Wednesday, January 04, 2012

20 minutes to shine

Image found at

"20 minutes to shine.
What a promise.
What a hope.
While chemist-like trappings give the impression of control and order.
There are cocktails, concoctions, and vials that speak volumes to potential.

I admit to loving this promise.
Wanting the contents of this bottle to do its best work -
to draw all the vibrancy, lusture and gleam to the surface.
I admit to this desire to be illuminated, but somehow I think the illumination needed runs much deeper than this crown.

This light, hope, and glimmer needs to soak deep into the depths of my heart,
to the cobweb coated corners of my mind,
and make some space in spare room of my soul.

Real light to take up residence here...
in 20 minutes or less, of course.

Is that too much for me to ask?"

T.L. Eastman January 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Waiting for the Kings and saving a pickle

(Image found at

Today marks the tenth day of Christmas. (Go ahead, I know you want to sing "Ten lords a leaping!") I know that many folks have all now headed back to regular work and school schedules ( including me), but I'm still holding on the the Christmas spirit - and I'm working to do that in the many days to come in 2012.

Angels are still singing "Gloria!" - are you?

After reading my blog post yesterday about my melancholy mood in the wake of Christmas season winding down, my friend Deb told me about a yearly tradition she has to help her hold on to Christmas.

She chooses a ornament from her Christmas tree that she will keep out and display in her kitchen to help her remember the joy, love, beauty and message of the holiday season.

This year I also learned about the tradition of the "Christmas Pickle Ornament" from some of the teens in the youth group I work with. Apparently, some folks hide a pickle shaped ornament on their tree on Christmas Eve and the first person that finds it the following morning will get to open the first gift and receive the "Pickle Present" in addition to their other gifts. When I learned about this fun tradition, I went searching for a pickle ornament to start the "Christmas Pickle Ornament" tradition in my own family.

( To learn more about the pickle legend - visitn this link at
So to take from my friend Deb's suggestion and the pickle - I've placed the pickle ornament on a hook in my kitchen and placed some hand-made ornaments on my office door to be my own year long reminder to continue to live through and in Christmas.

(Baby Jesus waiting for the three kings.)

Happy 10th day of Christmas to you all - I hope you find some traditions that help you hold on to the joy of Christmas all year round!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Epiphany reframes it

Cartoon from blog " Of course i could be all wrong"
e·piph·a·ny   [ih-pif-uh-nee] noun, plural -nies.
1. (Initial capital letter ) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.

Epiphany is on it way. In addition to being the cap on the Advent season and 12 days of Christmas, it also happens to be my birthday. Normally, I love the fact that my birthday is connected to this time of celebration - but this year I already find myself a little melancholy over the fact that the big wrap up is on it's way.

It's been a great Advent and Christmas season so far. Both my husband and I work in youth ministry and we've spent many days during Advent working with youth on service projects in order to help them to give back. We've make Christmas cards, delivered them to a nursing home, visited a youth home, helped sort and organize gifts for kids and families and as Christmas day approached our group rang the bell and stood at the red kettle for the Salvation Army.

My work also includes working at an individual church where Advent and Christmas tend to be the busiest time of the Church year. There are festivals, special events, Sunday school pageants, mitten trees and special worship services to prepare and participate in. Needless to say when looking at this list of things I love, it's a busy time of year. As the Christmas worship services drew near, I was so excited for the upcoming holiday to be with friends and family and to enjoy all the baking and gift giving to come.

In the week between Christmas and New years, my family and I have had many home-made dinners, my husband and I have been on a few dates, we have spent time with good friends, I've read a good book and started another and I even finished a painting I'd been working on for months. This week of rest, fun and celebration moved so quickly, that it makes me long for just a little more time to soak it all in. I think moving towards Epiphany and my birthday are a reminder that this rich and joyous time is coming to a close. If I'm honest, I'm not quite ready to move past Advent and the 12 days of Christmas. I'd really like a little more time to ponder and celebrate. Wouldn't you?

Another definition of epiphany is: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

In the predawn hours of this morning, I woke up to a foot of new snow outside my window. I got myself dressed in lots of layers and took my dog out for a jaunt in the untouched terrain. The night before, there was no snow. We've had an untypical snow free winter so far in Western NY up to today. I was impressed by the transformation of my outside world. Every single thing - including me and my dog - was covered and encased in a thick, clean layer of white. The whole world was reframed and looked brand new in the almost light of dawn.

This time - according to the calendar on the wall - for Christmas celebration is coming to a close by the end of this week. I'm even planning on going to an Epiphany party to have one last HURRAH for the holiday season. While it may be time to take down the tree, I don't think it's time to take the spirit of celebration away completely.

Just as my world was reframed by a foot ( and more to come) of snow falling, my daily life can be reframed by joy, hope and love all year long; if only I get out there to witness and take part in it. My melancholy comes from a place insisting that I pack up all the things I love about the holiday season.

While the way of celebrating life and love may change with the seasons, the acts of: taking time for rest, going on a date with my husband,doing service projects that make a difference and taking time for laughter with family and friends
are practices that should be a regular part of year long celebration in 2012.

May my snow inspired epiphany be one that lasts long after it melts away. May this epiphany be one that lasts 365 day long to fill a year with joy, hope and love in my life and those around me.

Happy New Year!


Sunday, January 01, 2012

New beginnings

It's a new season to start something. There are lots of choices, but if you like to blog you may want to join in with NaBloPoMo on the challenge and fun of daily blogging. Go to NaBloPoMo and sign up for January's round of writing and interaction.

It's a brand new year.
I'll need to intentionally practice writing 2012 for about a month before the change will sink in for the next 11.
It a day to think about what was and what could be.

If only "beginning" is the frame I use to place the next 365 days in.
Each morning is new.
Each moment is unique.
Each day, hour and second holds the space to dream - to hope and to begin again.
It is a new beginning I need to inhale into my whole being and exhale into a world full of possibility.
Inhale, exhale, repeat.

Image from