In dark times we pray desperate prayers. To be desperate is to be right on the knife’s edge of death and a miracle. In our darkest moments it is a wonder how much faith we can muster- in our hopelessness there is so much hope.
Advent is a dark time- a winter of discontent, a black hole, a dark night. Wise men know what to do when a star appears in a desperate sky.
If we are truth tellers we know that advent is for the hopeless, the desperate, the poor, the blind, the laborer. The sinner. Christ comes in the cave of our hearts, right in the midst of the wild beasts. Our only hope- to welcome him as best we can- as we are- in fear. The light will penetrate the dark. The black. And it will hurt.
This is an advent of the soul waiting in hopeless hope.
He is the Tradition. A light shining in the darkness. A constant. Permanent. A star that appears as an absolute sign. Christ is our Tradition- our Star- our Hope.
Christmas is miraculous. And miracles come to the hurting, the dying, the desperate, the broken, the poor, the hopeless.
The advent of hope comes in darkness.
I have passed my life ever in night, for the night of sin has
been to me thick fog and darkness; but make me, O Savior,
a son of the day.
-The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
I made a centerpiece for the Christmas table. Just a simple arrangement of greenery in a vintage camping coffee pot. This afternoon I am going shopping to purchase a new tablecloth. My dining room doubles as our schoolroom which makes decorating and creating ambiance a bit of a challenge. However, after some cleaning and rearranging I think I have it ready for feasting. Looking forward to cooking and eating together around the table.
Rosemary Roasted Chicken
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Almond Green Beans
Wilted Spinach Salad
*A little late, but wanted to share.
Well, it is not the Christmas I had planned, but maybe it’s even better. My girls are cooking everything! I am sick, along with the babies, and am not able to get in the kitchen. Addy and Caroline have taken charge, and let me say I am more than impressed. In the lineup we have roast, mashed potatoes, almond green beans, two buttermilk pies, peanut butter bars, banana nut bread, and a green salad. Also they are making a Greek tray with the stuffing for dolmades I made two days ago. They are rolling away. Also making tzatziki with pita chips. I cannot believe it actually…it really is something to watch. It is the best Christmas present ever watching my girls cook like women! Christmas does not happen when we get everything done or everything perfect…Christmas is what we do together…what we share. Christ is born! He is in our midst! He is and ever shall be.
We celebrated the Butler Christmas at a ranch in Abilene. My sister-in-law’s family invited us for a weekend in the country, and it was perfect. I cannot remember when I have had a better time. It was relaxing and hearty…good for the soul and senses. Country folk really do have the most fun…especially if those country folk are from Texas!
Simple gifts…nothing extravagant.
A warm and cozy bunkhouse. My oldest brother Josh said, “This feels like church camp.”
We gather in the kitchen. Lots of great conversation.
Tamales and our parents! Two of my favorite things.
Lots of cooking.
A porch swing.
Cheese and wine.
The best food. Featuring a prime rib with horseradish sauce and au jus.
Outdoor fun! We also took a Christmas carol hayride underneath the Abilene starlit sky.
Four wheelin’ on trails. Throwing rocks in the pond. Looking for wildlife. Kickin’up dirt!
A large covered porch for outdoor fun.
A spirited game of spoons!
Cousins are the best!
Amma brought a bag of Christmas books to read to the grands!
Christmas dishes with red solo cups…what’s more country than that?
The girls made blankets together!
The smiles come easy.
The dogs are in heaven.
Christmas in the City of Cowboys and Culture.