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…)

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…)

Day 30: Together // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

Oct
30

photo: Miguel Constantin Montes

Hi there! This is day 30 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.

It’s 4:00 AM and I should be asleep, but instead I’m cleaning the toilet. Fix it, Jesus. Why would I trade precious sleep for the dirtiest job in the house? Let me regale you.

It’s been stressful around here lately and it seems like wherever stress goes, mess is its BFF. The livability of my apartment is directly correlated to how much energy I have and how I’m feeling. On a scale of Netflix to exercise, I’d say cleaning is about an 8. I don’t completely despise it, but if there’s anything more fun I can be doing instead, I’ll probably pick that and put off the cleaning for another day. The problem comes when another day doesn’t come for a while. I feel like people don’t talk about this much, but I’m just gonna say it: how dare things get dirty so quickly after I JUST cleaned them three months ago! THE NERVE. You’re telling me there are some people who wash, dry, fold, and iron their clothes all in one day? Don’t even get me started on more-frequent-than-biannual mopping. The real question: It’s the year of our Lord 2017. Why hasn’t someone invented the smart house from that Disney Channel Original movie yet, that magically vacuums everything up INTO THE WALLS when you press a button? This is the only technological advance I care about. Get on this, science. I just want a house that will clean itself, for the love. (more…)