Skip to main content


For as long as I can remember, I have relished creating and taking opportunities to celebrate the people in my life (family, friends, sometimes unsuspecting strangers) through events both regular (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays) and less predictable (sidewalk chalk congratulations, hanging stockings in the woods for Christmas in July). 

A few years ago, after we had sung some goofy song around the table for our blessing before the meal with another family who had joined us for dinner, my friend asked me if I had any of these blessings and or other celebrations and family traditions written down. I told her that I did not, but that I would see what I could put together for her.  That was 3 1/2 years ago, and I've been working on a draft ever since.  

One author David B. Batchelder encourages family traditions as ways to “weave faith into the structures of daily life."  He notes that “as we pay attention to special times that touch our faith, we discover how to live our faith not only through out days but all through the year—and ultimately, throughout our lives. Such a pattern of living and celebrating our faith can bring together the often discordant and disconnected fragments of our hectic lives.  The thread tying our lives together as family will be this rhythm of worship and ritual, which gently shapes us with the joy of God’s loving faithfulness.” 

My hope with this blog is to share some of the celebrations that have fit our family and have helped us to mark certain days and seasons of our lives. The key here is to see that you don’t have to have it all figured out before you start to celebrate.  I find that this is an art in our family that is constantly evolving as a work in progress.  Some years, we drop certain things and add others depending on the ages and stages of us all.  

As you share in the journey with me, just pick a few things that you think would be a good fit for you, find joy in making it your own, and see if it stands the test of time to decide if it is going to indeed become your tradition. Remember that it’s never too late to begin something new and to join in the fun.  So, welcome to the party!


Popular posts from this blog

Taylor's Crossing

Our boy is turning 13 this month so we've been intentional about trying to create something that would fit his personality and that would speak to his heart to help mark this "crossing" year.  We did a more elaborate version of this for his sister, Anna, but he made it very clear that he did not want the same kind of pageantry.  
As we thought about how to tweak some of our ideas that we'd put in place before, we still had some of the same goals that we'd had for Anna.  The ultimate message that we wanted him to hear and remember was that he is loved. One small thing we did in preparation to drive this home was that we had him memorize Psalm 139 over a period of a few months as this passage is a beautiful reminder of God's love for us and His presence with us.  
We also wanted Taylor to know that as he turned from 12 to 13 into the realm of being a teenager that he was not doing this alone. We wanted him to know that he has a team of people who are with him, ch…

Gumdrop Tree

In my family growing up, my grandmother had a gumdrop tree.  My mother had a gumdrop tree.  And when I got married, I was given a gumdrop tree at a Christmas wedding shower.  The first one I had was a chintzy see-through plastic tree that was in a box that said "money tree".  I guess some people tied money to the branches as a way to give cash as a gift.  But in our family, this small plastic object was pulled out each year and gumdrops were stuck to the ends of the branches.  The bottom tray held a bunch of gumdrops under the tree for the extras that would not fit on the branches. I loved my daily ritual in December of passing by the gumdrop tree that was placed in the hallway outside the kitchen and of snatching a few gumdrops.  (Note to anyone who tries this: You can always conceal your snacking by restocking the empty branches with gumdrops from the tray. Your real challenge comes when the tray is empty. Good luck on that one.) 
Here's the description I found on Ama…

What is the Most Important Thing You Know?

Today is Pentecost, the day we celebrate God's gift to us of the Holy Spirit and we also celebrate the birthday of the church.

I asked Jason and the kids to gather with me today to blow up some red balloons in celebration of the day and to read a few passages of Scripture to talk about the significance of this day; I was grateful that they all obliged and were good sports.  We read the following passages of Scripture:
Genesis 1:1-4
Genesis 2:4-7
1 Kings 19:1-13
Psalm 133
Matthew 3:13-17
John 7:37-39 
Acts 2:1-4 

As we read these, I challenged us all to listen for the thread through these passages of what these tell us about the Holy Spirit. 

These were some of the things that seemed to pop out:
breath of life
life giving water tongues of fire dove of peace still small voice  community inclusion  unity declaration of our belovedness 
I then asked everyone a question that I heard recently from our neighbor Jaime. Apparently when she and her husband Adam were about to go out of town on a trip with…