Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year!

We’re having a great week in Florida with my siblings and their families. We had the best (also longest) day at Magic Kingdom EVER, and have had lots of awesome hanging-out time.

As many of you know, my birthday is right after New Year’s, which means that this time of year is heavy on introspection and taking stock.

In the past I have made resolutions, set intentions, established goals, and more. Last year, for example, was a big bucket list year: I climbed the mountain, ran the race, finished the book (two actually) and lost almost 25 pounds (and counting).

I have a number of big projects in 2012, including getting the book released, leading a few conferences, pastoring Tiny Church into ever newer directions, and probably running another race or two. But those are scheduled and will happen without setting a particular intention in that direction.

Sometimes I think too much, plan too much, manage too much. So this year, my one and only intention is to cultivate joy in my life. That means cultivating laughter. Music. Beauty.

To keep that focus in the midst of all that other stuff is a worthy goal, no?

Oh, and this isn’t a bad intention either:

Happy New Year!

Friday Christmas Eve-Eve Link Love

I send you into the weekend with just three links:


Three Christmas Gifts — Faith and Leadership

My friend Sherry gives her kids three Christmas gifts, because “it was good enough for Jesus!” We’ve adopted that practice, although Santa helps us fudge things sometimes.

I like the way this author breaks it down:

At a retreat on Christian life, I heard Susan V. Vogt describe a wonderful tradition suggested in her book “Raising Kids Who Will Make a Difference: Helping Your Family Live with Integrity, Value, Simplicity, and Care for Others.” A parent of four kids herself and a counselor and family life educator, she had tried her own experiments with gift giving, eventually settling on a simple yet elegant plan: she and her husband give each of their children only three gifts for Christmas — a “heart’s desire,” a piece of clothing and “something to grow on.”


Structure v. Interaction — Church as Art

Troy is one of my favorite people in the world. He recently wrote this post in response to a question I posed about how to move a traditional congregation into some creative directions in worship.


In Africa, the Art of Listening — New York Times

Once again with the power of story.

May you have opportunity to hear and tell powerful stories in the days to come, and in the year that awaits us.

Friday Link Love

Here we go:


The Ten Happiest (and Unhappiest) Jobs — Forbes

My job is on the happiest list; Robert’s is on the unhappiest :-


If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong — Study Hacks

How “elite achievers” do it, in music anyway.


The Deck of Cards Workout — Lifehacker

A friend of mine is doing this. I like it! No special equipment required. If I ever kick the strep cough I may try it.


And finally…

The Right (and Wrong) Way to Die When You Fall into Lava — Wired

Because you’ve always wondered.


Have a wonderful weekend, everybody. We will be working on simple costumes for our “impromptu” Christmas pageant on Sunday.

Advent: Waiting

I wrote this six years ago when I was pregnant with Margaret.

talk to me about the waiting…

mostly I crouch, head bowed, eyes closed
against the soft black, safe in liquid suspense.
but even in the nothing there are constant somethings:
a fluid symphony, simmering, rolling, rushing past;
a metronome beating out the time,
world without end—and a voice:
hushed murmur, burbling laugh,
distant yet irresistible.

and then, at certain times,
I am bathed in thirsty, throaty songs:
o come, o come,
long-expected one;
rejoice, rejoice,
prepare the way;
comfort, comfort,
alleluia, amen.
and these reverberations of hope
shake the cradle that holds me,
and I stretch the kinks out of kneeling legs,
raise my arms in praise,
then bow and wait, again,
for that time when we will sing
To the World!

Friday Link Love

I’m still here, but dang it’s been nice to take a break from any and all writing. Aside from sermons.

I found out yesterday that I have strep. Boo. Glad it didn’t strike while I was finishing the manuscript, but… boo.

Let’s get to it:


Triangle Letter How-to (Mail for Free) — Improvised Life

Love this way to fold a letter so it becomes its own envelope. And it apparently bests the post office scanners.


Best Photos of 2011 — National Geographic

Some amazing stuff:

I can’t even make this image ‘real’ in my mind, yet it is.


Why Internet Commenters Will Eventually End the World — Sh*t My Dad Says


“Doesn’t it bother you that people can go on the internet and call you a talentless piece of shit, and never have to say it to your face?,” he continued.

“I don’t know.  Doesn’t really bother me.  I got my break writing down things you say. I think just karmically speaking I deserve to hear that on occasion,” I said.

“I’m not talking about you.  I’m speaking fucking globally.  If you can’t handle some pissant writing something nasty about you, then I failed as a father.  What I’m trying to say is, don’t it trouble you that there’s a whole generation of people growing up that just say whatever the fuck they want, without any consequences?”

I can’t disagree.


How Doctors Die — Zocalo

This made the rounds on Facebook this week.

I cannot count the number of times fellow physicians have told me, in words that vary only slightly, “Promise me if you find me like this that you’ll kill me.” They mean it. Some medical personnel wear medallions stamped “NO CODE” to tell physicians not to perform CPR on them. I have even seen it as a tattoo.


Stephen Colbert’s GOP Debate, and Other Political Jokes Turned Causes — Daily Beast

Can’t help slipping a little Colbert fanlove into this post.


Sarah Kay: If I Should Have a Daughter — TED

Spoken word poetry. Nice.