Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness,
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do, seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things, look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways, long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy, seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking light.
To you we say,
Come Lord Jesus….

~Henri Nouwen

Today I’m making gingerbread for the Christmas tree and wreaths for the kitchen windows. Tonight we will trim our tree and tomorrow I will hang the Advent Wreath in the den window and light the candles for the first time. I cannot believe that this blessed time is really upon us. But in the midst of my bustle today, I wanted to drop a little line here to wish you all a most holy and wondrous Advent and days of increasing joy as we approach Christmas. (How long these December days seemed to draw themselves out when we were children, and how they vanish and flee as adults!)

I also wanted to share a piece that I wrote for the Art House America blog, if anyone is interested. I have to say, this was seriously one of the most difficult things I have ever written–like I told one friend, I wrestled this essay to the ground and came up limping. It’s something I rarely talk about, and I confess to a certain degree of inner conflict over even posting this link. There is an illusion of safety, you know, in relative anonymity. But it’s not safety we’re made for–it’s goodness. The goodness of God and the honor of sharing that goodness with other souls. Forgive my fear and trembling, kind friends, and thank you for the many ways in which you have given me courage to keep putting words out there.

Lo, How a Rose