Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Mo's

Christmas comes with all sorts of expectations, traditions, generations and institutions. It's nearly inescapable. 

And while all the bloggers I read religiously have posted about theirs (which I've had the best time reading and gleaning ideas), I feel like the four "tions" of Christmas and beyond for the Mo home are changing. Of course, there are one or two things that will never change, and I'm grateful for those. Love being the top. We know we are loved and we know we love. 

But as for the rest, we are in transition. I'm not sure what 2014 will bring for our little family. Despite our fresh and crisp and barely unwrapped day planners, I don't think anyone really ever does. But I do know that it will be new and maybe even a little scary. It always is. A little scary. 

But that's what we said last year too. And to be honest, the scary parts made it that much more beautiful. Why does it work out that way I wonder...

I don't know all that this year has brought for you, but I have heard and seen and read your stories. 

-Some of you are champions in my book. You have fought through a heavy and weighted year and you deserve more than a medal. I wish I could hug you. 
-Some of you are champions because you accomplished goals you never thought possible! You got literal medals! I wish I could hug you too. 
-Some of you had a well-deserved break from chaos and clutter this year. It wasn't easy breezy, but close to it. I want to buy you coffee and ask you how you did it!
-Some of you, well, your year is 2014 and I want to be your biggest fan. Start strong, keep stride, and push as hard as you can. You are good enough. 

Thank you for your gifts of friendship this year, no matter the degrees. And next year, let's do it all again shall we? 

- - - - - - - - - - 
For a little light reading and reminiscing, here yours, mine, and our favorite posts of 2013: 




And just because I think it's cute and funny, this post has been the #1 read post on this blog since its birth: A Letter To My Brother on His Wedding Day. Who knew. ;)

Merry Christmas + a Happy New Year! See you on the other side. 

- - - - - - - - - -
Family portraits taken by the fabulous Emily Tingley with OopsyDaisy Photography. Book her. Trust me.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christian Vocabulary: Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It

Being raised in a Christian home, I have never known what life is like on the other side of faith. I have always wondered what people are really thinking when they hear the words: Holy Spirit, the Trinity, blessed, redeemed, Savior and my personal favorite phrase: the blood of Jesus.

It all seems a little exclusive and sometimes downright creepy.

On this side of the coin, all those phrases and words are understood within certain contexts, passages, and theology, but outside of all that, it's just a little weird I'm sure. I mean, in what other context or setting is it ok to discuss the brutal death and shedding blood of a man as a good thing for anyone?

It's violent and gory.
It can feel sadistic when talked about.
It's ancient and seemingly irrelevant to culture today.

Sometimes our vocabulary can hinder the vision. And yet sometimes it's dead without it. 

All those phrases and words come with healing and love and grace. Lots and lots of love and grace. Not because the words themselves are powerful. No, they're just a bunch of letters obligatorily stuck together by their creators. But its those creators that gave them their power. It's the Creator, of heaven and of earth, that gives them power. 

I am not a doctor. I am not a theologian. I have friends who can explain all the logistics of the Trinity and Creation and how we know God has to exist. 

But what I do have, I believe, is just as powerful. 

I have experience. I have first hand experience with the truth and the grace and the love of God almighty.

The Truth: He exists, He knows, sees, and created this world. He made it good and beautiful. He is redeeming it by His Son and through His people. And we're doing our best. 

The Grace: I deserve nothing outside of the life I've made a mess of. And even that's questionable. My natural inclination is rarely towards positive and more-than-I'd-like-to-admit towards negative. Yet the hand of Mercy (not getting all I deserve) and Grace (having more than I've earned) are seen working and kneading and fashioning my life. 

The Love: He does it all because He wants to. 

As a religion, Christianity can seem a little mystic, non-sensical and exclusive from the outside looking in, but when it comes down to it, it's really not. Those old archaic words, the ones we've been breathing in and out for the last 5000 years, they ring more true in the 21st century than ever before. (<<< Click to tweet that.)

Everyday we get a clearer picture of what Jesus was talking about when He said things like, "I have overcome the world," and "I am the bread of life," and "They will know you are mine, by your love for one another.

When it comes down to it, Christianity, and all its jargon and vocabulary, is a group of broken people, leaning into the truth and grace and love of God, and walking away changed. 

- - - - - 
Have you ever felt Christianity was weird or overly mystical? Were you raised in the church? Did you leave or did you stay? Are you from the outside looking in? 

Let's chat in the comment section. I try to reply to every single comment!

Original photo via
^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

Reader Faves.