely tuned to each pang that may announce birth forthcoming.

The mother waiting to be reunited with a son that will spend this Christmas in a cold jail cell instead of his family’s warm embrace.

The missionary mom, balancing motherhood and a call to a new frontier as she waits for seeds planted to grow.

The mom who waits and believes for healing–as she holds her son through painful procedures and treatments.

I think of the countless mothers who have lost children. The mothers-at-heart who long for a child of their own. And the faithful mothers who watch their children grow, gently wooing them to that day when they will have lives of their own.

And I yearn.

In the yearning is the prayer. And in the prayer is the yearning.

For safe deliveries and Christmas hugs, for healing and reconciliation, for comfort and strength. For prayers answered.

And as I move from the window–from these bits of prayers and love scattered in the wind–I pray for them sweet dream-moments shared in a warm kitchen while the wind rages outside.

I pray for them cookies.

(This post is part of my 12 days of Community posts. Head over to HCB to learn more about why you should promote someone other than yourself this holiday!)

Related posts:

Day one: A Gift Community
Day two: Glynn Young
Day three: Leslie Leyland Fields
Day four: Christmas Change 

Christmas Badge

A New Day

It’s been a quiet day.

After a noisy, festive ringing in of the New Year last night, the quiet is welcome.

We took down our New Year’s tree and put away the rest of the Christmas decorations.

We stayed in our pajamas until noon.

It is beautiful.

I just took Lucy Mae out for her final New Year’s Day wee, and when I looked up into the night sky…I noticed that the stars are cloaked by a gauzy white.

Wisps of cloud trail off in the smoky blue of the midnight sky, like a long train on a beautiful white gown.

The sky is dressed in her wedding garb tonight.

As I gaze up at that misty beauty, I am reminded that I, too, am a bride.

I still wait for my Bridegroom.

When I look up, that anticipation fills my heart. My soul begins to dance and joy sings inside.

I can’t think of a more fitting way to begin a new year.

As I am reminded to keep myself ready for my Love…I work on my spiritual vision. I let gratitude permeate. I invite joy.

Tomorrow I will go to honor a dear one of God who has passed on into His presence. As I contemplate this dear woman’s last days, I meditate on my current ones.

How do I wait?

Will I run this race to the end?

I do not want to ever stop growing, learning, searching…

This waiting is not a passive thing.

Do not let it be.

Dear ones, we are not finished doing this thing until we stand before Him.

And then…

Who knows?

But while I am here, let it be said that I waited well.

This is my prayer—that He will not let me be. That I will never be able to ignore His call. That I will always be about His business. Let me never rest until I rest in peace.

O God! Hear my cry. Use me. Make me uncomfortable with comfort. Stretch me. Grow me. Teach me. Always, always, let me feel You, Lord. For I will walk through the shadow of death if I feel You at my side. You give me courage to do what I cannot do alone. You are my strength. You are my joy.

Abound in my 2009. Fill me with You.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Blessed Awaiting

Come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel!

I awoke this morning with longing.

The bleak winter days are upon us. The sky is gray and heavy with clouds.

And my heart fills with anticipation.

For this week, we begin Advent.

This season of prayerful watching, this time of silent awareness…

How it fills me with joy, awakens my sehnsucht, and breaks me all at once!

On this Advent Sunday, we sang our first Christmas carol in church.

As my husband led us worshipers in O Come Let Us Adore Him, I was moved to tears by this:

Do you see her?

The tiny baby curled up against her mother?

She was happy to be there, amidst the music and the voices. She did not stir, so long as her heart was pressed up against her mother’s.

It fills me with wonder that Jesus came to us this way, Dear Ones.

But even more so that He curls up to me this way…that His heart beats against mine…

I wait.

The wind blows, the sky grows dark, and the birds are silent…

But I wait.

I do not wait alone, for His Spirit lives inside me.

Happy Advent, Dear Ones.

May your waiting be blessed.


God has been smiling on our little bit of the earth these past few days. The sun fills the daylight hours and evidences of His glory are announcing themselves everywhere. My fingers have been in the earth as much as possible, kneading and preparing my little patch of land for the beauty that lies sleeping beneath its surface. It made me remember an article I wrote in April of last year for the Charleston Gazette. I pray it blesses you:

I Wait for the Lord

Every spring, I wait. I wait for the dark morning hours to gradually be filled with light. I wait for the symphony of the songbirds. I wait for milder temperatures to lure me out of doors. I wait for the trees to bud out in their umbrellas of blossoms. But most of all, I wait for the flowers.

God has gifted me with a love of all growing things, but perhaps His most precious gift to me in this love, has been my mother-in-law. In her, He has given me a kindred spirit, and one with more expertise and experience than I could ever hope to attain. Over the years, she has celebrated this love with me, through the sharing of her knowledge, and of the treasures from her garden. Every year we watch and wait. Together, we rejoice at each and every shoot of green that reaches through the earth with pointed fingers. At the first glimpse of color, we exclaim at its distinctiveness and proclaim it beautiful. We wait for each flower to reveal herself, to boldly declare the beauty she envelops in her prayer-like sepals. Before each bud matures into the lovely creature it is intended to be, we picture in our minds what they will all look like together, side-by-side in their glory. The blooms come alive in our imaginations, and the garden becomes a thing of expectation, of sleeping joy.

This image is ever before us throughout the year. When the earth appears barren and cold, we hold in our hearts the secret she has hidden in her womb. We rejoice in the waiting because we know what is to come.

And so it is as we wait on God. Just as the flowers have an appointed time to lift their lovely faces to the sun, so are our lives ordered by God’s will.

Scripture tells us that His timing is different than ours. Sometimes this inconveniences us, oftentimes for years. We want our prayers answered in our time frame, according to our stipulations. But always, His solutions are wiser; His timing is perfect. We see the truth of this reflected in the change of seasons, and the way the earth revolves around the sun. We see it in the way our children grow and pass through predictable developmental stages. Perhaps, like me, you have been blessed to also witness this truth in your personal life.

And so, we wait. And because we are human, we forget to keep the image alive in our minds. The darkness looms in the winters of our souls, and we grow weary.

This is why we must not wait alone. For, just as my mother-in-law stands at my side to share the joy of new life in each spring, the joining with others in this waiting peppers our anticipation. We are like the flowers: each beautiful and unique in our singleness, but side by side we reflect a glory that is greater than our own. We were created to stand together, complimenting and strengthening as we do so.

When the landscape of life looks bleak, remember the springtime. Remember the flowers. Underneath the stark and barren exterior lies something beautiful waiting to burst forth. We can rejoice in the waiting because we know what is to come.