". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Have you made any New Year's resolutions?

I wasn't planning to, but something my husband said today has changed my mind. He was reading an old post here and noted that one of the things that he appreciates about my blog is the ability to look back and remember what we were doing in years past. The thing is, that is getting harder to do, as the frequency of my blogging has steadily declined over the last five years. I started this blog in mid-2007. In 2008, my first full year of blogging, I posted 431 times. That was by far my most prolific year. The years 2009, 2010, and 2011 each went down. 2012 went back up a little, but since then my posting has gone down every year. So far this year I have only posted 20 times.

I think there are probably several reasons I am posting less. One, when I first started blogging, I had many friends who were also blogging. I read their blogs, they read mine, and there was motivation in that. When fewer people are reading, there is less incentive to write.

Two, I started this blog as an outlet for my writing. Now that I have found some other ways to channel that passion, I feel less driven to do it here.

Three, some of the things I have historically blogged the most about, such as homeschooling and child-rearing, are becoming less of a factor in my life.

But I don't want this blog to die. I have no idea who is still out there reading, but I hope that some day when I am gone (a long time from now!) this will at least be a place my children and grandchildren can go to revisit stories of their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents. Maybe when I'm an old lady in the rest home it will be a place I can do the same.

And hey, I may not have as much to say about homeschooling and child-rearing as I used to, but I do still have thoughts, and maybe even a bit of wisdom to share.

So I'm going to try to blog more in 2018. How much is "more"? If you want to know the answer to that, you're going to have to keep reading. :-)



Sunday, December 24, 2017

Minor Adjustment

For years now our family tradition has been to listen to Lessons and Carols live from King's College on Christmas Eve morning. We wake up and have our breakfast and coffee in pajamas while also enjoying a feast for the ears. It's our one opportunity as a family to sit all together during the Christmas season, hear God's Word, listen to beautiful music, and sing Christmas carols with no responsibility for leading any of it. 

We didn't get to follow our usual custom this morning as not only is it Christmas Eve, it is the Fourth Sunday in Advent (making for the shortest possible Advent season on the calendar). Instead of listening to Lessons and Carols, we attended church, and rightly so. We were blessed to join our church family in Scripture and song and to receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. But I wouldn't be completely honest if I didn't admit that a little part of me was missing our Christmas Eve tradition.

But no matter! If you are also a Lessons and Carols fan and you missed today's broadcast, be advised that you can stream it any time over the next 30 days! We have decided that we will be transferring our Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols listening to the morning of December 26, otherwise known as The Feast of St. Stephen. We'll wake up, make cinnamon rolls and coffee, and listen just as though it were Christmas Eve morning. Problem solved!

There is something magical about listening live, knowing that you are joining with millions of listeners around the world who understand the special and mysterious beauty of this nearly 100-year-old festival. But the most important thing is the opportunity to reflect in peace and quiet with the people I love best. Will I take that two days late? You better believe it. 

Here is a link for streaming the service.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Ready

Between a full-time job, the shortness of Advent, and being sick for the last two weeks, it has been a little tricky to get ready for Christmas this year. But somehow the tree is up, the cards are mailed, and the shopping is done. (Don't ask me if the house is clean.)

Today is wrapping and cookie baking. Phew. By the grace of God, we did it! Of course, the only readiness that truly matters is the kind we have no part in--the readiness that is all gift, placed upon us in our baptism so that we might no longer be called an enemy of the Creator, but His precious child.

As I think of the gifts I wanted to buy but couldn't find because I ran out of time; the cleaning that didn't get done; the cough that lingers, making me wonder if I will be able to sing at all this Christmas; I remember that none of it matters, because whatever is not in place on Christmas morning, the one thing needful will be right where He promises to be, coming to us in Word and Sacrament, caring not whether I am ready because His readiness is all.

Come, baby Jesus! We are waiting for you!

"O holy Child of Bethlehem, Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, Be forn in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Immanuel!"
(Lutheran Service Book 361)


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

Blessed Advent

For the season of Advent, I will be posting daily meditations from Dietrich Bonhoeffer on my Facebook page. The page is public, so if interested, you can read even if you're not on Facebook.

Click here.