My heart is full this advent season. I'm not even sure I can explain. We make meaning by adding word to word, but a heart is filled with moments, glimpses, knowings. We brush against love and it clings to our souls, leaving behind its fragrance or the almost imperceptible imprint of its touch. Words try. They reach and can't quite encompass. But they try. That's all I can promise.
The chemo is also causing the skin on her thumbs to split open and bleed, and the tumor in her hip makes walking difficult and painful.
I'm thinking about simplicity this advent season. About what matters.
"Harper Sparrow, teach me how to fly with the King of kings
I hear you’ve just been with him . . . "
About my parents. And my granddaughter. Lives lived long. Life just beginning.
"Your first song is all I ever want to sing again
Won’t you sing with me, my love,
into eternity, my love . . ."
About joy in pain and beauty in brokenness.
About a daughter's first daughter.
And a daughter-in-law whose eyes shine with joy even as her belly has only just begun to bulge with new life.
About the gift of music, passed from one generation to the next . . .
Accessible. Mysterious. Holy. Wonder-full.
I'm thinking about simplicity this advent season, and I'm pausing in the rush of rushing to soak before beauty. To let it break my heart.
When I see a burning bush set against endless blue, to take off my shoes. When a row of fog-enshrouded streetlamps becomes a procession of haloed saints, to hush my hurrying steps that I might hear their prayers.
I'm learning to listen to quiet voices. And I'm letting go.
to meet you
and show you . . ."
"Food and oceans . . ."
"So very many simple things."
I'm thinking about simplicity this advent season. About what matters. Ann Voskamp's beautiful, quiet example gave our family permission to complete a shift we began years ago by selecting items from the Samaritan's Purse catalog in honor of our extended family members. But until this year we still felt obligated to purchase material gifts as well, even if we had to wrack our brains to come up with something the recipient might not even want and definitely didn't need.
This year all our gifts will benefit "the least of these." Our children are 100% on board and excited about it. But there are still some people we'd like to bless with a physical gift, and I know the perfect way we (and you!) can do both.
Curtis wrote Food and Oceans, the song quoted throughout this post, before Harper was born. When you listen to it, you feel his joyful anticipation as he eagerly waits to introduce his daughter to a world where every experience would be brand new for her, and through her, for him. That song is included on Jubilee's fabulous, creative, delightful new album, To See You Well. (Can you tell I'm excited about it?) It's due to release in January, and everyone on my Christmas list is going to get one.
"But," you say, "January comes after Christmas." You are very observant. And so is Jubilee. That's why they're offering a special opportunity this week only to pre-order To See You Well. When you order, they'll send a Christmas Card featuring original album artwork to stuff in the appropriate stocking announcing your gift. You'll also receive an access code to download four tracks from the album, and a link to Jubilee's not-yet-released-to-the-public music video of Food and Oceans. And of course, the CD will be sent as soon as it's available. As always, 50% of sales will go to International Justice Mission to support their fight against modern-day slavery and human trafficking. So much goodness! Can you think of a more perfect gift?
If you're still not sure, maybe Grace and Harper can convince you:
Click here to pre-order To See You Well
And have a simply beautiful Christmas!