With one week left, I imagine most of us have begun or wrapped our 2023 Christmas decorating. Hence, maybe these pretty timeless Christmas trappings and ideas are perfect to save for future holiday seasons. (Or maybe you’ll be inspired to add a few to this year’s wintry scheme since plenty of folks let their decorations linger.) My own decorating plan stayed minimal. I limited the color story to white with touches of gold and green. That meant all of the decorations with red could rest easy in their storage boxes. I’m not feeling half bad considering how moody I can be during the holy days with so many big feelings everywhere. Am I stepping into newfound resilience with these neuropathic feet so prone to slip? Hot dog! Wouldn’t that be something? Then again, maybe a bit more GRACE has simply grounded me this year, right where I am. I’ll take it.
Timeless Christmas Trappings to PIN & Spirit Talk
I have always appreciated Anne Lamott’s edge, grit, and sometimes authentically cranky voice of love.
Lovely Holiday Decorating Inspiration
Even without traditional Christmas bold color, beauty reigns…
The old weathered wood planks above simply take my breath away.
Give us bread, but give us roses, yes?
Oh the texture and lushness and refined beauty!
Faith & Wisdom Bloom at Christmas
My meditation was so moving this morning. As I considered how the Christ child is love incarnate and an example of the sacredness of matter, of human flesh, of the material, I began to realize how this relationship of matter to spirit is critical to my spiritual walk.
The collective spirit of a nation is powerful. The spirit I bring to all the things in my life as an individual matters. For example, cooking with love…you recognize it is truly a real thing, yes?
Isn’t this a very simplified example of the relationship? And doesn’t it pack a punch as you consider how food can become a sacrament? How bodies may be blessed and nourished with love outside of the walls of a cathedral or church sanctuary?
I think about the power of spirit to recreate matter, to reform, renovate, and recycle chaos in very real and material ways.
And I think about the Big Bang as an event where a spirit of LOVE exploded into matter. I think about the spirit of a great oak tree perhaps alive in a baby acorn.
And I’m living very awakened as a fleshy human in an imperfect world so I think too about a spirit of evil moving, destroying, and disrupting what is good and holy.
I think about innocence disappearing and bitter roots deepening.
What reconciliation will come? How will a spirit of Love triumph?
Maybe victory for the good relies on such reconciliation and the birth of the new.
Maybe I can begin to embody such reconciliation by surrendering more and more so there is more and more and more space in this crowded inn for divine mercy to flow in, to flow out.
Surrender is one of those words that always felt immensely heavy and made me feel oh so vulnerable. To be stripped of what you’ve collected and maybe even earned is how the meaning used to wash over me.
But as I have matured, my eyes have opened to the lightness and spaciousness of surrender. Truth be told, I have formed attachments to plenty of weighty things that do not serve, that I drag along and maybe even suffer for.
And I think so many of us are always waiting for a hero or a model of spiritual enlightenment and hope to show us how to do what we long to do. We want to believe that post-surrender is tidy somehow and maybe safe or fruitful.
But I wonder if the picture of post-surrender is actually a lot messier and comes with suffering.
I’m not suggesting it will be the same for everyone.
But to live with a surrendered posture in a culture encouraging you to cling?
The resistance has consequences.
Which is why we need help.
We need Grace and Wonder and Awe and Relationship and Mercy and Goodness to feed us from realms we cannot see.
And we need practices and daily rhythms to center us in awareness so we may be fed.
There isn’t one way to practice heartfulness.
Of course there isn’t just one way…we’re all wired differently and created with so much diversity.
Thank Goodness there are oh so many paths.
I wonder what you think about this quote from Octavia Butler above? Because as I age, more and more I am seeing how I am ever resistant to change and yet God is coming to me as change.
How can I soften to change so that I am more moldable and teachable?
Anne Lamott always has some of the best ideas for becoming hands and feet for God!
If I am to soften and not harden to change as I age, I think I will have to loosen my attachments to the safe things. All of those soothing safe thoughts where I escape into the future in my thoughts.
The reason so many spiritual teachers spend their whole lives writing and teaching about being here now is that is terrifying for most of us to let go of the past and future. We cling as if they are a life jacket; developing amnesia for our ability to float!
I don’t know too much, but I want to trust more and more that I will float and not sink.
Isn’t it a miracle to float? Why can’t I be awed by the miracle every single day?
Thank you for being here and joining me in the big questions shimmering beneath the trappings of good tidings and joy.
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Peace to you right where you are.
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