Showing posts from December, 2009

Parenting Tips in Literature

I don’t know how many people feel that an essential part of preparing for child birth is the re-reading of their favorite childhood books. Don’t get me wrong, I have spent hours poring over Dr. Sears’ Baby Book; What to Expect When You’re Expecting; Real Boys; Gender Matters; and The Happiest Baby on the Block. I am nothing if not practical and I want to get “it” right—whatever “it” is.

However, on this the last day of 2009, I spent the morning smiling and crying over the adventures of Anne of Green Gables. And, through the lens of impending motherhood, it occurred to me that my desire to spend time immersed in the worlds of authors such as Kipling and Montgomery comes from a place of dreaming and hoping for this baby. I want him to weep over the death of Matthew and feel the tension as Anne walks the ridge pole. I want him to laugh over silly elephant child and the cake crumbs that itched the rhinoceros so terribly.

I have found myself fretting over how to raise this child wit…

Biblical Curse Generator

For those of you who aren't quite as creative as John the Baptist this biblical curse generator might help!

God's peace and blessing on this third Sunday in Advent.

Reverend Joy+

Advent, the f-bomb and me...

So, I've been contemplating the propers for this coming Sunday (the third Sunday in Advent). And, in the Gospel we have good ol' John the Baptist calling the crowd a "brood of vipers!". It's a rather abrupt start to the good news on a wintry Sunday and it leads to some unusual homiletical cud...

When my sister and I were teens (13 and 16) my mother began to use swear words in addressing us. And, it wasn't just mild swears--she used the f-bomb with frequency and sort of evolved from there. When I complained about her language she claimed that nothing else worked to "get our attention". While I'm still traumatized by the amount of cussing my mother continues to engage in (having gotten into the habit) I am also intrigued at the idea of how she felt that she needed to go to this extreme to get us to listen to her. So as I contemplate John's fiery language it occurs to me that it is, perhaps, a rhetorical device used to get their, and ou…

Winter Evensong

Today is a day of sharp contrasts--of light and dark, warmth and cold, of stillness and wind. The sense of change in the air has made the dog nervous and he licks his lips as the wind howls through the trees. I brace myself in case of tree and limb fall—the wind carries with it the possibility for destruction at the same time I nudge the thermostat up a degree and curl my toes beneath me. The puddles ripple in the wind and I know that, come night, they will turn to ice. I dread the coming cold and the already cold. The cold that penetrates through to the bones and the night that seems to come earlier and earlier each day. Yet, the sun broke through the clouds and I remember last year and the year before—all years in which I began to believe that I would never be warm again. Years in which the dying grasses and fallen leaves seem to possess an unrepentant barrenness. New life seems impossibly far off and the storm perches like the silhouetted cormorant above the water. The con…

Advent Paradox

God we cry out to you
For love
For redemption
And that is the promise you have given

We didn’t take into account
Love and redemption
Do not eliminate suffering.

Rather, they accompany it.
And in the midst of suffering,
We find that you are there
The weeping, suffering Christ/Spirit/God

Whose love can only witness
To the true hope
That awaits us only
In death.

"The Womb of Advent"

Last year, at this time, I was angrily putting away the book The Womb of Advent written by Mark Bozutti-Jones in which we uses his own family’s pregnancy and impending birth as a foil for reflecting upon each day of Advent. I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t read about the joy (and fear) of pregnancy and child birth when my own heart was so broken and my own womb so empty.

What a difference a year makes…and now I get it. Now I understand what I didn’t last year (altho’, for no good reason, I’m still a bit angry at the aforementioned author!) that anticipating this baby is like anticipating Christ--terrifying and joyful—fearfully and wonderfully made—within but not without, yet. But, I am sensitive to the reality that my own joy is another's pain and was once my own. So this Advent I pray for those who long to become parents yet find themselves still waiting, watching and hoping.

At the same time, this joy that was so (seemingly) long denied brings me full circle. This new a…