Advent Begins and He Swells in Us


Thanksgiving passes and my heart still swells with gratitude for the people and time and life I’ve been given.

Advent begins. It’s my favorite time of year. We talk quiet around candles and good food about the Greatest Gift – the one given 2000 years ago that only gets sweeter.

We talk of how her womb swelled round with that precious gift from heaven. Sweet Mary waddling heavy with the skin wrapped God-child that would save this broken, aching world.

Anticipation swells and these dreams burn in me. It’s a dangerous and glorious thing to give ear to desire.

With desire comes wild hopes and random tears and ugly fears – and space for soul-searching.

With desire comes healing and life abundant.

I fall sick again, but in shivering skin and dizzy headaches, dreams and plans run wild and close.

His strength comes yet again through my weakness.

This year holds big things. I feel it already and this time I’m not afraid. Perhaps the biggest things always happen inside of us anyway.

The Christ-child grew in human belly and he grows in us as we make space for him. His greatest present to us was His presence – Immanuel, God with us – and we can become walking tabernacles of His presence. Every moment is a miracle when we know this deep down.

His greatest present was His presence and in turn our greatest present to Him is ours. May we become ever more aware of His nearness in this very moment.

Advent Begins and He Swells in Us

Coming Home


I spent my Thanksgiving holiday on ski slopes and in Winter Park, Colorado with some of my favorite people. It’s a tradition of ours, to escape to the mountains once a year. For those of us whose family spans the globe, we are each others’ family.

Here come the lonely and misunderstood, the chameleon-like. Few have one place to call home, one culture to claim as their own. This is our diversity and our common ground — the pangs of cross-cultural living.

As for me, my heart has leaked trails through those mountains and across African plains, through Thai villages and Latin American cities. I’ve bled wonder in ancient Grecian ruins and spilled love into eyes when language failed us, where small brown hands cupped my face and whispered beautiful in foreign tongue.

My heart will never feel whole on this earth. Home is a strange concept to me, only an innuendo in the company of those I love dearly.

Yet I no longer revolt at returning to this Mid-west city where my family has settled for over a decade. Where the cafes and farmers markets have become a part of me and familiar smiles slip my coffee across the counter. Where church is somewhere I feel alive and there will always be a soul to sing with, a song to dance to.

Friends have come and gone and perhaps this will always be a place of passing through, but for now my roots sink a little deeper here.

For once, I don’t mind.

Coming Home