Wednesday, August 17, 2016

40 Things I LOVE About My Sister.

40.  She is the best gift-giver. She will take a looooong time to pick out the perfect gift, but it’s all worth it in the end because it will be, indeed, perfect. AND. She is the best present wrapper; she makes the packaging almost better than the gift itself.

39. She has an infectious smile and laugh and they definitely light up a room.

38.  She has the softest skin that I love to creepily stroke from time to time, and she always smells good (just don’t steal her scent).

37.  She once found us the worst hotel in New York City, and my parents hated it so much that they upgraded us to the Marriot in Times Square the next night (win-win).

36.  She is one INCREDIBLE aunty. Seriously. I think my kids like her more than they like me.

35.  She has a heart for the underdog, the victim and the oppressed. Her compassion is beyond inspiring.

34.  She knows probably every word of the Bible, yet has taught me the most about what it means to have a simple, “childlike” faith.

33.  She has gotten over her fear of affection and doesn’t hyperventilate so much after I try to hug her.

32.  She is a great debater. Good luck to those who go up against her. She knows her stuff and she’s convincing.

31.  She let me sit at her lunch table when I was the new kid at school and had no friends. And she only rubs it in my face like four times a year.

30.  In middle school, she made me a sign inspired by a Full House episode that says, “Guys come and go, but sisters are forever.” I had it in my room until I moved out. Because of a guy.

29.  She is like the teacher that Michelle Pfieffer played in “Dangerous Minds” and I always hear “Gangsta’s Paradise” playing faintly in the background every time she gives me a pep talk.

28.  She was my sidekick on two incredible, life-changing trips to India.

27.  She let me live with her for a month in Washington, DC after I graduated from college and had no direction in life. We had fun.

26.  She thought I was the most annoying little sister when we were little because I’d always get her in trouble. But she also did a lot of stuff worthy of getting in trouble for. To my credit.

25.  She forgave me after our hugest fight over a Brian McKnight tape back in the early 90s. Didn’t think we’d survive that one.

24.  She is the most popular in any crowd and she doesn’t even know it. Ever since we were little, I knew she had that special something that made people comfortable and made them flock to her. She is that person everyone wants to be around.

23. She used to squeeze my sides and tell me my obliques would leak.

22. She took me on the adventure of a lifetime: two weeks traveling through Europe with just a backpack, baguette and jar of Nutella. It was magical. She pushes me to expand my horizons, and because of her, I’ve seen a lot of beautiful things in this world.

21. She used to sing songs from Sound of Music or the Little Mermaid in the shower every morning at the top of her lungs.

20. While other kids in school got in trouble, she went to journalism camp.

19. She is a great singer and artist and is super creative, which is not fair because I did not get those genes at all. AT ALL.

18. She is an AMAZING writer. I’m always just like, whoa, whoa, WHOAA!

17. She has a book recommendation for EVERYTHING. I’m not kidding. Name a topic and she’ll give you a book title and author (and 9 times out of 10, she will order it for you from Amazon and have it shipped out to you the next day).

16. She once put a drink on a random girl’s head, the drink spilled, then she got mad at the GIRL for giving her a bad look. (????)

15. She volunteers Lisa and I for the most random things. Mostly church things and going on runs with her clients.

14. She is the worst liar. The WORST. (As in she can’t lie, not that she lies a lot).

13. She was my first example of seeing someone have a dream, work for it and see it through to fruition.

12. She is steadfast and resolute in so many things that matter.

11. She is truly both the sweetest, friendliest person and the toughest, most capable person.

10.  She has chased after someone at a train station on a bike while ringing the bell on her basket.

9.   She has forgotten to pick me up nearly three dozen times when I was a poor helpless child, but it’s impossible to stay mad at her.

8.   She worked for a real newspaper in high school and had her own column called “Bina’s Beat.”

7.   She felt oppression at a young age by cops who pulled her over for speeding. Because she was speeding.

6.   She did a radio interview on KUBE 93 about racism. It was poignant.

5.   She is the hostess with the mostess. Everyone is welcome at her house, always. And they are always made to feel welcomed, loved and important. She has the gift for hospitality.

4.   She is the best role model God could give me growing up. She is strong, confident, humble, full of faith, love, and passion. She is a dreamer and a follow-througher and a seize the day-er of life. I truly do not think I would have made it through my youth without her wisdom, example, encouragement, truth-telling, tough love, just plain love, friendship and laughter.  When it comes to sisters, I got the best of the best.

3.  She sees love through from start to finish. She fights for people and for what they are meant to become. She’ll not only fight for them in court in front of a judge, but she’ll take them home, pray for them, loan them her car, have them over for dinner,and  introduce them to her family so it feels like they have one too.  People are so important to her. She loves in such a beautiful way.

2. She is a risk taker. Whether it’s moving across the country for school, believing in someone despite the odds, traveling the world, studying abroad, working for a nonprofit, changing her career path, following her dreams, standing up for truth, voicing an unpopular opinion or pursuing her passion. She doesn’t just settle for the status quo in life. I believe this comes from her faith in God, her belief in HIS ability to get things done and make things right, and her insanely deep desire to make this life count.

1. She fills this major, much-needed space in this world that only she can fill with her sweetness, smile, strength, smarts, sense of humor and sincerity. She also fills that much smaller, but still JUST as needed Bina-shaped space in individual people’s lives. I’ve seen it time and time again. People go to her with questions, with problems, for advice, for a listening ear. She is a source of fun, laughter and comic relief. There is only one Bina and we are all blessed people to know her, love her and get to do life with her. But me especially. I get to be her sister, which means that many, MANY times for ALL OF MY LIFE I’ve gotten her attention, her ceaseless prayers, her listening ear, her wisdom, her honesty, her vulnerability, her graciousness, her silliness, her friendship and her love. It’s that love that I’m most thankful for, because she truly loves like no other. To say, I’m thankful for her is an understatement. To say I love her doesn’t even express it. To say she blesses my life, so many lives and this world, is the absolute truth and comes from my heart.

Thank you for living a full, honest and loving life, Beans. Thank you letting me be a part of your passions and adventures. Thanks for being my best friend since the day I was born. May this day, this year, this decade and this season of life lead you to places that bring you great joy and fulfill the deepest desires of your heart. I want the best for you sister, and I love you so much!!

Happy 40th, Beans. #goshortyitsyour40

Friday, May 6, 2016

good enough.

“There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one.”
-Jill Churchhill

Motherhood is by far the most complicated, confusing roles I’ve had to play in my life.

On the one hand, I feel monumentally thankful that God entrusted these two little humans to me.

But then I think – what? God entrusted these little two humans to ME? Maybe He made a mistake because … what?

I feel important because, well, I am a MOTHER. I do everything. I fix owies, put people to sleep, tend to emotional needs and make a mean mac n’ cheese.

But then, I feel SO small. Because sometimes I can’t. I can’t muster the strength for one more tantrum. I can’t kiss away their pain. And a lot of times, I just take them to McDonalds.

I feel strong. Because I gave birth. I provided sustenance to two growing children. I am one half of the duo they rely on most in the world.

And yet I’m the most vulnerable I’ve ever been. I can’t make the world better for them; I can’t guarantee that their lives will be without heartbreak or hurt. I can’t do any of that.

So I’m confused. I’m also sometimes on my knees asking why in the WORLD me?

Because maybe someone else could do it better.

Like the Pinterest mom with the flawlessly executed birthday parties. Those people craft and build imaginations and introduce their children to so much wonder. Right?

Or the organized mom who owns a calendar and plans meals and matches outfits. Those people are on time, on top of it and not constantly stressed. Right?

Or the mom who doesn't have so much baggage or so many weaknesses and flaws. I mean, nobody's perfect, but someone has to be far closer to perfect than me. Right?

Or the talented mom who can sew baby clothes and write music and is well-traveled and cultured. Those people go far in life. Right?

The contradictions, the comparisons – all the different ways you are pulled or taught to believe what is right in raising a child. It is so confusing sometimes. Are you really doing everything right?

Are YOU really the right one for the job?

On one particular day when I was NOT feeling not so qualified – I remember sneaking into my daughter’s room and holding her hand as she drifted off to sleep. Feeling my hand grab hers, she tossed a bit, then looked at me half asleep and said, “I love you so much. You’re the best mommy in the world.”

Exactly those words.

I just have to keep remembering - I AM the right person for the job because He made it so. He knew exactly which mother, out of every mother in the world, those two precious kids would need.


Because to them – somehow messy, undeserving, flawed me – is their "best mommy in the world."

I’ll take it. I hope you will, too. Throw yourself a bone and pat yourself on the back. On Mother’s Day and every day of this crazy, confusing little journey called motherhood.

Friday, April 29, 2016

happy four, kenzie lou.

My Kenzie,

You are lovely. Everything lovely mixed with sassy and spunk and joy and sweetness. That’s who you are. You are a delight. If I could bottle up each one of your expressions I would. I’d save them forever and play them over and over again on the worst, or even the best, of days. You have a face for everything. Surprised, shy, silly, shocked, sad, sleepy, sweet – everything. Each one is precious, priceless and uniquely you.

And your chipmunk voice. The one that could go on forever about your day at school, or about helping people, or about something that Caleb did. My favorite stories of yours begin with “Mom you know what? …” or “Mom, you’re really going to love this …” and there’s sometimes even the “Mom, this is a really sad thing …” (which usually ends with you telling me you got a paper cut, or your friend got sick at school). You’re always giving me “golden trophies” for doing things like going the right way to school or clapping for you after you sing a song. You are very compassionate and are always thinking about people who are less fortunate. My dream is to help you put your generous heart into action. You like to say “mom, the longer we wait to give food to people who have nothing, the longer they will have nothing.” Good point, Kenzie Lou. You are inspiring.

I love how you’ve grown into my little buddy. Always the one who wants to go on quick trips to the grocery store or out with me to run mundane errands. While your brother, the homebody, turns me down, you’re always the one who says, “I wanna go with you, mama!” Caleb is our “drive thru boy,” but you are our “sit in the restaurant girl.” The one who wants to be out and about where all the action is. When I’m cooking dinner, you pull up a stool at the counter and talk to me the whole time. We bake cakes and make cookies together. Once you hear me get the ingredients out you run to wash your hands and get your stool to help.

You have a knack for creating special moments. When we’re about to read a book, you’ll pause, run upstairs and grab some stuffed animals and blankets and make the couch all “cozy” for us before we start. You love creating warm, inviting spaces wherever we go. You like to tidy up, fold clothes and organize. Please may you continue that trend and be more organized than me so you can help your mama later in life! You twirl in your dresses, love painted nails, die for sparkly shoes, are awe-struck over princesses and can create beauty out of the most mundane things.

While I still marvel at how such a “particular” baby turned out to be the sweetest little girl, I also have to remember that you are passionate, full of emotion, and … some might say … a little bossy. You are strong-willed, head-strong, confident and outgoing. Are you really MY child?? I see so clearly now how those early days prepared me for the toddler you’d grow to be. Some days I am still at the end of my rope, but always oh so in love with you. You teach me so much, Kenzie.

Lovely. You are lovely. It’s a word that I don’t use often, it doesn’t easily roll off of my tongue, but it’s the word the keeps popping into my heart when I consider your four years with us. It’s who I knew you to be when I first found out about you in a doctor’s office and felt like I had loved your for thousand years before.

Makenzie Kay. The brightest, most lovely part of my heart. You will never be able to comprehend the amount of love I have for you. Happy Birthday, sweet girl.



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

lessons from a kindergartner.

Caleb had a hard day at school. Nothing earth shattering, just the typical Kindergarten “stuff” that gets lodged in between art projects and recesses and silent readings.

Daily performance evaluations.

You know, purple means excellent, pink means good, green means okay and any other color pretty much means a future most likely filled with detentions and possibly juvie.

We’ve been lucky, even proud, that Caleb has come home with only purple and pinks thus far. But yesterday, I knew something was up when I picked him up from school and heard, “Mom, I had kinda a hard day” from the backseat on our drive home.

Some simple questioning led me to check his school folder where I saw he got a “green” for the day. More questions led to the revelation that he had gotten in trouble in music class for playing tag with a friend and was sentenced to “walk cones” for five minutes the next day.

He explained this whole thing to me and I could feel his pain with every word that came out of his mouth. Once he got it all out, he began sobbing.

I watched from the rear-view mirror with a crumbling heart as he buried his cheek into the side of his booster seat, covered his eyes and started silently crying. It was THAT look - the look of SHAME and I wanted to nip that in the bud – fast. I knew I had to whip out my words - the good stuff- the pearls of wisdom that would tell him that it was just a little mistake and that I still loved him, was proud of him, and everyone makes the wrong choice sometimes.

Yet all I could muster was, “Caleb, don’t you feel bad! Even mommy got in trouble at school sometimes! And at least you’ll have your friend there to walk the cones with you – it won’t be so bad!” And the ever-helpful little Kenzie chimed in, “Yeah, Caleb! I get in trouble, too! My teacher just forgives me!”

He just looked at us like “Really? That’s all you got?”

I reached back behind my seat and grasped his clammy palm while he continued to cry for the duration of the ride home. I think I had one of those out-of-body mommy moments when a million speeches, ideas, consequences, ramifications and frustrations all flooded my brain at once. My sweet, tender-hearted Caleb. Who had broken the rules and had to walk cones. How do I teach him that it wasn’t THAT big of a deal without minimizing disobedience? How do I teach him that his value is set in stone – that nothing he has done or could do could ever change how loved he is? How do I teach him that we sometimes have to pay the piper when we mess up, but that messing up is also just a part of life? How do I stop myself from calling his teacher and BEGGING her to let me walk the cones in his place??

We got home, and he retreated into the quiet living room and the comfy white couch – alone – while Kenzie and I went into the kitchen to start dinner. I checked on him a minute later and asked what exactly was bothering him.

“I don’t want to walk cones.”

So I took a deep breath, pulled him in close and let him sob into my shoulder for a minute. Then I told him that his teachers have rules and  this was just a reminder that he needs to listen. I told him to try and think of these situations as opportunities to do better next time rather than a punishment.

Wait, did I say that?

I said, "you may have made a mistake but – did you know?? – you can make a hundred million mistakes and I will never think less of you. I will always, always, love you and be proud of you."

Yes, I’ve heard this before.

I told him that I LOVED  that he told me the truth – even though he felt so bad about it and it was hard – he trusted me enough to tell me and that made me feel so good and so proud.

Yep, the truth does set you free. I know that’s a thing.

And I concluded with the fact that we all make mistakes – it’s what makes us human.  But we are not our mistakes – and I KNOW. WHO. HE. IS. He is a sweet, kindhearted, amazing person. And he's precious to me. He isn’t his mistakes.

Wait, this is still about Caleb right???

I should know by now that motherhood will always be like looking at a mirror. Most of the things I tell my kids, I should be telling myself. And so many of the limitless hopes, boundless desires and endless affections I have for my kids must mirror the exponentially greater feelings my Father has towards ME and THEM. That is comfort and calm. The truth about who God is and who He says WE are is truly unbelievable. So much so, that I sometimes forget to believe it myself.

(And then there’s Kenzie. Who is perfectly comfortable getting in trouble, knows her worth a little too well, and is applying for a forgiveness punch card as we speak. But that is a blog for another time.)

Caleb walked away from our little talk, dried his tears and got back to the business of being a carefree six year old. He ate his chicken nuggets, finished his homework, read a book and played a game of Madden on the Xbox. I so often focus on the volatility of children – how quickly they can change moods, throw tantrums or change proclivities. But what about the RESILIENCY and FAITH of children? How easy it is for them to believe their parents when they say “it’s going to be okay.” How effortlessly their tears can turn into uncontrollable laughter. How soundly they can sleep knowing that they don’t have to control their worlds because THEY ARE TAKEN CARE OF.

So I guess the old adage is true. All we ever need to know, we learn in Kindergarten. Or from our Kindergartners. Thanks, Caleb B.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

happy six, buddy.

Dear Caleb, 

When you were born, I felt it all. The rush of love. The great fear. The incomparable awe. The overflowing joy. You were just a tiny, fragile thing with soulful eyes and a prickly cry. Sometimes I close my eyes and journey back to those days in the hospital when everything in your life and our lives were so brand new. In one moment, I became a mom and everything else I thought was important suddenly started drifting off into the background.

Six years later, I am in the same spot I seem to be every year. Struggling for words to sum it all up. This past year, your whole life and how you’ve changed mine. I just can never do it. And I want to be so careful about my words with you these days, Caleb, because I know you are a sensitive boy with a great memory. I want my feelings for you to stick the right places in your heart and never get lost amidst all of the other details you so carefully store in there.

You’ve grown so much this past year. You stepped into five years old with pride and confidence right away. You played on three different sports teams and scored touchdowns, goals and baskets as we screamed from the sidelines. And you made us proud, not only with your natural ability, but because you played when you didn’t always feel like it, you cheered on others’ successes and you practiced so hard to become better. You never gave up.

You walked into a new classroom at a new school with all new people, and you bravely sat down at your desk and let us walk out of the door. You wore your uniform and did your homework and said your lines at the Christmas program. You seamlessly slipped into the school-age years and shined doing so.

You became a lover of Legos and can already build so much on your own, but still treasure working on them with your dad. Your most requested meal has to be orange chicken. You still thrive on schedules and routines. You haven’t outgrown biting your lip or scratching my nail. You lost three teeth and the tooth fairy even made it to Spokane. You helped catch crabs and sharks on Whidbey Island. You wore shorts every day you could get away with it. You read books and memorized Bible verses. You were a great teacher to your little sis.

You became my buddy in a truer sense of the word. My shopping companion, my snuggler on the couch. You asked thought-provoking questions and said hilarious things. I love how our conversations have evolved and the laughter between us has grown.

And all of this is why I’m okay with you growing older. It’s so hard, SO hard, to watch another year pass. I never knew it would be this hard for me. But it’s also so good. So sweet. So rich and rewarding. Because you’re you, and you just get better. You just make us better, too, Caleb.

I don’t know what I ever did without you.

So just remember, you were great at being five, Caleb B. So brave and awesome. You made us so proud every single day and I can say that without even the slightest exaggeration. I know six has big things in store for you and all I know is that I’m the absolute luckiest to watch each year turn to the next with you.

Love you to the moon and a million trillion.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

The chair.

Months before Caleb was due to arrive in this world, we’d make the routine stops to Babies R Us. I’d spend about five minutes being excited about changing pad covers and diaper genies then retire my pregnant belly to the good ol’ brown corduroy rocking chair in the middle of the store. I’d rest my feet up on the ottoman and glide in peace and comfort as Luke would scramble from aisle to aisle scooping up the basics for this little boy, who we thought would need EVERYTHING.

All I knew was that I needed that chair. What a great marketing ploy. Give a pregnant woman a comfortable place to sit in a madhouse baby factory, and she will end up taking that chair home. And I did. Weeks before Caleb was born, the chair found its spot in the corner of his mustard-colored nursery, and I sat on it many evenings staring at his empty crib and the green letters painted above it. C-A-L-E-B. A boy I didn’t know, but who I could feel every moment of every day. His new, unworn baby clothes were folded neatly in his dresser and hung perfectly in his closet. There was so much anticipation.

That chair saw a lot. It was the place Caleb and I "slept" during his first night home – I sat upright, drifting in and out of sleep, cradling my partially-swaddled newborn with tears dripping down my cheeks – both anxious and in awe of our new realities.

I sat in that chair when Caleb had his first major temperature. I still remember holding him tightly as his burning body shuddered and shook and I trembled almost simultaneously with worry and fear.

And we spent so many dreamy times together in that chair, reading books, willing sleep, and staring into each other eyes. The scene around us constantly changed as he grew from a little nugget that fit in one arm to a little boy on my lap. We rocked, we laughed, we sobbed and we devoured the love that grew exponentially between us each day.

When the time came for a little sister to enter the picture, I knew her nursery would be full of pink and pretty, but I also knew I needed a new chair just for her. We found a simple pink upholstered rocking chair at a good price on Craigslist and voila. Nursery made. I remember rocking her one day and being filled with the most indescribable love, but wanting to intentionally remind myself that this was it. We were done at two. No more pregnancies, no more newborns.  I held her in her fuzzy blanket and said to myself … “No matter how much I love her, and how much I love this – we are done. DONE. No more babies. Remember this moment later when you have baby fever.”

I still try to remember how I said that to myself. Especially as the years fly by, the gray hairs pop up, and precious new babies are being born around me. Their smells, their tininess, their innocence. All they do and all I miss. I wonder how I ever knew anything about anything before I met Caleb and Kenzie. It just somehow doesn’t seem possible. And now they are becoming real life little humans that have homework and sports and opinions and proclivities. And neither one of them needs me to rock them anymore.

The other night I sat on an ottoman beside Kenzie’s bed, scratching her back as she drifted off to sleep. I looked around at her big girl room with gold dots on the ceiling and bold colors splashed around the walls. Caleb’s brown chair had been long gone- not even making the move to our new house two years ago. But Kenzie’s chair still sat in the corner of her room. I thought carelessly about how we really needed to sell it. I thought how we could easily fill that space with a cute table or fun teepee. Then, I started thinking about how much we’d price it for and what the listing would read. Something like:

“Adorable pink rocking chair – perfect for a little girl’s room.”

“Adorable pink rocking chair – perfect for a little girl’s room – in fact, we loved it in ours.”

“Adorable pink rocking chair – perfect for a little girl’s room – in fact, we loved it in ours. We wouldn’t even be giving it up if our daughter hadn’t outgrown it.”

“Adorable pink rocking chair – perfect for a little girl’s room – in fact, we loved it in ours. We wouldn’t even be giving it up if our daughter hadn’t outgrown it. In fact, we are NOT giving it up, because she is STILL our baby and we still have some irreplaceable memories tied to that chair that I’m not ready to just “sell” away. Sure, she’s 3, almost 4. But maybe someday she’ll want to be rocked again. So we still need it. Disregard. Sorry. And once I rocked in that chair with her in my arms and I told myself no more babies after her and to never forget that I MEANT it in that moment. But it happened. I forgot. And you will , too. If you’re reading this post and wanted this chair for a baby you’re about to have – rock the heck out of that baby and give no thought to time and “I should be doing this or that” and don’t make yourself silly promises you can’t keep. Just stare at her. And cry if you need to. And remind yourself that the lows will pass and the highs you will miss terribly one day – but they’ll stay in your heart forever.”

Those glorious days with your babies that are sometimes long and hard and feel never-ending, DO actually end. Sure, they give way to different, equally glorious days, but they are still ... different. You can always drift back and bask in a memory's sweet glow, but you will never again live in that time, in that moment. Why is that so hard sometimes?

So. By the time I processed all of these thoughts about a chair (#somuchmorethanaboutachair), my little girl was sound asleep. I slid my fingers through her hair, let my gaze linger for a bit, then walked out the door, brushing past the chair that is staying put. At least for now.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Weary World Rejoices.

Image result for christmas magic
Image courtesy of Google

This year, more than ever, the Christmas season comes with a little (or a lot, if I’m being honest) of heaviness. It’s been a year of new evils, new atrocities and new depths of depravity revealed to us through pictures and headlines that shoot straight to our hearts and fill us with the numbing sensation of sorrow and helplessness.

We know the names of terror and the unresolved issues that float above us like storm clouds ready to burst. We grow tired of politics and rhetoric and feel spun in circles day after day with no real end in sight.

And in the midst of this, there is Christmas. A time when lights twinkle, merriment abounds and a certain magic generally fills the air. To me, the joy of this season is real. I love finding perfect gifts for my friends and family. I love opening gifts myself. I love watching the usual holiday favorites like Home Alone, Rudolph, Family Stone and Christmas Vacation. I love hearing joyful tunes blaring in shopping malls. I even love hustling and bustling it with the masses in long lines and crowded places (sometimes). I love the homemade frosted cookies and hot chocolate by a cozy fire, the cheerful people outside of stores ringing bells and wishing you “Merry Christmas” whether or not you put a quarter in their jars. I love the traditions passed down from generation to generation. I love office parties and white elephant gift exchanges. And I LOVE hearing children singing our favorite Christmas tunes in unison, complete with hand motions and bow ties and fluffy dresses.

But I know this is just part of the picture. Even if some of us taste and experience the goodness of the season, many also get to taste and experience the other side, too. Brokenness in families. Financial struggles. Loneliness. Sickness. Wavering faith. All of these realities in life are somehow magnified this time of year. There are so many complexities to how and why the holidays can be hard for people – some that I can understand firsthand, and some that I can only imagine.

There is a lot of Joy. And there is a lot of Heaviness.

It is in feeling the very real, very legit weight of both that I am sometimes forced to remove everything in front of my eyes, to strip everything away – the sparkle and the sorrow – and see the Christmas season for what it truly is.

“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees O hear the angels voices.
O night divine O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night, O night divine.”

It is that THRILL OF HOPE that we feel and know to be real. It was born to us on that night divine. We are a weary people in a weary world, but this season reminds us – we have a reason to REJOICE. We fall on our knees; we hear the angels voices. 

Because of Christ. Because in Him, our Hope was born and it still lives.

Now THAT is magic … the kind of lasting magic I want to pour out of my heart so abundantly that others, too, may feel it. I pray that all  - no matter our circumstance, and even if for just a moment - can experience that real and true THRILL OF HOPE and REJOICE this season!

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
O night divine, O night, O night divine

Merry Christmas!