By place

Monthly Archives: December 2013

In Tenebris

May you find a moment’s space tonight. May you draw the curtain, open the window, and climb outside to wait. May the light fall where you need it most.

Abide With Me

The year turns, the afternoon lingers in light a few moments more. In a week, all the holiday trimmings will be packed away, and the rooms will seem clean and empty. What will the new year bring?

We Can Dance: Everything’s Not Under Control

When I was sixteen, I went with my youth group to a talk on the evils of dancing. No dancing, he said. Dancing is of the devil, he said.

On The Last of Us

The Last of Us was gripping and unpredictable, it was emotionally draining, and it ended not with a happy victory or a heroic sacrifice, but with cowardly decisions made by broken characters.

The Darkness and the Light

If you’ve paid attention to end-of-the-year album lists, you’ve probably noticed a soft pink album with nine capitalized letters on its cover sitting somewhere near the top.

I’m Going to Let You Down

Because there are so many little issues involved that tunnel-vision just ignores, and very few minds are changed, and nobody looks good in the end.

No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

by | Dec 25, 2013

That Perry Como song comes on the radio, and I’m a wreck because there really is no place like home, whether it’s for the holidays or any time of year.

Spontaneous Idealism

Spontaneous Idealism

Why shop for Christmas presents when I can scrounge through the basement for spray paint and paper clips at 3 am on Christmas morning to fashion handmade Precious Moments iHomes?!!

Room

Room

The more I think about it, the more a purge seems like acceptable Advent behavior. Wasn’t God’s son plunked into a feeding trough because there wasn’t room in the right place?

Person of the Year

Person of the Year

Around this time every year, I fill out a “year in review” as a way of remembering significant things in the previous year. One category is the public figure who most captured my imagination.

Favorite and Least Favorite

Favorite and Least Favorite

I’ll play favorite vs. least favorite, a completely subjective game and thus the dolt cousin of favorite vs. best. Today’s topic: Christmas carols.

On Why I Hate Church

On Why I Hate Church

“You’ll have to excuse Calah. All these people are giving her information overload right now. Please join her in the ladies’ room for a deep conversation about this week’s scripture reading.”

Roadtrip

Roadtrip

Somewhere around 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, mom will go into Noah’s Ark mode, creating piles two at a time and designating where they will go in the car.

Traditions (cont’d)

Traditions (cont’d)

It’s almost our second Christmas as a married couple. Our tree is full of bare, ornament-less spots. We have different holiday movie requests, opposing music preferences, and conflicting decorating techniques.

A Ship-Shape Church

We come to church expecting to be fed—physically with coffee and cookies, spiritually with a rousing sermon. We come expecting to be entertained by talented musicians and a skillful preacher.

German at Calvin

After reading about the potential elimination of the German major at Calvin, I’m writing to tell you a bit about what German at Calvin meant and continues to mean to me.

Traditions

I was that kid who freaked out when my ice cream sandwich broke in half. I remember being five years old at my grandparents’ house, shrieking in agony over the broken dessert.

A Most Gracious Reprieve

A Most Gracious Reprieve

“How’s school?” Grandma Shirley asks me this every single time I see her, even though I graduated many months ago. She was at the graduation.

A Penny for your Evangelism

A Penny for your Evangelism

“YOU DESERVE HELL.” The murmurs that skittered through our classroom when that sign marched to the front row drew the attention of the professor.

Commonplace Christmas

I’m pretty sure it’s Christmas’ fault. We’ve entered the season when everyone and their mothers has something inspirational or encouraging to say.

I Heard You Like Lists

I Heard You Like Lists

Crushing on characters (both alive and dead, real and fictional) is probably what steered me toward my lucrative career path in words and stuff.

No Use To Us

No Use To Us

We walked a few blocks from the museum to find food (unreasonably passing on a café whose window quoted Jay Gatsby: “Well, he’s no use to us if Detroit is his idea of a small town. . . .”).

Hunger Games 2: Catching Mediocrity

The film, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, followed the book decently, but they added a brilliant (Read: horribly irritating) element: excessive screaming.

Free Time

Free Time

There is a freedom to being a child that I will never experience again. There is a freedom in being aware of time but not fearing it. There is freedom to not feeling guilty about doing nothing.

Thanksgiving Lies

Thanksgiving Lies

Normally, I hate lying. I prefer honesty and the rewards and consequences that come with it. But I was loving this kind of deception.

Come (cont’d)

Come (cont’d)

I love the way Advent meshes with the changing seasons in my Northern-Hemisphere home. The air takes on a crisp chill and the scent of snow. Dark comes early and the nights are the longest of the year.

Death, The Narrator

But Death, as in the narrator of The Book Thief, would not enjoy such a tune, at all. Cancer, cancer I hate. Death, the narrator, I love. Death the narrator is comforting, pleasant, desirable.

Waiting

Waiting

What could be more beautiful, I thought, than to break bread with the person who almost ran you over? The wolf will live with the lamb, and a little child will lead them.

Object Permanence

Object Permanence

A sample list of my previous collections, presented chronologically: heads of Lego people, Beanie Babies, wristbands and tie-dye t-shirts, and music CDs (and books are a given, right?).

Come

Come

And she’s a whole lot better at waiting—or, at least, at proclaiming what she’s waiting for and what she expects. I try to drown out the world. She tries to make it see.