Saturday, December 25, 2010

christmas morn'

 Merry Christmas! there is nothing like the feeling that rises up inside your chest as consciousness first overtakes you on Christmas morning! out of all the days in the year, only Christmas holds this intrinsic magic, grace, joy, goodness. Holding in itself the greatest treasure the Earth has ever known- God's Son given to mankind to show the way to have life eternal, and to live to the fullest.

The Son of God became a man to
enable men to become the sons of God. 

God's gifts put man's
best dreams to shame. 
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.
-George F. McDougall 

Revel in your family, your friends, God's love, and this day. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

alabama christmas

Thought I'd go ahead and share our Kirkpatrick-family traditions/plans for tonight (the 23rd), Christmas Eve & Christmas Day!

we'll have cousin Kristy & her husband, Parker back to Demopolis for the remainder of the holidays. We had borrowed the projector from their church, and connected it to Lydia's Mac for the viewing of White Christmas the other night. When made complete by a 6x8 foot screen, which we set up in the front entryway of the house, this made the open living room area into a veritable theater! It was truly incredible. Grandpa & Grandma were so impressed and it was such a wonder to them- really a fun night:) Tonight, we're going to try The Polar Express. should be a blast!

Tomorrow (CHRISTMAS EVE) We'll have breakfast together in the mid-morning, then off to take the usual family photographs at Foscue Park. . . a BEAUTIFUL state park brimming with evergreens & bordered on three sides by the Tom Bigbee River.  Tomorrow, by late afternoon, all of the presents will underneath the tree at G&G's house (where the magic happens). For the Christmas Eve dinner, we'll have Grandma's signature Oyster Stew, shrimp cocktail, cheese, crackers, chili, cookies, cake, fudge . . .and bubbly. We'll pack into 2 vehicles and drive around town to see all the Christmas lights we can stand- while listening to Christmas music of course! Then back to grandma & grandpa's to snuggle before the fire with coffee, cocoa, and hear Grandpa's ceremonial reading of The Night Before Christmas, and then the biblical Christmas story.

Saturday (CHRISTMAS), we all are to be at G&G's, ready to open gifts, by 7:30am. We'll open presents- as we ALWAYS have- in this way: youngest to oldest, one gift at a time, around and around, until all are unwrapped. It takes hours:) We'll open until 9am, and then have our traditional Christmas-morning breakfast of cinnamon rolls, orange-glaze rolls, and a variety of breakfast casseroles. (we eat WAY too much over this holiday time here, its rather gluttonous!)  After breakfast, we'll head off for the Christmas-morning service at First Presbyterian. . . at 10:30am. Then, back home to finish gifts. Pastor Tommy, his wife Miss Elaine & his family come over every year for Christmas supper at Grandma & Grandpa's. That will be a mid-afternoon feast of Roast Beef, potatoes, vegetables, casseroles, rolls, pies, cake, and other most-delicious offerings!  The rest of that day will wind down with naps, reading, resting, sharing, walking, and just reveling in each other!

As with all good things, this holiday will come to an end; we will leave for home on Sunday before the sun rises.

fernando ortega - carol of the birds

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

my sky

In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colour are the way I love them.
You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips
and in your life my infinite dreams live.

The lamp of my soul dyes your feet,
the sour wine is sweeter on your lips,
oh reaper of my evening song,
how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!

You are mine, mine, I go shouting it to the afternoon's
wind, and the wind hauls on my widowed voice.
Huntress of the depth of my eyes, your plunder
stills your nocturnal regard as though it were water.

You are taken in the net of my music, my love,
and my nets of music are wide as the sky.
My soul is born on the shore of your eyes of mourning.
In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begin.
-Pablo Neruda-

"i want to feel redemption flowing through my veins..."


"Indeed, if we will listen, a Sacred Romance calls to us through our heart every moment of our lives. It whispers to us on the wind, invites us through the laughter of good friends, reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love. We've heard it in our favorite music, sensed it in the birth of our first child, been drawn to it while watching the shimmer of the sunset on the ocean. The Romance is even present in times of great personal suffering: the illness of a child, the loss of a marriage, the death of a friend. Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses in us an inconsolable longing deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty, adventure. 
This longing is the most powerful part of any human personality. It fuels our search for meaning, for wholeness, for the sense of being truly alive. However we may describe this deep desire, it is the most important thing about us, our heart of hearts, the passion of our life. And the voice that calls to us in this place is none other than the voice of God. We cannot hear this voice if we have lost touch with our heart."

-Brent Curtis & John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance

Monday, December 20, 2010

my soul breathes.

"Sometimes I wake, and, lo! I have forgot,
And drifted out upon an ebbing sea!
My soul that was at rest now resteth not,
For I am with myself and not with thee;
Truth seems a blind moon in a glaring morn,
Where nothing is but sick-heart vanity:
Oh, thou who knowest! save thy child forlorn.

Thy fishes breathe but where thy waters roll;
Thy birds fly but within thy airy sea;
My soul breathes only in thy infinite soul;
I breathe, I think, I love, I live but thee.
Oh breathe, oh think,--O Love, live into me;
Unworthy is my life till all divine,
Till thou see in me only what is thine.

When I no more can stir my soul to move,
And life is but the ashes of a fire;
When I can but remember that my heart
Once used to live and love, long and aspire,
Oh, be thou then the first, the one thou art;
Be thou the calling, before all answering love,
And in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire."

-excerpts from The Diary of An Old Soul, by George MacDonald 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"To love, means loving the unlovable. To forgive, means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith, means believing the unbelievable. Hope, means hoping when everything seems hopeless." 
-Gilbert K. Chesterton