November 2010


I wrote a piece for what is rolling around in my soul for this Advent season – about the difference between living in illusion and living in expectation.  (You can find the post here on Christine Sine’s blog.)  And as is often the case after I write something, I am all the more challenged with the thoughts.

Perhaps my Advent journey this year is more about “naming the illusions” – to borrow a phrase from Rohr – that I have lived in for so long.  It is about no longer turning inward and creating my own false story, but rather turning outward to God and waiting for His true story to unfold.  Just last night I was struggling with a deep sense of being inadequate (for anything in my life) and I had to name it as an illusion.  Not that I have it all figured out now, but the simple first act of naming an illusion loosens its grip on my soul.  To see it as false reminds me that God has a better (more true) story for me.  But it is hard work with the Spirit nonetheless.

When I was little, we used to go to my grandparents house all summer long.  They lived on a lake and the days were spent swimming, boating, laughing and playing (for me at least!).  I am so grateful their house has been passed down and remains in the family!  Now my kids get to go there and have some of the same experiences I had as a child.  However, a few years ago as we walked on the lawn of the front yard, I began to find pieces of broken glass – a lot of them!  Realizing that this wasn’t just one broken bottle, but the yard was filled with shards of broken glass, we went to work to dig them out of the ground.  I obviously didn’t want a dangerous sharp edge lurking just below the surface of the earth to pierce anyone’s feet.  We picked up as many pieces as we could and then hired a guy with some machine to come in and dig up the rest.

That’s what I feel like is going on in my heart during this Advent season.  Illusions are being exposed and the danger they pose to me and others means they must be addressed.  I just wish there weren’t so many of them!!

Wow!!  The year has flown by and here we are standing on the threshold of a new Christian year!    It has been a full (and sometimes tough) year for me…and because of that, there will not be a printed version of  the StoryFormed Calendar this year.   Printing costs are up and I felt like my creativity was diminished this year.   However, back in the summertime, on a road trip, I had a vision for what I wanted the Advent page of the calendar to be (if we would have printed one).  Well…I had a flurry of creativity the other day and decided to design it.

I want to give the Advent page as a gift to anyone  wanting to shape life around God’s story.  You may download the PDF below and print it up yourself (it is an 11×17) at a local printer, or use the “smaller pdf” if you just want to see it on your own personal electronic media.  And tell anyone else who might be interested….just remember, the picture IS copyrighted and not to be sold or used in print or electronic media – other than personally – without giving credit to the author (Tara Malouf/Red Thread Photo).

The door of Advent is opening to us…let us live in expectation of what God wants to do in this new year!!

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