- Adam Lorenz
After a longer than expected drive to my parents house I was ready to zone out. Maybe you’re like me and road travel just takes something out of you for a few hours once you arrive at your destination. I had already thrown my luggage into my old room and was preparing to decompress when my mother comes up to me with a bag.
Since we now live a few states away from one another, our visits have become less frequent so these random bags of tucked away items weren’t unusual to receive. I opened it to find two shirts. As I pulled them out she said excitedly, “I thought of you right when I saw them.”
- Brad Nelson
Advent is a season I’ve struggled to understand. I’m told it’s a season of anticipation. The Latin word adventus, from which we get the word advent, means coming or arrival. In other words, advent is the time when our anticipation bursts into joy because whatever it is we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. But it seems to me that in order to appreciate the arrival, one must first come to terms with the waiting.
What are you waiting for?
In the middle of the holiday craziness I begin to crave quiet, cuddly nights IN. I want to find a few nights, here and there, to cook a comfort-meal, pour a glass of wine, and just relax with my sweet little family. If you’re like me, then you’ll want to take note of this delicious inside-out stuffed chicken. I snagged it from an issue of Martha Stewart Living a few years back, and it’s absolutely perfect for a slow evening, whether that’s with your family or a few close friends.
I have no idea what John the Baptist knew about Jesus. I have no grasp of what it felt like to live in an Israel dominated by Rome, or what a common inhabitant expected from the Messiah. What is more, I cannot trace all the implications of the gospel writer’s imagery. Why this fixation on bridegrooms? Nevertheless, this passage is a clear and striking testament to John’s joy—joy in being a friend of Jesus, in hearing his voice, in knowing that he has finally come. For a moment, think with me about the source of this joy and what it means.
- Jen Wise
Holiday travel is upon us and I, like many of you, have been inundated with checking the weather, looking at flight times, researching hotels, and coordinating with the appropriate friends and family members. It turns out that ‘going home for the holidays’ is a lot of work.
Last week I was zipping along an online hotel search and paused briefly to read a few reviews of the top candidates. Breezing through, I saw the usual range of responses, however two in particular caught my eye. Two different reviewers had stayed at the exact same hotel, on the exact same night, each traveling alone with a child, but their responses couldn’t have been more different.
It won’t be long before the “Best Of” lists will begin appearing. Since Restoration Living is known as being ahead of the trends, it seems logical to put out one of these lists before we are all sick and tired of them.
Here are my favorite albums of the year so far – the 11 best records by female artists / female-fronted acts, ordered by release dates. (After all, Top Ten is so cliché!)
1. Christmas playlist, on repeat.
2. Cut down the tree, light up the tree, decorate the tree, spend countless hours snuggled up next to the tree.
3. Make and decorate gingerbread people with my family. This is typically the only baking I do for Christmas... I like to save all my cookie-eating points for when I go home. (My mom is the queen of Christmas cookies.)
4. Mix up 120 gallons of fake snow for our annual Christmas bash...