Saturday, December 26, 2009

not merely another day in the weary round of time

Except for losing my voice and not really being able to talk, I had a truly lovely Christmas. Yesterday, I was sitting alone in our over-sized chair cuddled with a blanket in the darkened family room. The Christmas tree lights were illuminating the room as they blinked on and off in mechanical rhythm and my mother's Christmas brass music was playing in the background. I could hear the voices of my family in the next room as they made the last preparations for dinner. I sat alone, surrounded by the goodness of it all: of traditions, of life, of redemption.

For Christmas is not merely a day like any other day.
It is a day made holy and special by a sacred mystery.
It is not merely another day in the weary round of time.
Today, eternity enters into time, and time, sanctified,

is caught up into eternity.
(Thomas Merton)

In a somewhat more earthly way, I am also grateful for the generosity of others. I received so many lovely gifts. For record's sake (and to share about a few of my favorites), here's what I received this year:

--The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guinness (As I am college-bound this year, I have found myself surrounded by questions I haven't really considered before. Questions about life, purpose, calling, vocation. So far, this book has proven excellent in helping me to understand those issues more.)

--Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God
by Bobby Gross (This is the book I am most excited about. It is a sort of introduction and devotional guide on how to follow the liturgical church calendar. One of my New Years resolutions is to become more familiar with the church year and strive to structure my life more around that calendar. I think this will prove extraordinarily helpful with that goal. Plus, the introduction is by Lauren Winner!)

--A Severe Mercy
by Sheldon Vanauken (I have read this favorite book twice already. I first read it when I was thirteen and I just re-read it a few weeks ago, but I have never owned a copy of my own.)

--Paris to the Moon
by Adam Gopnik (Travel memoirs. Paris. Sounds all around lovely.)

--Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (After delving into oppression and opportunity for women for the peace contest I entered earlier this year, I am anxious to learn more. I've heard several good things about this book in particular and look forward to reading it.)

--The Maytrees
by Annie Dillard (I wanted more Annie Dillard after reading Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. And I've been in the mood for a good novel. And it's set in Cape Cod. Three wonderful things all in one book.)

--Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight
by Norman Wirzba

--A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World
by Paul E. Miller

--An American Childhood
by Annie Dillard

--The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

--Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home
by Richard Foster (I really liked the chapter on prayer from Celebration of Discipline and have been anxious to read Foster's entire book on prayer.)

--Blue-patterned scarf from H&M (This made me so happy. I saw it at H&M a month or two ago and fell in love with it. But I decided I didn't need to spend the money. I mentioned something to Amy about it and doubted that she would even know what I was talking about, much less be able to actually find it a month later after I had seen it. But she did! And I adore it so very much.)

--Vera Bradley notecards

--Karnai Button Booties

--A tripod

--New gauchos

--Water bottle (My favorite present. Yes, a water bottle. I bought this water bottle last March and then cracked it two weeks later. I have been looking ALL over the place online for this exact water bottle, but have not been able to find it. But Amy found the same one at a store nearby and I was just so completely thrilled. I am planning on going back and buying several more just in case I break it again!)

--Vanilla Amber candle (Smells so delightful.)

--36-count fine tip markers

--Flower and striped notecards

--Martha Stewart tissue paper pom-pom kit

--Cavallini & Co. London easel calendar

--The usual stocking collection of hair accouterments, candy, toothpaste, and whatnot
grace & peace,


  1. She's ALIVE!!! :)

    First off, I love the picture at the top of the blog. Very cool!

    And just hearing from you was delightful :) Yay for beautiful new books!

  2. You took my words. She's alive!! Ahh! Dear, I'm so glad to hear from you!