Friday, December 19, 2014

announcing... speak up!

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Amber and I are throwing ALL THE VIRTUAL CONFETTI with today's announcement!



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for your posts

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for your sidebars



We'll see y'all in January!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

a cocoa date.

If we were on a cocoa date, I'd tell you...


...how this week is crazy, and how I don't do crazy well. I'd point out the rich irony in my post on generosity going live on the day my ability to give it cheerfully was most tested. Jesus still has so much to do in me, and yesterday was proof.

...just how much I'm loving rereading the Harry Potter series. I've always loved the books, but when I began the first book, a little of the magic had gone, even more than before. Knowing the ending to the series takes a little of the excitement out of Harry discovering he's a wizard. And yet, I was still impatient to relive moments like those through Rowling's vivid and fantastic narration. (Pun intended? But so much.)

After a while what became fun was muttering sarcastically at Harry, Ron, and Hermione when they say things that ironically portend their futures, taking note of all the literary techniques (foreshadowing!), and tracing all the little patterns and details that slip by in the first few readings. (e.g. Ever noticed how every time Harry's pocket Sneakoscope is mentioned in the third book it's whistling and spinning? IT'S BECAUSE SCABBERS.)

...I can't believe Christmas is NEXT. WEEK. ALREADY. I feel like time got stuck the week after Thanksgiving and it's only December 2. But I'm excited to see family and celebrate. The holidays are my favorite time of year and we have actually gotten far enough into December I actually miss snow falling and how it stills the air and how it looks when it lies on the ground like fresh carpet.

...it really irks me to use these ellipses the way I am but it's not improper. I hate when I disagree with pedantic convention. Except I probably wouldn't tell you this because ellipses don't exist in speech.

...I don't think I've had a single red cup this season. So I had to post a throwback picture because obviously. I've been trying to cut back on unnecessary spending, plus I've spent two weeks coming down with, surviving, and recovering from The Plague of 2014* so the only thing I've had to drink in all that time has been water (although I did grant myself a glass/can of pop once each on Monday and Tuesday. Strangely, now I've given myself permission to drink it again I don't miss it as much as I though I did while I suffered The Plague).
*This was really just a bad cold or the flu. I never did work out which one, but it was definitively not plague.

If we were on a cocoa date, what would you tell me?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'tis the season.


Generosity is something I have to fight for.

I feel like that sounds wrong and awful to say, but I think it's the truth for a lot of us. In our deterministic, individualistic Americanism, we are too often focused on ourselves, and not necessarily selfishly, because we focus often on self-improvement. But I've found that, especially this Christmas, my tendency to self-improvement tramples on my ability to be generous.

For one, buying ALL THE PRESENTS means spending MORE OF THE MONEY. And for someone who already has an issue spending unnecessarily, it's tough to justify spending any money on something that isn't food or shelter when I've issued myself a moratorium.

For two, ALL THE HOLIDAYS means craziness where I work, plus parties means people, and for this introvert, people all day and people all night means ALL THE CRANKY. I like to come home to quiet, not to plans. And so I have found myself wanting to be stingy with my time and my home.

A few years ago I was going through a really rough situation and I remember telling Jesus, "This is going to kill me." And then the Holy Spirit whispered, "But isn't that the point? That you die to self? So shouldn't this kill you?"

I still don't have an answer for that particular situation, but it's been a question I've turned over in my head ever since. What does dying to myself look like and feel like? When am I martyring myself as opposed to the Spirit extracting what's death in me?

This Christmas, this year, I want to fight valiantly for generosity, even where it would not be my first choice. Just as Jesus came to us as a child, so I want to go to Him as a child in faith. It may well kill me, but that's the redemptive work of Christ: teaching us to die to self that we may rise with Him.

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. • Proverbs 11:25

In what areas is it difficult for you to be generous? Are there images or words that remind you to fight to give cheerfully?