A Luminous 2017

For the last few weeks I have prayed about a word for 2017. Today, sitting in worship it came to me. 

In a meditative service I adapted at about 11:45pm on New Year’s Eve I wrote meditation questions for the new year. One was “What name has God written in your heart for this year?”

And there is was “and she will be called Luminous.”

Yeah. I can’t make this stuff up. 

Luminous. I like it. 

Throughout the Christmas season we read John 1, we talk about the light (Jesus) that shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. 

This word has been working on me for a few weeks now. I noticed it on Christmas Eve when something struck me in a new way. 

At the end of Silent Night I stand in front of the congregation with my lit candle and say this:

Even though the light in our hands may be extinguished the light of Christ born in our hearts this night goes with us into the world to bring good news for all to hear. 

In other words, we are now the bearer of Christ’s light in the world. 

For whatever 2017 brings, I pray I can be a beacon of light. I pray I am up for the challenge. 

I anticipate a year where standing up to tyrany and hate will be needed. I anticipate a year when darkness will cover the face of the deep. I anticipate a year where in the midst of watery chaos and formless void that God will say “Let there be light” and declare the light good. 

I pray for new mercies and joy each morning. 

I anticipate a year of holding a torch for justice and candles of rememberance. 

God has called me to be a luminous light. If it be blinding and harsher that one would like, then so be it. 

For darkness cannot be driven out by darkness, only light can do that. (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

May it be so for you and for me. Happy New Year Friends, may it be a Luminous Year!

2015: The Year of Shalom

The word of the 2015 is Shalom. Despite the fact that my Brother-in-law was hoping for falafel. But alas, it’s Shalom – Wholeness, Peace. It is both a greeting and a farewell.

Peace with what?

Specifically: Me.


I’ve lived for a long time in a shadow of trying to conform. Conforming to a world, to another’s expectations, to wanting. I want more than anything to be understood, accepted, beloved, cherished.

Guess what? I’m not perfect, but I am learning to move past rejection and be at peace with me. I like who I am – I’m strong, I’m confident, I’m imaginative, creative, smart, talented. I cast a large shadow myself, thank you very much, and I’m tired of apologizing for it. Truth is there are only a few people asking me to, and you know what? They don’t need to matter as much as I allow them.

I deserve to be at peace with me.

I also deserve to be at peace with the respect that I deserve.

I want to be at peace with the times that I can only be “good enough”. When life didn’t do me any favors I want to be at peace with the capacities I do have. I want to be at peace with the fact that I deserve better. That I am enough, myself, that I am a whole person who has the right to be with someone she loves, and that person not be in love with someone else and trying to decide if he “wants” to be with me.

I want to live a whole life this year.

I’m a good mom, it’s different than I wanted, but I am a good mom, I want to be at peace with the way I parent, for myself and for my kids. I want to be at peace with how excitable they are and how hard I laugh with them. I want to be okay with the fact that we chase each other around stores in superhero costumes. That we sing silly songs to each other, that people stare. I want to be at peace with people’s stares. With the fact that sometimes good enough means that we have hot dogs and watch a movie at dinnertime.

I want to be at peace with the depth of my feelings. My joys and my sorrows. I love with my whole heart. I’m tired of holding back. I’m intense; I need to make peace with that, because if you are in that circle around me, you’ll experience it and it’s like staring into the sun. I can be filled with such love and grace for another human being that I am in awe of this gift God has given me. Yet, I also need to be held, and loved, and cared for, someone to kiss my head and tell me I’m beloved, worth every intense second.

I need to be at peace with the fact that, in order to protect my children, and myself, not just anyone can be this person.

I need to be at peace with the fact that it simply hurts too much to love someone that doesn’t or won’t love me and treat me with respect. That living a whole life means saying goodbye to the people who hurts me and subsequently, my family.

I need to be at peace with the fact that I need and I deserve reciprocation of my love.

Mostly, I want to be at peace with the unknown. I want to receive the unexpected gifts of each day, I want to rest more, play more, wonder more, sing more in public, dance more. I may even want to go on a date, and be at peace with that, and I need to be at peace with the fact that the man I was in love with for half my life probably won’t care that I do.

In order to do that I need to live Shalom. I need to live into the Shalom of life and not the anxiety of it.

What’s this year going to look like? I have no idea. But it starts here, today, it starts by not compromising myself. It starts by being at peace with myself. It starts by not apologizing for who I am and not submitting to who you think I should be.

It starts by calming the inner voices of “not enough” and “too much”.

It starts by embracing that Shalom is the way God intended life to be. That my hope rests in God, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Hello 2015, Thank God you’re here. I’ve been waiting for you.