The Work of Christmas


As Christmas Eve waited on deck this week, I found myself apologizing to my husband. Apologizing that our Christmas hadn’t been more special, more meaningful, more full of sweet, reflective moments. He just cradled my face, kissed me, reassured me that it had been just fine, and, more importantly, my pastor/husband reminded me that Christmas had not even begun yet. And you know what? He was right. Christmas hadn’t begun yet and neither had its work. The work of Christmas starts with Christmas Day. It is literally the first day of Christmas and its work continues on from there.

What does that mean, though: the work of Christmas? Jesus came to live, see the unseen, love the unloved, give His life for all, and offer a place to everyone. His work was love, and that work began with His birth. So how do we do the work of Christmas? We love. How do we love? We love by encouraging. We love by defending. We love by not giving up. We love by not giving in. We love by respecting. We love by swallowing our opinions and listening to the drop and opening of others’ hearts.

We do the work of Christmas by loving, by forgiving, by standing in the gap, by hearing, by listening, by speaking up when necessary. Christmas began yesterday, the old year is on its way towards the door, and we have an entire new one coming in which to do Christmas’s work. Will you join me in carrying Christmas throughout the whole of the year? No matter what you celebrate, what you call it, will you help me do the work of love this year? Will you help me set the world on fire with it in 2019? I could use your help, dear friend. Thank you.

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Spreading My Wings


Hello, Friends! I have excellent news and I’ve apparently been lax in disseminating it. I have been invited (and have accepted said invitation) to become a contributing writer to a new website out of New York called My Trending Stories. As my husband loves to point out to me and others: they sought me out. They have read my blog and think that my writing aligns with their vision of giving freedom of voice back to writers and promote a community of inclusion and support. I have to admit to being a little flabbergasted by this; that a team of individuals were actively seeking out me and my writing to include in their community. It’s a rather…immense feeling.

I have to admit that I am extremely nervous about this but excited at the same time. I would appreciate your prayers and good thoughts as I try to write with my head and my heart, what is important as well as what I feel I need to write. And, in case you haven’t noticed, I want to make you all, my little community, proud, too.

Here’s to new steps and spreading my wings a little more.

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Reflections on Thirty-Three


Author’s Note: Today, I turn 33 years old. It has definitely been an interesting three and a half years since my daughter was born and life changed in a big way. I think that I have learned more about myself in these few short years than in many others combined throughout my lifetime. I see myself differently, am taking better care of myself, am learning to love others better, and live my faith and purpose more honestly and, I hope, effectively. I do more than like myself at 33. I truly believe that I have finally learned to love myself.

= = = =

My form is a thing of beauty.

Take all your definitions of allure

And weigh them in your hands,

As I make mine my own.

Breasts, waist, hips, legs,

Arms, stomach, shoulders, back.

All I work to make strong.

This I do for myself,

For the good of my body as well as my soul.

To be strong enough in body to hold the skies on my shoulders

But soft enough in soul to hold joy in the sway of my hips

And grace in the reach of my hands.

My mind is a work of art.

Growing and challenged still,

Deeply considering and intense.

My intelligence has not been silenced by time,

But continues to grow and refine with new challenges.

My art is a meeting of thought and feeling,

Pulled together, chiseled, and shaped.

I share my art with a desire for hope,

Encouragement, uplifting, and joy.

I write to challenge to love, to kindness, to compassion.

I write to create refuge, worlds in which to escape,

To send out words that my own voice might find difficult to speak.

I sing to birth joy. I dance to proclaim free. I dress to cry beauty.

I write and post and mail to connect and pull threads together.

In life. In community. In love. In friendship. In chosen family.

I am a being made unqiue and becoming uniquer still.

The older I get, the finer I am becoming.

You should rejoice. I’d love for you to rejoice.

If you don’t, though, that’s your choice.

But, most of all, I just want you to smile with me.

The Education of a Lady


Author’s Note: This is a momentary writing that flitted through my head yesterday, inspired by memories of lines from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

“Oh, I absolutely despise being her tablemate at a dinner party. Have you seen her? It’s disgraceful, I tell you, the way she flirts with her husband across the table. The woman is shamelessly blissful! It puts the entire table out! If something is not done soon, I shall demand that the police interfere.”

Her tablemate at this particular teatime tutted: “Truly, does she not know that it is the position of other women to flirt with her husband and her position to be utterly unconcerned by it?”

“It is also the position of other women’s husbands to flirt with her and hers to be outraged by such behavior,” chimed another well-taught madame.

“Indeed, does she have so little education at all in Societal affairs?” ruffled the originally offended party.

“The barest it would seem, poor fool,” sighed the commiserating tablemate.

— “A Meritous Conversation Betwixt Ladies of Standing”

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Winter Whispers


cute-girl-hai-snow-winter-Favim.com-355943Stepping outside, her feet meet diamonds on the sidewalk, the snowglobe world silently having been turned upside down as she had worked. The turn seems to have met its zenith as the flakes fall fast and thick and heavy. The stark white feathers flutter against her eyelashes and brush her cheeks cunningly, leaving a flushing pink behind as warmth rushes up to her skin after their cold kisses. Pulling her scarf tight, she glances up at the slate-grey sky, which just seems to smile at her in the form of a cold breeze lifting the curls of her hair for a brief moment, and a few snowy zephyrs leap up from the thickening drifts to play and nip at her ankles as she starts to make her way home. But she deviates today, her feet carrying her from path to park; such an even as the first snow deserves the respect of observation. Soon, her steps go from diamond-dusted to a pleasant crunch not unlike that first bite into perfect gingerbread. The wind flirts saucily with the hem of her coat and that of her skirtsnowy legs underneath it, caressing her legs with frosty fingers as though whispering her own beatuy back to her.

The world seems to grow quieter amidst the silence of the snowfall, the flakes interlocking their unique lattices together to form heavy white carpet that softens the cacaphony of the world. The hum and buzz and bustle seem to fall away, dampened by wintry ethereality, as if they cannot bear to disrupt such a transformation. A transformation that borders on the divine, with her as its single witness.

She has always loved winter, the long sleep of nature. Everything must take its rest, even the world itself in its turn. She loves the promise that lies in bare branches and blanched grass, to imagine what nature has in store for its next act in her lifetime. Even more so than that, winter teaches her to revel in the what is and the now. In this moment, not the looking forward or the glancing behind.

And so she walks in snowy footsteps, the world gone silent around and above her. Winter recognizes Her worshipper, a lady of Her court, and sends icy diamonds to adorn her hair and cloak her shoulders for this, the overture to Winter’s first whisper.

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NaBloPoMo Day 20: Missing Like Wishing


I’m sure I have mentioned this in varying forms over the past few weeks, months, what have you, but I miss gaming. I mean, live gaming. Physically being in a room with people, either sitting around a table or moving between spaces, engaged in our characters, laughing at antics, putting on our acting hats, and slipping beneath the skin of someone else. I miss the interaction, I miss the theatrics, I miss it all! I miss planning my costume/outfits for game, tapping into what my character is thinking or feeling that time and how that would influence what they choose to wear. I miss my closet full of gowns, the flowers for my hair that were chosen specifically for their meanings. I miss the “letters” full of flowery language, figurative (and sometimes proverbial) bear traps hidden beneath seemingly harmless nosegays.

I miss walking into a room full of friends and, for a moment, feeling that rush and thrill of nervousness as if I were walking into a room of strangers (especially if there were new people there). That feeling that has me either wanting to hide in a corner or run away. I would get over it eventually and be caught up in the fun and flurry of activity from soft rp to the rampaging plot bus to wrapping up rp at the end of game before nominations. At any game I have ever attended, we have always done some form of nominations at the end of game, acknowledging those who surprised us, delighted us, put themselves out there for plot, or whose characters royally screwed up and thus made lots of story and to-do for the rest of us.

I miss late-night “afters”. I miss gathering to eat with friends in the small hours of the morning, still gleeful and charged up from roleplay. I miss sharing conversation and good food and laughs while even on the verge of sleep.I miss slipping into the skin of someone else and living their life for a while. I miss feeling their heart beat and expand and drop and break within me. I miss being with others, with friends, with people who make me laugh, cry, hate, and love all in the space of a six-hour game. I miss feeling the energy of others pulsing all around me, even if it left me drained and weary at the end of the night. That was a cost I could live with most of the time. I miss my playtime.  I honestly can’t help but wish to have it again and thrill and be elated when I do get chances to indulge in one of my favorite hobbies.

NaBloPoMo Day 17: The Fiction of Relationships


Author’s Note: Edited, revised, and updated on 11-18-2015. That first draft was quite rough. Thank you for wading through this all with me.

I am an avid roleplayer. I have been roleplaying — tabletop and larp — for the past ten years. Nowadays, my gaming is largely restricted to online forum games but that is still fun as it affords me a writing outlet. There is one that I have been in for the past almost-five years: a Hero System-based X-men rpg entitled “Legacy” where the children of superheroes from both the Marvel and DC universes come together at Xavier’s School for the Gifted to learn to manage their abilities, use them wisely, and, yes, become heroes. I play a young “muggle-born” (in other words, her parents aren’t named superheroes) mutant named Elizabeth Martin and I have played her from an in-character age of fourteen to almost seventeen. And, yes, Zoe Saldana is my character model. Over the past few days, I have found myself reading back through the first scenes, the beginnings of her story years ago. There are 32 pages of bookmarked scenes on my account, ones I have participated in as well as others that concerned her or characters to whom she was tightly bound. And one thing that has always struck me about her is her relationships with other characters, friendly and otherwise.

Betsy has perhaps had the most romantic entanglements of any female character in the game, each of them unique in their own situations and ways. Roleplay like this is an incredibly organic form of writing for me, where my character can change, grow, and surprise me based on her interactions with other characters, plot, and situations within the game. I am able to be startled, surprised, horrified, elated by the things that Betsy does and chooses, how she falls and grows. I have been re-reading and, therefore re-living, some of her romantic relationships and I have happened upon some key differences between them that have struck and clarified some things for me as her writer.

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