Happy Holy-Days

Last night John and I bravely drove forth in Houston traffic for a bit more Christmas shopping with dinner at Pei Wei first, of course: Asian coconut curry on brown rice/iced citrus-green tea for me. While a cashier at one store totalled our purchases, she casually said, "We are not really celebrating anything at Christmas anyway - it is all about gift-giving." I peered at Johnny via the corner of my eye waiting for him to utter one of his concise and profound theological statements. Instead, he smiled warmly at the young girl and we walked to our car. He had a hunch it was not the time or place to pull out his personal pulpit much to my surprise.

I pondered her comment as we continued shopping and I fought the urge to stress out in a major way. My obsessive-compulsive colors could bloom fiercely this week if I'm not careful. Shopping, cleaning, cooking, gift-wrapping, oh my! And travelling to Austin on Friday while John plays percussion for Kemper Crabb's Medieval Christmas music. In God's Providence I received a mysterious Advent gift - a sore throat. Not just sore, but swollen, glowing with internal fire. It has muted my anxieties and caused tranquility though there is much to be done. I'm drinking lots of hot tea and Emergen-C, popping vitamins, Olba's Pastilles, and Tylenol, dousing my feet with Thieves oil, and praying with more frequence. Today I feel slightly better, thank you, Jesus.

Strangely, this minor form of suffering is helping to calm racing, frantic holiday thoughts. Within the hour I will check a few more shopping trips off my list. I will also rest, catch up on Bible-reading, and remember that giving gifts is fun, but more relevant is to focus on the Light shining like a fragrant candle on our windowsill in the dark of night. "And the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

By the way, a source of excellent sore throat reading is the new Eighth Day Books Catalog #18. It is a book itself with lush, lengthy descriptions of each tome. If you are a book-lover, I strongly recommend Eighth Day Books. They don't have a nifty wish list like Amazon, but they have a great web site from which to order and will place you on their mailing list for the free, massive paper catalogs. I made a small mental wish list:

The World of Silence by Max Picard
Fever and Thirst: A Missionary Doctor Amid the Christian Tribes of Kurdistan by Gordon Taylor
The Boys: Or, Waiting for the Electrician's Daughter by John Terpstra
Eating Beauty: The Eucharist and the Spiritual Arts of the Middle Ages by Ann W. Astell
Hagia Sophia: Architecture, Structure and Liturgy of Justinian’s Great Church by R.J. Mainstone
The Sweet Everlasting by Judson Mitcham
Helena by Evelyn Waugh
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
...You get the idea.

I doubt I will find time to blog 'til after Christmas Day, so y'all have a wonderful Christmas with those you love over a feast and mulled wine! "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

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