Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

Away in a Manger // Advent: An Invitation to Hope

Dec
10

photo: Trinity Kubassek

Advent and the arrival of Hope and Goodness into the world just makes my heart want to sing! So this year, we are taking a closer look at some of my favorite Advent hymns. Each Sunday during Advent 2017, check back to find a new post and a new song, which I hope will fill you with the joy of Christ’s birth. This week, I’m sharing with you my take on “Away in a Manger.” Press play above while you read, sink into hope and rest awhile. This Advent season, let’s remember Who we wait for and sing Him into our world together. As the season unfolds, you can find all the posts here: Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope.

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I have never personally given birth, but I can’t imagine the fear and completely crazypants emotions that must come with going into labor in a stable. First of all, that is basically outside. Can you imagine? I would have lost my mind, y’all. In a moment when you really want some privacy and comfort, that’s the last place I’d want to be. Jesus’ mom had no inflatable heated birthing pool, essential oils, or customized birth playlist soothing her soul. There was no epidural, and no doctors or nurses or midwives coaching her and ensuring her safety. Heck, this poor, extremely pregnant lady and her husband couldn’t even get a hotel room for the night. They had just survived a ridiculous road trip, but instead of getting a good night’s sleep, this woman actually brought her child into this world on a dirt floor with sheep and goats hanging around and watching. What a mama. We protestants do not give Mary enough credit. (more…)

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus // Advent: An Invitation to Hope

Dec
03

photo: Igor Ovsyannykov

Advent and the arrival of Hope and Goodness into the world makes my heart sing. So this year, we are taking a closer look at some of my favorite Advent hymns. Each Sunday during Advent 2017, check back on EverydayGrace.net to find a new post and a new song, which I hope will fill you with the joy of Christ’s birth. Press play above while you read, sink into hope and rest awhile. This Advent season, let’s remember Who we wait for and sing Him into our world together. As the season unfolds, you can find all the posts here: Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope.

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Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free…

Oh, Jesus, how badly we need You.

Things are so broken, and we have done so much of the breaking ourselves. Racism. Sexual assault. Injustice. Allowing people into power who brag about assaulting women and children. We buy and sell one another. We turn our eyes away from  oppression of the marginalized and thus we participate in it. We have a general lack of empathy, especially for those who are different from us. (more…)

Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope

Nov
19

Guys, I am so excited to share this project with you. I’ve been working something really different for Advent this year, and this series is probably the most risky and vulnerable thing I’ve ever put on the big giant internet, but I hope you will love it! Here are the details:

WHO: You and me and Jesus, friends.

WHAT: A two-part series on Advent beginning 12.3.17.

WHEN: The first two Sundays of Advent, the season leading up to Christmas.

WHERE: Right here on EverydayGrace.net. You can also follow along on my Facebook page here!

WHY: Christmas is so full of challenges relating to family, busyness, social anxiety, and big moments. This year, there seems to be even more weighing on us as our country feels more divided than ever, and no one can agree on what the Christian response is to our current political, racial, and socioeconomic tension. I would humbly submit to you that a good place to begin is worship. In the middle of all our brokenness, God’s Christmas gift to us is His very own self. Because of this compassionate God, people have written hymns and praise songs for thousands of years, but some of these have grown so familiar that we lose touch with the meaning of the words. My hope is that by looking at two Advent hymns with fresh eyes together, we can gain insight into the heart of the truly unique God that we serve, and in turn become wiser about how to live out our hope in the world we inhabit, even in the middle of the mess. Our cry this Advent: Fix it, Jesus. Help us learn to love like You.

When the series is done, the posts will appear right here as well! Come back on Sunday, December 3 for the first one. Thanks for being the best readers in the whole wide world.

Part 1: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Part 2: Away in a Manger

 

Day 31: Forward // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

Oct
31

photo: Kasuma F. Gruber

Hi there! This is day 31 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness.

Well, here we are. We’ve been diving deep into hope in brokenness for a whole month now, and I’ve been thinking about how I want to end this time together. I wish instead of interacting over a computer or phone screen, we could say these things over coffee on my couch, but for some of you that would be a pretty long drive. That being said, feel free to pause and go make a cup of your favorite warm cozy drink and pull up to this post when you’re ready. In my neck of the woods, where scarves and sweaters are coming out of hiding as fall temps drop, hot cider actually sounds even better than coffee today.

When I think about what I want you to take from this series, and what I want to be reminded of when I look back on it (because honestly, I mostly wrote it for myself as part of my own healing), my heart and thoughts are drawn straight back to the Gospel. To clarify, this is a safe place for Jesus folks and non Jesus folks alike – whether you are atheist, Christian, agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or anything else, you are safe and welcome and wanted here. Completely and without strings. I also think that if I am going to talk about hope, but this core part of my own hope is not mentioned, it won’t be a very honest conversation.

One of my favorite hope stories comes from the Bible, and it’s one that Jesus told Himself.  (more…)