Posts with the tag “meditation”

A Cloudy Christmas
by Wordworkers on December 23rd, 2023
Last year, I wrote about the peace of snow falling at night. This year, we have yet to get an inch of snow. For many people, including myself, it is difficult for it to feel like Christmas when the weather is more reminiscent of late March.There are several elements that when missing make it not feel like Christmas. Besides snow and typical December temperatures, there is also music, Christmas lig...  Read More
The Best Gift
by Wordworkers on December 22nd, 2023
If you’re online at all between the beginning of November and Christmas, you’ve seen the articles that list “The 10 Best Christmas Gifts for ___,” with every possible combination of words in the blank. “10 Best for 11 Year-Olds.” “10 Best for Kids Who Love Curling.” “10 Best for Minnesotans Whose Favorite Color is Burgundy, Favorite Flavor is Butterscotch, and Favorite Meal is Brunch.”All of the a...  Read More
Candy Cane Stripes
by Wordworkers on December 21st, 2023
Peppermint is one of those love it or hate it flavors, and I love it. At this time of year, I always get candy canes to eat, as well as decorate my Christmas tree with. The cool peppermint flavor and the red and white colors evoke Christmas for me.Have you ever seen how candy canes are made? The white sugar forms a central core around which the alternating white and colored stripes are formed into...  Read More
Who is Santa?
by Wordworkers on December 20th, 2023
Do you remember going to see Santa when you were a child? I remember going to the rotunda at Ridgedale and waiting in line to see Santa. There was a fake wooden cabin surrounded by scenery and decorations. When we finally reached the front of the line, I got twenty-seven seconds to ask Santa for my Christmas gifts and to take a photo with him.In 2019, as we prepared for the Kids Christmas Program ...  Read More
Beauty and Distance
by Wordworkers on December 19th, 2023
This past spring, I went on a photography trip up along Minnesota’s North Shore just before Memorial Day. The smoky haze from the Canadian wildfires still hung in the air, but I still enjoyed hiking and taking photos. While not the shots that I had envisioned when planning the trip, I still came away with several great shots.At the end of the trip, I spent a day in Duluth. I awoke before sunrise a...  Read More
Self Reflection
by Wordworkers on December 18th, 2023
I’ve always been both in awe and jealous of people who have the dedication to keep a daily journal. I’ve kept a journal for trips that I’ve gone on, such as the Germany trip with All Saints or my family’s trip to Thailand, but I struggle to write a journal entry every day when I’m in my normal routine.Every time I try, I never manage to keep it up for more than two weeks. Eventually, I’ll have a b...  Read More
Baking and Making Memories
by Wordworkers on December 16th, 2023
When home begins to fill with the varied wonderful smells of baking cookies, Christmas memories come flooding back.It starts in late November with the peppernuts and springerlies. Old fashioned cookies that need time to harden before you dunk them in your coffee. As a non-coffee drinker, I don’t enjoy those cookies very much, though warm peppernuts fresh out of the oven are very good for the seven...  Read More
Sounds of Christmas
by Wordworkers on December 15th, 2023
What are your favorite sounds of Christmas?Perhaps it is the music? The loud and boisterous celebrations of Joy to the World and Go Tell It on the Mountain. The symbolism in Lo How a Rose or The Holly and the Ivy. The gentle, hushed tones of Away in a Manger or Silent night.Or maybe it’s the sounds of excitement and joy from your family. Kids tearing open wrapping paper and playing with toys. Adul...  Read More
Stars in the Sky
by Wordworkers on December 14th, 2023
Last night was the peak of the Geminids, a prolific meteor shower often ignored due to falling on cold December nights, as opposed to the popular Perseids which happen on the warm evenings of August. Still, with the skies clear, I was outside with my camera. Even though the photo above is the best shot I got, I was able to see many more with my eyes.I’ve been out stargazing before, both with and w...  Read More
Frozen Lakes, Warm Souls
by Wordworkers on December 13th, 2023
Here in Minnesota, we love our lakes so much that, after spending all summer on and around them, we eagerly wait for them to freeze so we can spend winter on them as well. How astonishing that what once flowed freely can turn solid and strong enough to support people and vehicles. An awe-inspiring part of God’s creation.Our souls can sometimes be like water. When things are going well, they flow l...  Read More
Presents or Presence
by Wordworkers on December 11th, 2023
There is something magical about seeing a Christmas tree with presents piled under it. The mystery of what the colorfully wrapped boxes contain that bubbles and fills your thoughts. The trembling expectation when you glance at the neatly lined up stockings. As a child, that anticipation was nearly unbearable.When I was young, I spent Thanksgiving morning with the catalogs—Target, Sears, Fleet Farm...  Read More
by Wordworkers on December 9th, 2023
The day that this post goes live, I am helping my sister move. Even though we’re only moving her 19 miles, all of her things needs to be packed up in boxes and bags, and then loaded into a moving truck. And since these posts are written ahead of time, I don’t know if I’ll be hauling those boxes through snow or frigid winds or a nice, sunny day.While moving can mean physically hauling stuff, it is ...  Read More
Doesn't Need To Be Said
by Wordworkers on December 4th, 2023
How do you keep your family recipes? We have a collection of yellowed and butter-stained 3x5 cards. One of the cards is for peppernut cookies...  Read More
It Can Take Time
by Aaron Achartz on December 13th, 2022
At 10 a.m. on February 15th, 1945, the sandstone support pillars that had been holding up the Frauenkirche in Dresden finally gave in...  Read More
Everything Must Be Just Perfect
by Aaron Achartz on December 7th, 2022
I am the only one that can put the lights on the Christmas tree...  Read More
Two Sides of a Snowstorm
by Aaron Achartz on November 30th, 2022
How much snow did you get yesterday? As adults, we see every inch for the work it'll take to clear off of our sidewalks...  Read More
Meditation (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 20th, 2021
“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corin. 2:9) The days are shorter and darkness descends as I sit down to write about love. The house is quiet now and I grasp this moment to reflect on what God’s love means to me. Soon the house will be noisy and boisterous. My college-aged boys will be home for the holidays with pile...  Read More
Snow Flies (Karen Saboe)
by Aaron Achartz on December 14th, 2021
Early snows have the biggest flakes.  The wind whips them high and low, creating a scene that is full of motion against the backdrop sky of gray.Fluffy flakes of snow swirling all around, the kind that tempt you to stick out your tongue and catch one, and then instantly, that cold fluff melts.Now the flakes fall on my eyelashes, with a weight, a snow-heaviness that makes me blink twice and wonder ...  Read More
Silver Linings (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 13th, 2021
“Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks no matter what.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) I drove to Purgatory Park for a hike in the autumn sunshine. It had been rainy and cold for several days and I had spent too many hours working inside that week. I yearned to hear my feet crunch the leaves, to feel the sunshine on my face and to feast my eyes on the splendor of the fall colors.I was combini...  Read More
Everything is Holy Now (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 9th, 2021
Our Thanksgiving plans have changed, once again, due to COVID. We usually travel to Iowa to see my mother-in-law. My husband’s sister and her family drive from Indianapolis. His brother’s family also drives south from the Twin Cities to join the festivities. Obviously, we did not gather at all in 2020. We did congregate last summer once everyone was vaccinated. It was a blast to finally raise our ...  Read More
Meditation (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 6th, 2021
Celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends is the on-ramp into Advent and the Christmas season. The Christmas decorations come out in the final week of November (at many stores, they are displayed as early as October which drives my husband nuts). Part of my annual ritual is making hot cocoa and listening to Christmas songs as I decorate. I have my Christmas hit list. Much to my family’s dis...  Read More
A Wreath of Hope
by Aaron Achartz on November 30th, 2021
It is not quite December, but it is time to start peeking into all the decoration boxes.  The first thing we look for is the Advent wreath. We move aside the village houses, ornaments, and angel figurines, and finally uncover the wreath.  We place it prominently on the living room coffee table.  A reminder.  Christmas is near.There is such beauty in the greenery and the intertwining of the boughs....  Read More
Hope (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on November 29th, 2021
“Do not be anxious about anything (do not let your heart be troubled or afraid) but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:4)As I sit down to begin writing about hope, I am distracted by the news. There was another school shooting tod...  Read More
Christmas (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 25th, 2020
In this world,hate never yet dispelled hate.Only love dispels hate.This is the law,ancient and inexhaustible.                        - Buddha “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is a familiar and commonly heard Bible verse. When I was in elementary school, a boy in my class teased me about my last name: Pugh. It is pronounced “Pew” and rhymes with few. Each and every day on the playground, he w...  Read More
Christmas Eve (Susan Ault)
by Aaron Achartz on December 24th, 2020
Excuse me, please.  But it’s Christmas Eve and I must go home -- if only for five minutes and only in my thoughts.  I have to go back on Christmas Eve.  I haven’t been there for many, many years.  Still, I have never really been away. Every Christmas, there is a string of events that takes me home.  It starts with the Christmas decorations showing up in the stores.  Then it’s the carols on the rad...  Read More
Love is Born (Karen Saboe)
by Aaron Achartz on December 21st, 2020
This will be a sign to you: “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see t...  Read More
Meditation (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 17th, 2020
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul.It is a daily admission of one’s weakness…And so, it is better in prayer to have a heartwithout words than words without a heart.”                                                            -GandhiThe news spread from 38th and Chicago.A video showing brutality and blatant disregard for the sanctity of life.Wrong versus right. Love versus hate.What...  Read More
I Am So Glad Each Christmas Eve (Karen Saboe)
by Aaron Achartz on December 14th, 2020
“Please Grandma, will you sing ‘I am so Glad Each Christmas Eve?’”JEG ER SÅ GLAD HVER JULEKVELDJeg er så glad hver julekveld,For da ble Jesus født,Da lyste stjernen som en sol,Og engler sang så søtt.Can you hear her?  Can you hear Grandma singing?   What was it about listening to that song in Norwegian that stilled those of us gathered around the piano each Christmas Eve?  That deep alto voice, fl...  Read More
Struggle and Tears (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 10th, 2020
Life has meaning only in the struggles.Triumph or defeat is in the hands of the Gods.So let us celebrate the struggles.                                    -Swahili Warrior Song I get up in the morning and head off to a job that I love. As a pediatrician, it is truly miraculous to be along for the ride as a needy infant (who only sleeps when held) becomes an opinionated toddler (“No! Mine!”) then c...  Read More
Hope in the Darkness (Karen Saboe)
by Aaron Achartz on December 7th, 2020
Waiting…  searching…  longing…for the Savior.Light breaking through the darkness.                              Hope revealed.“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,  and in his word I put my hope.I wait for the Lord  more than watchmen wait for the  morning,  more than watchmen wait for the  morning.”   Psalm 130:5-6 NIVWaiting…  searching…  longing…Light.Hope.The message of a Savior born to u...  Read More
Now the Work of Christmas Begins (Sarah Brandt)
by Aaron Achartz on December 3rd, 2020
When the song of the angels is stilled,when the star in the sky is gone,when the kings and princes are home,when the shepherds are back with their flocks,the work of Christmas begins:to find the lost,to heal the broken,to feed the hungry,to release the prisoner,to rebuild the nations,to bring peace among the people,to make music in the heart.                        by Howard Thurman My heart flutt...  Read More
Peace (Karen Saboe)
by Aaron Achartz on November 30th, 2020
When I think of experiencing peace within my soul, I think of the experience of being in the grandeur of the mountains.  Read More