Advent is a season of strange stories and wonder-full waiting. Angels. Dreams. Miraculous pregnancies. Surprising visitors. But in a season of powerful Scripture and symbols - light, darkness, watching, waiting - we can forget that the first Advent was embodied, too. Without pregnancy and birth - messy, physical experiences - Christmas could not have happened. What can bearing, birthing, and caring for babies teach us about the Incarnation? How might pregnancy, labor, and nursing shape our understanding of God becoming human? A few of my favorite questions. Turns out I can't stop thinking about them this time of year. . . . For ten years now, I've been pregnant or nursing during December. (That realization alone was enough to startle me.) A decade of Advents spent in changed relationship to my body as it expanded and contracted, filled and emptied, nourished and nurtured new life into being. Becoming a mother through these biological experiences changed my spiritual … [Read more...] about a decade of waiting: Advent in the body
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. "The anxieties of daily life." Is there anything more ordinary? Preaching on perplexing signs and terrible fears that will signal the end of times, Jesus speaks words of caution: "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life" (Luke 21:25-28, 34-36). We laugh and swat away the first two, easy enough. But the last? Who among us is not dogged by anxieties? How could they be dangerous as drunkenness? Worry walks hand in hand with the work of raising children. From the beginning parents circle round small concerns and shrink from larger fears. Will the child be safe? Healthy? Strong? Worries change as children grow and parents age, but anxiety is still wound tight with love. How could we possibly parent without worry? But … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: pray, hope, don’t worry
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. Crusts & Crumbs "For this I was born," Jesus says (John 18:37). We think his birth attracts attention, coming at the end of Christmas countdown and Advent anticipation. But how much do we meditate on who God was before and after birth? This week we whiplash from Christ the King to Christ the Child. Alpha and Omega, end and beginning, the turning point of the church year. But this is no slow shift from Ordinary Time to Advent. Suddenly God is bounded by bodies - Jesus' own and his mother's. A shrinking that expands, a growing that surrenders. Pregnancy's paradoxes made divine. All of us were once held within another. Womb surrounded for months of darkness. Stretched within skin, carried by muscle, buoyed with water. Strength and nourishment, the place of preparation. Pregnancy … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: bounded by birth
Crusts & Crumbs is a new reflection for Sunday evenings: thoughts on today's Scripture from parenting's perspective. If you're hungry to connect faith and family, let’s chew here together. Crusts & Crumbs A time unsurpassed in darkness. Why on earth would anyone choose to have a child? Parents ask this question (and friends inquire and strangers probe) over and over. Why now? Why another? Why at all, in these days of disaster and despair? Yet Love still takes the risk of birth. A couple decides to try for a baby. A student applies to college. A child starts piano lessons. Is there anything more ordinary or more hopeful? The stars falling, said the Lord (Mark 13:24-32). The stars forever, wrote the prophet (Daniel 12:1-3). Somewhere between these two - death and eternity, destruction and rebirth, end and beginning - is where we spend our days. Beyond the screaming, wailing headlines - mass shootings, abuse scandals, deadly storms, political turmoil - we make dinner. … [Read more...] about crusts & crumbs: how could you have kids now?