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Advent

Why music touches us in profound ways

{We’re talking about holiday traditions this month that make Advent more meaningful. Missed the first three? Catch up on the Jesse Tree, Random Acts of Kindness, and The Amazing Story of Advent here.} The Power of a Hymn That night we showed up singing at our neighbors’ doorsteps, looking like a ragtag bunch of carolers […] Read more…

How to live joy in tough times

Everyone is quiet, looking at the wall, or their hands, avoiding eye contact, avoiding the unsaid. The ones who are experiencing their first holiday alone—without that husband, or child, or parent—it cuts deep. The group leader directs our attention to the theme “Getting through the holidays without your loved one” and asks, “Any ideas?” It would […] Read more…

How to have Hope at Christmas

hope

I was standing over the counter peeling the skins right off those blood red beets when I noticed it. As soon as those brown skins came off, blood red covers everything, the cutting board, my hands–it’s even splattered across the counter in small red droplets. It doesn’t matter how neatly I scrape at those beets, […] Read more…

How to have a radically different Christmas

This month we’re exploring meaningful holiday traditions and how to focus more on spiritual growth and helping others. It came in my email one day: A Christmas list from you, a woman I had never met.  It wasn’t by accident that I got this message. After I contacted a local charity organization and asked something like, Do you have anyone I could […] Read more…