Advent 2016: Coming up Short

This rainy Saturday, Wyatt got picked up for his basketball tournament. I took Loretta to her (cancelled) basketball game where she had practice instead. In Seattle, Yancey got off his 24 hour shift at Harborview Medical Center and slept all day.

Loretta and I ran some Christmas errands (you definitely want her with you when you're picking out wrapping paper), we went out for tacos with my parents, and we listened to Christmas music in the car. We fed the dog, did the dishes, and spent 3 hours cleaning out the storage room. We got rid of Loretta's shopping cart from preschool days, then scrounged in the fridge for leftovers. She had potato soup and I had spaghetti.

I am thankful for my life and every ordinary moment in days like today. But still, there's an undercurrent of grief and heartsickness running through everything. It's crazy to be raising kids right now, teaching them about honesty, inclusion, kindness, integrity, and respect with all the drama, ignorance, retaliation, hate, and broken promises as our national backdrop.

Emily asked me yesterday how writing for Advent was going. I told her I never know what I'm going to say until I sit down and open my laptop. Today's no different, but I'm finding there isn't a spin I can put on anything. The snow is gone, the streets are full of slush, the preschool shopping cart is gone.  And once I'm quiet, I get in touch with my deep sadness and anger.

I will not normalize this craziness. And I will keep praying, even though it comes up short and doesn't seem like enough. Tonight, my prayer is:

Divine Goodness, you never said it would be easy. You never said I'd get a pass or that we'd stop warring and getting over on each other. You never promised that kindness and love would be the order of the day, that everyone would wake up, play fair, do the right thing.

Show me what to do. Show me how to love, how to resist, how to stay curious, how to stay energized, how to be a critical lover of this country and this world. Remind me every day that there is strength in weakness, that the first will be last the last will be first. If the Dalai Lama can get up in his exile and pray for five hours a day, help me to power down my phone, put the broom down, turn off the car, cut down on the digital clutter, and pay attention. It's your Beloved Community that calls, and I won't rest until we're there.

P.S. My friend Cristina has been busy screenprinting. This is one from the package she sent today. We need our artists right now. Bless you, friend.