pictured: christmas twenty fourteen

Lucy and Rowan, Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Lucy and Rowan

And Clara, on the move

Christmas Eve Clara, on the move

Christmas breakfast

Christmas breakfast

The fambly, all together

Family photo, more or less

Reading the Christmas story

Bookworm family

Lucy got a doll and she loves it.

Lucy's new doll

Rowan got Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.

Rowan got Cars and Trucks and Things That Go and he was THRILLED

Happy happy Clara

Clara is having fun

And now on to twenty fifteen!

christmas break

Hello friends. I’m taking a break for Christmas, but I’ll be back in January. Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! I hope you enjoy the festivities you celebrate at the darkest time of the year.

Love,

Annemarie

mary walks

This year I am writing a reflection for each Sunday of Advent. After I read them in church, I’m posting them here.

Mary walks. One foot in front of another, steady and slow.

The pace of her feet and the pace of a donkey are the only speeds she has ever traveled; she has seen horses thunder past, but she has never ridden at the pace of the wind.

Walking slows her racing thoughts and calms the blood pounding in her ears. Too many thoughts of things past and things to come seem to untether her from the present and cause her to drift through time, unable to hold onto the current moment. The steady pace of her feet brings her back to where she is, living in ordinary time, unraveling her days without Joseph, without Jesus, and without her angel.

It feels going to be doing something, to be moving.

The path begins to incline, and Mary walks uphill, towards the tree at the top. This hill and this tree are special for her; she makes the hike to the top at dawn every year close to Jesus’ birthday. It feels as though the movement upwards through space also moves her into a different time. Certainly the time she spends up here has that magical fast-yet-slow quality that she associates with God’s time.

Many times she needs to stop and rest, and she wonders for how many more years she can continue her tradition. But each time she stops, she notices something new. This time, she watches the town below her stir and awaken. Next time, it’s a pair of birds dancing in the wind. Then it is simply the pattern of the pebbles at her feet, and how the blades of grass grow around them.

It has taken her longer than usual, but she is not too late. She pauses to catch her breath, then settles into her usual place. She looks up, and sees the sight she has come for. Every year at this time, from this spot, she can see her Jesus’s star, shining on the horizon. Waiting, longing, remembering, and walking all come together in this place. She is Mary, the mother of Jesus, and she knows God’s time.

pictured: december fifteenth

I am taking a photo of each kid each week, to keep me taking pictures and to have a cool record of their growth.

Duplo is serious business.
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Lucy is just serious.
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Look! It’s a photo of me! Lucy took this one – are you impressed?
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This is maybe my favourite picture of all time.
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And bonus additional Rowan because I couldn’t leave this one out.
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mary remembers

This year I am writing a reflection for each Sunday of Advent. After I read them in church, I’m posting them here.

Mary remembers.

She remembers the angel, the radiance, the spirit of the Lord coming upon her. She remembers the shining moment when she was given the gift of radiant joy, of the peace of God, of a glimpse from God’s perspective. She remembers knowing that she was a part of the Lord’s work in history, bringing forth a mighty transformation.

She remembers the moment when everything fell away and she was outside of ordinary time and space with the glorious being of light, sent directly from the Lord to give her the message that she was blessed. It was awesome and awe-filled and she had been so afraid, and then the angel said “fear not,” and she found that she could move past fear into peace and acceptance of what the Lord was asking of her. She had seen in an instant that it was no small thing she was agreeing to. She knew that she was being asked, not demanded or coerced.

She remembers the birth, her first birth. The birth that transformed her into a mother. She was again outside of normal time, the seconds stretching into hours but the hours passing in a moment. She remembers, after it was over, feeling an amazing rush of joy and pride in bringing this baby, her baby, the Lord’s baby into the world.

Both of those moments define her. They are the times that she felt the most whole, the most complete. To her, they exist in God’s time.

She looks up to see fingers of dawn tickling the edges of the world. Going back in time through memory has restored her to hope.