Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent Anticipation

Here in New England, I often tell people there there are only two things I love about winter: Christmas and patterned tights. I should include Advent as well.

After several mishaps with my Stew Leonard's Christmas tree--and a rather chaotic evening trying to put it up and get ready to go out with friends all at once--my house is finally decorated. This Advent season will be even more chaotic than most, between all the WHCC craziness plus two weddings, one of them in Indianapolis. So, I need to make the most of the time I have to enjoy cozy evenings by my tree.

One of the things I've loved most about "nesting" and making my own home here in Connecticut is forming my own traditions and little daily rhythms, which are the most pronounced at Advent. I know it sounds unlike me to crave solitude, but I so SO look forward to coming home on chilly December nights, grabbing my Bible and an Advent book, and curling up on my couch next to the tree. Amidst the madness of full-time ministry at Christmastime, that place of rest and reflection is the sweetest blessing. For me, that's the real Christmas--drawing near to Christ and taking time to quietly anticipate His coming again.

If you'd like to do this year's Advent readings along with me, you can find them via my Scribd account below. I'm digging into the riches of Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus again this year, too--such a wonderful read! If anyone has any other suggested Advent readings, please let me know!

With joy because our King has come--and will come again!
Advent Readings 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What I Love About New England Autumn

As the trees shed their leaves and temperatures drop, I'm starting to recall that it's COLD here in the winter! Thinking about that--and remembering that we serve a God who "never slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalm 121:4), a God who's heart never grows cold toward us--I'm reminded that despite the long, cold winter ahead, this is a wonderful place to live and serve.

Here's a quickie recap of why I have LOVED fall this year:

Greenwich Polo: a favorite late summer/early fall sport (and a great excuse to wear lots of Lilly!)

Apple picking: classic New England fall.

Gorgeous fall days at Shallow Brook with my boy, Aiden Magee.

Planting (and enjoying) fall flowers on my front porch.

Fall Boston getaway: visiting Naomi, exploring the city, and catching up with Tri Delt sisters!

As usual, I'm relishing words from Caedmon's Call and finding them poignant in my life:

As my heart draws close to the close of autumn, Your love abounds.