The Clergy/Parent’s Christmas Eve Survival Guide

For clergy with small children, it’s kind of a sick joke: your longest work day of the year falls on the night before your children’s earliest morning. You can see it unfolding, but you’re powerless to stop it. You’ll get home around 12:30 or 1am, too jacked up on caffeine and adrenaline to sleep. So you’ll wind down by eating the cookies the kids left for Santa (because, hey, keep the magic alive!) and watching part of the 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon.  You might get drowsy by 2… But hey, … [Read more...]

The Nice List: Songs that Save Christmas

Last week, I wrote about those holiday songs that set our teeth on edge/cause ear bleeding, etc. I got some resounding 'amens' about most of the list; a few "but you left out!"s, and a handful of "what?? I love Josh Groban!" kinds of things.But all in all, the feedback confirmed what we already knew--Christmas music, for better or worse, is really important to us. We have attachments and associations, some of which we don't even understand. And the soundtrack is an important part of the … [Read more...]

Shadow Seasons

At Saint Andrew, we create space during Advent for those who might be dealing with grief, illness, family changes...or who otherwise struggle to be all  jolly-sparkly and merry. (Which something tells us that we are 'supposed to be' this time of year). This is my prayer for tonight's Service of Remembrance. Feel free to share with those who might need a different kind of Christmas greeting this year. God of the changing lightBe with us in shadow seasons; when love has changed its … [Read more...]

10 Songs That Ruin Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Some grating, tedious songs that get stuck in your brain like a tiny piece of caramel corn in your teeth; like flecks of glitter that you’ll NEVER get out of the carpet; like a tiresome metaphor that some blogger just can’t let go…Anyway. My grandmother hated “The 12 Days of Christmas.” She was a gentle soul. She loved most people and never wanted much excitement in her life and I rarely saw her fired up about anything. But man, she hated … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Loud and Visible

nikki's fam

Guest post: My friend Nikki Adcock Williams is a wife, a mom to two amazing kids (Anna, 10 and Liam, 7), and a legal writing professor at Georgia State College of Law. In February of 2014, Nikki was diagnosed was multiple myeloma, a rare blood and bone cancer. She is undergoing weekly chemotherapy treatments for the next three years.Although some doctors have told her that her cancer is treatable but not curable, she places her hope in God and the great scientific minds who are tackling this … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Tragedy Plus Time

Now...

This the growing edge of Advent: to take a time fraught with stress and damaging expectations, and instead use it for spiritual growth and good work in the world.  I'm sharing my attempt to grow through this season, rather than deplete my every ounce of energy; and to share good news, rather than just sharing Made-In-China stuff. Care to join me? Send in your stories, and I may share some.  A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of unarm … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Un-busy

Now...

This the growing edge of Advent: to take a time fraught with stress and damaging expectations, and instead use it for spiritual discipline and good work in the world.  I’m going to write about my attempt to move through this season gracefully and hopefully; the effort to grow, rather than deplete my every ounce of energy; and the work of sharing good news and compassion, rather than just sharing Made-In-China stuff. Care to join me? Send in your stories, and I may share some.  Something must … [Read more...]

Top Ten Reasons to Stay Home on Black Friday

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Maybe it’s a sport in your family. Some people play flag football or ultimate frisbee to burn off the pie and stuffing, but y’all lace up for a 100-yard-dash through Best Buy and Home Depot. Maybe it’s a bonding thing. Or maybe it’s the only day that you can afford to buy things like new shoes for your children. Maybe you’ve got your reasons, and they are none of my business. I’m not judging. You go do what you’ve got to do, and I’m not the boss of you. I hope that all will hear the following in … [Read more...]

Talking to Strangers

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It was Sunday morning. I stopped at my favorite, may or may not have chosen my new house based on proximity to this place, donut joint to buy a couple dozen for our new member class. (I win souls for the Lord with vanilla glazed and pumpkin spice varieties).It was early. Still dark out. There was one other person in the place, and I mean, she looked normal enough… She was being pretty chatty with the register girl, so I jumped into the conversation. Because hey, it’s Sunday morning, there’s a … [Read more...]


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