Good Dirt: Advent, Christmastide and Epiphany

Today it’s snowing at our house.

Snow is the earth’s invitation to

settle in,

center down

and rest from our labors.

It’s an invitation to reflect on the busyness of spring, summer and autumn and savor the memories that form us.

I’m savoring a hike we took up to Blue Lakes. I’m generally the slowest hiker bringing up the rear. However, this time our fourteen year old daughter hung back with me. We wandered up the mountainside stopping to write poems about flowers and trees and mountain streams. We drew pictures, ate Oreo cookies, and talked about things too deep to speak without marmots near. Thank you Loving Creator for that memory.

In my mind it’s also an invitation to prepare for Advent. The season of Advent begins November 29th.  The holiday hoopla is already in full swing. I saw a post of FB yesterday that said, “For every Christmas tree lit before Thanksgiving, an elf drowns a baby reindeer.” Oh My! That’s harsh, but I get it. In the United States the holiday ball is already rolling.

I spent many years on that loud, rushed, overindulgent, train.

As a follower of Jesus, this is the season I want to savor. Like the snow that blankets and swaddles, Advent invites us to settle in, to center down, to let Mary and her baby teach us a thing or two.

In order to keep from getting swallowed up I set some boundaries. We don’t have to be everywhere or do everything. I make a few plans and a few choices early on that guide us.

Ben Barczi and I wrote Good Dirt: A Devotional for the Spiritual Formation of Families as a possible choice. The first volume Good Dirt: Advent, Christmastide and Epiphany has seasonal activities and readings to guide families through a celebration of Jesus’ incarnation, introducing the twelve classical spiritual disciplines as tools to work the soil of the soul.


What would it look like to

settle in,

center down,

and engage with Jesus this holiday season?


Thank you Snow, I think I’ll take you up on it.