Setting My Table Longer

“To be part of a family is to be known within this blistering world, carried closely in each other’s thoughts even when distance separates us. I guess I’m shamelessly begging all of us to set longer tables and reimagine who belongs. We are all brothers and sisters just trying to make our way home.”  –Shannan Martin (author and heart changing Instagramer)

Hi friends– I read this quote on Shannan Martin’s Instagram and truly am taking it to heart. How do I love my family and the bigger family of God that goes beyond??  Set my table longer?  Walk those people home… ?

I think this is a quote from Shannan’s book, The Ministry of Ordinary Places, due out October 9th (I can’t wait to get my hands on it).  You can find her on Instagram at shannanwrites .

P.S. Photo above is of our family– 3 spunky grand-girls.

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Rethinking Christmas

Hello Blog-Friends:  If you’re like me, you might have a whole lot of expectations (I prefer to call them “hopes”– it sounds kinder) about Christmas ahead–what the best Christmas should look like to you.  It’s all about lists.  Making them & checking them twice.

But this year we’ve had a shift.  Last Monday, our son called from Ojai.  They were pulling out from home, evacuating because of the wildfires closing in on their small community.  The family finally made their way down to our house, and we spent some days watching blazes on t.v. news and checking Facebook posts detailing damages.

The school where Micah teaches lost the science building (his physics lab & robotics program) and the girls’s dorm burned to the ground.  Their home had some damage, but much was saved by fire fighters.  So thankful.

So our hopes have changed some.  Christmas will look a little different.  The to do lists are shorter.  And things that matter– being together, remembering God’s gift of his son to the world shine brighter.

I’ve been reading a daily Christmas email from my favorite blogger, Shannan Martin.  She writes it so well:

“There in the wonderful, terrible thick of December, the furniture of my heart was shifting. Things that had lurked in the shadows were snapping into focus. As Christmas drew nearer, the new rhythms of my soul were bumping against my old ideas about how to celebrate, why we celebrate, and what a new way of living the “thrill of hope” might look like practically.

Basically, I cleaned out my Christmas closet. I did that thing where you hold up each old shirt and decide if it still fits, and whether or not it’s worth the space it occupies.”

So my Christmas hopes for you (and me) are that we’re able to see that “thrill of hope” and rest in God’s love for us in the middle of all the Christmas storm of activity.  Merry Christmas Blessings to you, dear friends.

P.S. To find Shannan’s blog and the link to her “12 Ways of Christmas Emails” click here.  I think you’ll love her as much as I do.