Out my Window: thick clouds, sun attempting to peek out, flurries
Enjoying: mini space heater fireplace, candles, Christmas lights, family time, flowers
Listening to/Watching: Christmas mixes, I am liking Tsh Oxenreider’s playlist based on her advent devotional Shadow and Light https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1mdsKdSxeRUXs1vlllpBdY?si=Du-gYL_lS0mbdEyjA9naig I have this devotional on my list for next year. This year came upon me faster than planned, so I am using some old standbys instead. I have A Charlie Brown Christmas Album on repeat. Amazon.com: A Charlie Brown Christmas [2012 Remastered & Expanded Edition] (Remastered & Expanded Edition): Vince Guaraldi Trio: MP3 Downloads A friend recommended Funny in Farsi on Audible for my next listen. Amazon.com: Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America (Audible Audio Edition): Firoozeh Dumas, Firoozeh Dumas, Audible Studios: Audible Audiobooks The stories are fun and enlightening. I am thankful for the insight into the Iranian culture and also a better understanding of what some people go through when they attempt a new life in America. The author reads her book. It surprised me that she does not have an accent. I was disappointed. I have spent the year with a marvelous British accented reader, and then South African accent, this one feels flat. She reads very much like an American elementary teacher (which I am one, so not an insult) but it feels long in the listening. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it. There are many great stories and some good thoughts on culture and intercultural understanding. I am just not enjoying her reading of it.
Reading: Beside my bed: Jen Pollock Michel’s book Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of And in an Either-Or World. Also reading Dallas Willard’s Life Without Lack: living in the fullness of Psalm 23. Willard’s book has taken most of my reading time focus. This book continues to encourage me. I am thankful for the timing of this read.
I am also reading C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.
Advent Readings: Christmastide: Prayers for Advent through Epiphany From The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle, The One True Gift: Daily Readings for Advent to Encourage and Inspire by Tim Chester these two are my main ones. I also have my well worn copy of Watch for the Light out to visit on and off through the season. I joined Rabbit Room’s Reading Group on The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection by Robert Farrar Capon. The Rabbit Room | Reading Group: The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon This book has been on my reading list for awhile because so many different writers and speakers that I appreciate reference it. It is very different, but interesting.
I still have not reviewed Habakkuk from Dannah Gresh for Moody Publishing. Hopefully I will have a review up for it this week. (for real)
Rambling Thoughts: I have been thinking about Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55, specifically the first line “My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” This song occurs days after the angel has given Mary the game plan. This is not an emotionally charged reaction before one thinks through all the ramifications of this news of having a baby that is God’s son who is the Messiah. There has been time for the news to sink in. There has been time for it to go from amazing, to thinking about all the real life implications of walking this out. Being an unwed mother in this time period was downright dangerous. Her story was dangerous. It spoke of insurrection and rebellion against the powers of the land. This news would at the very least isolate her and make her the talk of the town, or at worst, get her killed either from her people, or the authorities. And yet, we find Mary singing a bold song of God’s character, and deep trust that God will do what He has been promising. This song shows that her heart was full of hope. I have been meditating this week also on Micah 7:7 “Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.” I was reminded that Mary probably had heard those words often. Her song shows she was looking to the Lord and waiting on Him to save. She had confidence that He would hear her, hear Israel. She was confident that God would do what He promised. In the fullness of time, He promised to send the redeemer of Israel. She trusted God’s character enough that she did not question His methods of coming as a baby to an unwed poor Israelite woman living under imperial rule. She knew God was her Savior and she had been watching and waiting, confident that He would answer. “Lord I believe, but help my unbelief.”
Fitness and Mental Health: Getting some walks in and still doing Pilates with The Balanced Life Sisterhood https://thebalancedlifeonline.com/ Mental Health: being intentional with my daily gratitude journal, exercise, and continuing to look for beauty are key. Writing the date and day and a brief list of the events of day has been very helpful for my mental health. Numbering my days…
Giving Thanks For: hope, comfort, friends who care deeply about me and my family, family that chooses to show up and be there, laughter in the midst of grief, God’s mercies, people who challenge and encourage me to think deeper and bigger about ideas and life, well cared for, my home, provisions, rest, so much beauty in this world, good books, challenging thoughts, community, grace, moments as a whole family, God ordering my days, His provisions and reminder of His heart for me