December Links

Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been off my blogging game. Here are some pieces that stood out to me since then.

Here’s a great post on giving each season its due, in this case, Advent before Christmas. I’ve heard the analogy of celebrating Advent the way we prepare for a new baby (you’re allowed to decorate). This writer draws a similarity to how one plans a wedding:  “Ideally, I think, that’s still how we’d celebrate it today. I think of it like I was planning a big wedding. It would be on my mind months ahead of time. I’d get a few major projects done well in advance so I wouldn’t have to worry about them as the big day approached. Then in the weeks before the wedding, I would focus on having everything I needed available and organized and cleaned. I would bake the cake and prepare the food. I would scrub down and decorate the church and the reception hall in the days just before the wedding. I would be prepared to celebrate. We’d have the rehearsal dinner the night before. But what I wouldn’t do is throw a reception or two a couple of weeks before the wedding and eat the cake and the wedding bell cookies and drink all the champagne before the happy couple is even married, before they’re in town even. That would be crazy.”

This article on the effect of “contemplative architecture” on our brains is inspiring. I think there will be a movement towards an architecture that lifts our minds to God. It just may be a while before we see it.
On grief:
Is this negative or positive? I do not know. It looks like difficulty reading it tied more to factual knowledge than expected. We should work on teaching our children about things in those early stages when memorization comes easily. It means Wikipedia has an important place alongside a novel.
I was grateful to read this piece called “When the Holidays are Hard” on the holidays today. It has good recommendations for those who are grieving and those who know someone who is grieving.
“I will joyfully welcome Jesus on Christmas, but my joy will likely be a tearful joy, a joy that still hurts and wonders at what’s happened, a joy that moves in and out of peace, but ultimately, a joy that trusts.” From Nancy.
Love this shopping advice! I particularly like the idea of “Choose one or two brick and mortar stores and get inspired.” Our shopping trip is planned Thursday for downtown Turlock, though my kids’ gifts were purchased elsewhere.
And one last one on grief. This article on miscarriage highlights the intriguing phenomenon of cellular memory. I appreciate articles that explain how things work, like our minds.

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