“This is the homely heart of Incarnation, this meeting of God in man with men and women, this simple face of divine graciousness in ordinary life rather than in the hymns of church fathers or in the dry elaborations of theologians.”― Eugene Kennedy, Joy of Being Human
“Aliveness, he will teach, is a gift available to all by God’s grace. It flows not from taking, but giving, not from fear but from faith, not from conflict but from reconciliation, not from domination but from service. It isn’t found in the upper trappings of religion -rules and rituals, controversies and scruples, temples and traditions. No, it springs up from our innermost being like a fountain of living water. It intoxicates us lie the best wine ever and so turns life from disappointment into a banquet.”― Brian D. McLaren
No rules and regulations.
An invitation into the waiting, wandering and grace.
Open to all, owned by none.
Greater than our imagination, more substance than opinion.
May the story of Advent welcome you home to love, peace and light.
“Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.”― Thomas Merton
“Living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace.” Arianna Huffington
“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”― Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
In a sunrise, a sunset.
A walk, a run.
A poem, a song.
A flower, a flake of snow.
Quiet, a breeze.
A conversation, a glance.
A photo, a dance.
Poke gratitude, awaken to what already is awaiting encounter, praise, and awe.
An impulse to soar, falling into flight.
“The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go.”― Shannon L. Alder
“You don’t get to new places by following established tracks.”― Carlo Rovelli, Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Elusive Structure of the Universe and the Journey to Quantum Gravity
“Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and beauty of the world. And it’s breathtaking.”― Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
May you be confounded by beauty.
Overwhelmed with joy.
Planted on the soft earth.
Touching the clouds.
Gazing at the sun.
Cutting fresh tracks into becoming, unfolding and awe.
Spellbound in the unknown and mystery.
Do not skip to the end, nor take the shortcut.
Embrace the journey, detours, delays, getting lost, arriving, all of it while in it.
May you hold and be held by hope, peace, grace.
“We understand the world in its becoming, not in its being.”― Carlo Rovelli, L’ordine del tempo
“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.” – Psalm 118
“As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here.”― Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
May we all have the capacity and desire to change and be changed.
Becoming new again and again.
To see the same from other sides, new angles.
To understand more than be understood.
To stand in the complexities, the yes and no, knowing and unknowing, belief and doubt, organized and unorganized, reason and wonder.
Allowing it all and opening up.
In broad places and thin spaces.
“Standing eye to eye with being as being, we realize that we are able to look at the world with two faculties—with reason and with wonder. Through the first we try to explain or to adapt the world to our concepts, through the second we seek to adapt our minds to the world.”— Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity
“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“That’s what winter is: An exercise in remembering how to still yourself then how to come pliantly back to life again.” – Ali Smith
The strength and brilliance of winter sun.
Blue is bluer.
Air crisp and sharp.
The sound of snow under foot.
A quiet, slowing, softening.
The great pause.
Acceptance opens the door to joy.
Prelude, precursor to spring.
Preparation and transformation in the rest.
“Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”― Roman Payne
“God comes to you disguised as your life”― Paula D’Arcy
“Nowhere to go, nothing to do … Lost and found in the moment … Just practice this … Maybe here is where we find wholeheartedness and our true freedom.”― Joan Halifax, Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet
May you pause long enough to clarity, resting in nothing to see everything.
Nowhere to go, nowhere to return, anchored in this moment.
Lost and found at the same time.
What is right in front of you that is invisible to the hurriedness and checklists?
Beauty, joy, light – hidden in plain sight, slowness, awareness.
Witness the symphony of creation singing.
“Why is all of creation singing?”― Paula D’Arcy, Gift of the Red Bird: The Story of a Divine Encounter
“Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?” – Saint Basil
“Gratitude, warm, sincere, intense, when it takes possession of the bosom, fills the soul to overflowing and scarce leaves room for any other sentiment or thought.” – John Quincy Adams
When scarcity enters the room, invite gratitude in.
When comparison fills the page, invite gratitude in.
When running on empty, invite gratitude in.
Gratitude, optimism and hope shift the narrative, change the story.
A act, a practice, an intention, an effort each day.
Invite gratitude in.
Be held in joy and delight.
Sing a new song.
“Fill the earth with your songs of gratitude.” – Charles Spurgeon
“When you transform your mind, everything you experience is transformed.”― Yongey Mingyur, The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness
“Because in trying to articulate what, perhaps, joy is, it has occurred to me that among other things—the trees and the mushrooms have shown me this—joy is the mostly invisible, the underground union between us, you and me, which is, among other things, the great fact of our life and the lives of everyone and thing we love going away. If we sink a spoon into that fact, into the duff between us, we will find it teeming. It will look like all the books ever written. It will look like all the nerves in a body. We might call it sorrow, but we might call it a union, one that, once we notice it, once we bring it into the light, might become flower and food. Might be joy.”― Ross Gay, The Book of Delights
May you be a gardener of joy.
Tilling, seeding, feeding, waiting.
Bud to bloom.
Winter to spring.
Looking for the good in others, self, the world.
Beyond first reactions, lingering longer to await understanding.
Bursting with wonder, awe and delight.
Change the narrative, write a new story of beauty, light and joy.
We can change our thoughts and soften our hearts.
May we all be a gardeners of joy, coloring the world anew.
“To see beyond what despair sees—to move from the feeling toward the possibility—calls for things we have in abundance: love, imagination, and a willingness to simply tend the world as best we can, without guarantee of success.”― Ayana Elizabeth Johnson