Mark and I were cycling recently on a muggy, Sunday afternoon. I couldn’t wait to enter the shade of a tunnel just ahead of us. We rode into the cool, dim passageway, and I could barely see a little boy of about 6 racing toward us on his bike from the other end, his dad just a little behind him. [Read more…]
I looked over at Mary furiously typing away, hunched over her keyboard eyes locked on the screen. I had been in the same position myself for the last 90 minutes sitting next to her at the desk. We were at the beautiful Mahseh retreat center having been blessed to find this secluded haven on Lake Bruce in Indiana. With a new study launching in just a few months, we pushed our minds into high gear, brainstorming ideas. [Read more…]
Recently I was at one of my favorite places in the Midwest, Fernwood. It’s a gem of a nature park in Niles, Mich., where I grew up. My dad and mom, and my sisters Laura, Mary, Carol, and I all met there for lunch. It happened to be snowing that day, and the setting couldn’t have been more beautiful. The lure of the snow was too powerful, and I dashed outside with my camera to snap a few pictures while we waited for our lunch to arrive.
Somehow the world just seems quieter when insulated by a blanket of snow. The only thing I could hear was the twittering of birds as they flitted from tree to bird feeder to tree again, the cardinals a cheerful, scarlet blur against the snow.
I couldn’t help but feel that I was in my own Sacred Everyday living out Psalm 16:11:
“You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures for evermore.”
God painted a masterpiece that afternoon and let me wander through it. And I am thankful.
Over the weekend, Mark and I were sharing pizza with friends, talking about our family Christmas traditions. One of our friends is from Columbia, and I asked him about how they celebrated Christmas in Columbia when he was a child. It’s so interesting to learn what’s important in other cultures.
In his village, Christmas Eve is the big celebration, marked by fireworks, special food, attending mass, putting up a small outdoor tree, and exchanging gifts. “The gifts, however, don’t go under the tree,” he said. I looked at him waiting for the explanation for this and was touched to hear this memory:
“In our village what was important was the Nativity. All the families would make their own Nativities. We went outside and gathered moss and other materials to build our own nativities. Then we took the time to put it all together. The tree was not the focal point of Christmas, the Nativity was, and the baby Jesus was the reason why we had gifts. We put our gifts around the Nativity, and we exchanged gifts because of Him.”
What a wonderful Sacred Everyday moment. How blessed he is to have years of building nativities with his family that engraved on his heart the real reason for Christmas.