When I was invited to attend the FOCUS conference, SLS20: “Made for Mission” in Phoenix Dec 30-Jan 3, I jumped at the chance. The prior year’s event, SEEK2019, had been attended by some friends who declared it life-changing. And to have it in my backyard? Count me in!
My mother had me pegged at a very young age. I remember walking into her bedroom as she put down the book Transformed Temperaments by Tim LaHaye and smiled at twelve-year-old me. “You,” she said with certainty, “are a melancholic.” It didn’t mean much then–although I remember it clearly–but years later I would come to learn and appreciate the four temperaments. Sure enough, even as a child, melancholic me was more likely to be writing poetry than playing sports or crying over a poignant novel than hanging out with friends.
We pulled up to my childhood home in the middle of the night, the Wisconsin green shrouded in darkness. I immediately sensed all the summers of my childhood in the dim stillness as the screen door squeaked shut behind us. Whispering, I led five of my desert-dwelling children upstairs to the bedrooms, each step groaning with a familiar creak in the century-old bungalow.
I love the Saints. I love that the Church gives them to us, raises them up so that we can see what holiness looks like lived out in this life. I love that they point to something better, brighter. What we see in shadows, little hints in the sacrament of the everyday, the heavenly saints behold in full glory. Here in the shadowlands we strain for a pale shimmer of heavenly sunrise, while they stand in full sun.
Liturgically, we’re taking a brief breath in ordinary time. We’ve lived the long wait of Advent, and Christmas has been celebrated and it’s trappings stored away – nativity sets snuggled in attic alcoves and ornaments stacked in garage bins.
I ran into a friend recently, another mom with lots of littles, at an indoor trampoline park. It was a sizzling summer day in Phoenix and we’d both reluctantly shelled out too much money for a few hours of much-needed activity for the kids. Read the rest…
Now that we’ve got Thanksgiving under our (slightly loosened) belts, it’s time to turn our attention to something – new. While to our worldly senses, the year is winding down with a celebratory month of shopping, singing, decorating, and baking, our liturgical year has really – very quietly – just begun. Read the rest…