Thursday, December 24, 2009
A Blizzard of Blessings
The blizzard is begun. We are snug in our little bungalow, Gary and I, watching the flakes get bigger and bigger. He is making an omelet and we'll wash it down with some wine. An "Acoustic Christmas" is on the CD player. He is whistling along. Noel and her baby are safe and warm. Tomorrow, we'll have Christmas dinner with his mother, most likely her last Christmas here on Earth. We will give the baby his first little wooden rocking horse. We had hoped to be back in North Carolina and Virginia right now, but God had other plans. We are blessed.
This Christmas Eve, while you are gathered in your church, with your family, with people you love--stop and breathe in the stillness. One of the first instructions to relieve stress is to take deep breaths. My gift to you is a poem by William Stafford:
Whenever you breathe God comes in:
"I'm home again, I'm home."
And curtains lean, then resume
their silent wait.
Listen--that is the sigh of welcome,
and after that no breath.
Whenever God stands, it is there that
the world will start again.
Merry Christmas and God be with you.
More Gift Ideas
Kansas has such an unique and rich history that I look for any opportunity to share it. Our friend, George Paris, has shared his own story so eloquently that I daresay it is one of the best collections of stories to be put to paper, but then to be read in his melodious voice is just a bonus.
Back When I Was Alive is a collection of George's memories from his Dust Bowl youth in western Kansas. Read more about him and find out how to get this CD at http://webwork.washburn.edu/cas/webgraphics/f09/web229/hoove999/
Another talented Topekan is Andy McKee. To call Andy a guitar virtuoso would be an understatement. I'm sure that any guitar he touches is thoroughly exhausted after being played, but tingles in the corner anticipating the next time Andy picks it up. His video is just about the most watched on Youtube.com and he is receiving accolades and playing concerts all over the world. Andy also contributed to Josh Groban's 2007 grammy nominated Christmas album, Noël, playing guitar on the song "Little Drummer Boy". Groban's album went on to become the best-selling CD of 2007 in the U.S., hitting #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200.
Anything by Andy would make a perfect gift. Visit andymckee.com for more information.
Spread a little Kansas cheer this Christmas season by giving away these three talented Kansans--William Stafford, George Paris and Andy McKee.
We are, indeed, blessed.