Wondering at Christmas

For the last several months, I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege of connecting with a smaller circle of bloggers through the kind invitation of Seth Haines, over at his Collective blog. Anyone who subscribes to his blog by email is invited to write about their own journey in an email round-up each month. I gotta tell you, there is some wonderful stuff offered in that space. Seth and his wife Amber are both wonderful writers, showing up all over the place, at A Deeper Story and (in)Courage and I am grateful for their kindness to me each month. I went back in and read what I added for December and thought I’d put a piece of it out in this place, just for the heck of it. I liked what I wrote, and I don’t always. So I offer it, with a few tweaks, as a very small Christmas gift to you tonight. This month, we were invited to write about our experience of Advent in 2011, and this was written before I made the trip south to pack things for my mom.
Wondering. That’s what I’m doing a lot of this Advent.

In both senses of that word.

I am wondering how to help my failing mama make a move to assisted living. The physical part is easy – I’ll travel 250 miles round trip this week, spend three days and clear out her cupboards and closets. Her apartment is small, her possessions few. I can do this part. The emotional part? That’s a lot tougher. Finding that inner centered place of calm and quiet, speaking words of peace and comfort from that place, not giving in to either frustration or sorrow. That takes intentionality, that takes care. I’m praying both will appear in abundance over the next three weeks.

I am wondering about other family members who are facing into difficult decisions in weeks ahead, people I love and admire, some of them Jesus followers, some of them not.  How can I help? How can I listen?

I am wondering about how to more fully live into whatever ‘retirement’ means – to write good words, to listen well to directees and to the Spirit, to be present for my family, to carve out sufficient time and space for my own inner health.


I am also wondering at the immensity of God’s love and the scandal of his Grand Plan.

I am wondering at the quietness of a starry night, at the obedience of gnarly shepherds and foreign kings, at the day-by-day, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other faith of a small-town carpenter and a teenaged girl, great with child.

I am wondering at the singing sky, the celestial company who ring out words of peace and comfort, the messengers of God who serve as sentinels for GLORY.

I am wondering how to receive this infant king, this One who comes in the way that each of us comes – bursting forth from the cocoon of pulsing blood and salty water into the harshness of cold air, pungent with the scent of life-on-earth.

How can I embrace this One who embraces me and all of life?

How can I say, ‘Welcome,’ and ‘Thank you,’ and ‘Bless me, O Lord, for I have sinned’ to One so small, so innocent, so vulnerable?

I am wondering if I can make space inside my heart-of-hearts for a baby’s bed, clean and comfy, well-lit and protected, welcoming and warm. I do so want to do that, just that.

Even so, come Lord Jesus. Come.

Merry Christmas, everyone! May the WONDER of the Story brighten your day and the year ahead.

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  1. Full of wonder, this is. I’m wondering as I wander with you. And I wonder at the grace of Him who brings wonderful people into our lives. Grateful for you.

  2. what beautiful and astounding words… and i wonder, more than ever, because of your gift… thank you and Merry Christmas

  3. what beautiful and astounding words… and i wonder, more than ever, because of your gift… thank you and Merry Christmas

  4. “Finding that inner centered place of calm and quiet, speaking words of peace and comfort from that place, not giving in to either frustration or sorrow. That takes intentionality, that takes care.” Yes ma’am. All that takes a great deal of care, and recognition of how desperately I need that Bethlehem baby.

    I’m wondering about God’s kindness to me this past year, revealing via the internet the beauty and kindness of so many of his dear people. You are one of them.

    Deepest Christmas blessings, friend.

  5. Wondering with the eyes of a child … God’s child. I’m visiting with family and doing some wondering through the eyes of my grandchildren. Their awe is delightful, born of innocence, and reminds me both that He came as a little child, and that I must “receive the kingdom of God as a little child.” The basis of our faith is both complex and simple. So much to wonder about. Thank you for leading me in this direction this morning.

    Wishing you a blessed Christmas, Diana.

  6. I heard Chuck Swindoll this morning. One of the things he said was that God is whispering to us, “I wish you were my daughter (son).”
    It breaks my heart to think of His great heart longing to come and live inside of us. And you make me think, He came as a baby – perhaps so it would be easier for us to make room?
    This is so beautiful Diana.
    I am reading your posts with the knowledge that we may very soon be walking the same journey. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. It blesses.
    Merry Christmas Daina.

  7. Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey. Your words are “hidden in my heart” for this season will come some day with my own mom when the decisions are difficult. And for today, I ponder your words for the decisions we have to make with our son and his needs. I too am wondering and waiting and finding ways to say “yes” to the invitation from God to come dwell in my messy manger. Come Immanuel and dwell in my manger. Merry Christmas Diana.

  8. Wonder is a great word for this time of year. And it doesnt just imply touncertainty. It’s all part of exploration. Love your wonder…

  9. Oh, yes, maranatha! Beautiful, Diana. I’ve been praying for you in this journey with your mamma. And wondering along with you. Merry, merry Christmas, sweet friend. What a blessing you have been to me in 2011. Praying 2012 holds so many more. Love, Laura.

  10. Thank you for your delightful encouragement at the Moonboat today. Wishing you a full season of wonder.

  11. Understand the wondering concerning your mother. My mother lived with me the last three years of her life and there were many wonderings.

    {I’m uncertain as to how to make my blog available in your reader … I’m not very knowledgeable about techie things!}