Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: christmas (page 1 of 3)

Love, Starbucks & the Incarnation

When I followed the ambulance down to Columbus, it carrying one of my life’s treasures, I didn’t cry. I called a friend, made lists and recited mantras (strong body, soft heart). But you know what brought me to tears? An inbox full of Starbucks gift cards.

Please, don’t think me too materialistic. I love coffee, but that’s not the point.

This past week we’ve been surrounded, carried and lifted. Family gathered our children, friends fed them, parents ferried them to where they needed to be next. My sister filled my freezer with healthyish survival food. My mom is doing laundry and vacuuming up our dogs’ attempts to not be forgotten. And people have flooded me with notes telling me they are praying.

These things. They are so very helpful. They make us feel better and they make life even a teensy bit easier. But it’s not just the actual thing – the help, the card, the word – which lifts up our hearts. It’s the intention. I see through the thing and see people who earnestly want to enter into this place with us. They want to “be there” in any way possible. Some will sit by our sides, others fill our cups, but it’s really the same to me. They say, “I see you. I love you. I’m with you.”

Which is the spirit of the season. I love the time leading up to Christmas because I’m in love with incarnation. For several years I’ve been weepy every Sunday of Advent. Behind it all is this God who said to all of humanity, “I see you, I love you, I’m with you.”

This week we’ve been waist-deep in our people’s versions of incarnation. Friends, you have not simply been nice or thoughtful or helpful. You have embodied the spirit of God-with-Us.

Do I mean that Jesus coming to earth is like when people give me a SBX giftcard? No. I’m saying that those gift cards and meals and words from afar – those are our attempts to live out that sense of Incarnation set within us. I mean to say, when you love others, you are like God. You are shining God’s image.  When you love like that, you evoke the presence of God in our lives.

Thank you.

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Tell Me About Those Balls (#redcup version)

In honor of RedCupGate 2015, I’ll offer an oldie-but-goodie, (and one of my cousin’s favorite blog titles). Obvi, since the whole #redcup thing revolves around noisy Christians, there could be even more commentary. Like, how first we want businesses to have the right  to refuse to make wedding cakes for people we don’t love because of “values” – yet we want businesses we don’t own to uphold all of our values. (Thanks to my Smart Friend Craig who pointed that one out. He is really smart. And sarcastic. Pretty much my favorite kind of people. Read his brilliant writing about an unrelated topic.)

However, just in case any of my friends have panties all bunched up over this – if you really want someone to know how you feel… stop giving them money. (I, however, will not say no to the PSL. Jesus is in my heart, not on my cup.)


 

(Originally published September, 2011)

It’s quite evident that I love a good boycott. Give me a cause (Walmart… short skirts… chips in the ice cream… Times New Roman…) and a platform and I shall wave my banner high. However, I’d like to give my fellow boycotters a few lessons in Banning Behavior.

Apparently there are close to a million moms (or, at least an organization of them) who dislike Ben & Jerry’s new flavor. That’s fine, I tend to show preference to Chubby Hubby (who can resist pretzels + peanut butter + fudge?! Such salty/sweet goodness). However, a letter-writing campaign has ensued, trying to force the flavor off the market, taking away the right of the consumer to purchase a batch of Schweddy Balls as s/he would like.

So, my Million friends that are Moms, I say: It’s fine to dislike a product. Put your money where your mouth is and DON’T BUY IT. Purchase Breyers. Or Edy’s. Or give Columbus Cincinnati a little love and go for Graeter’s. If you don’t want to explain to little Frank why the balls are Schweddy, then don’t point them out to your kiddos. Surely you’re not narrating the entire aisle of ice creams and frozen food novelties?

And while we’re this close to the topic, a word on marketing to children… because I read again about the perils of McDonalds and cereals and every other red dye #5-filled food on the market and the regulations regarding such propaganda: it wouldn’t work if parents would simply say NO. Again, don’t buy it. If they don’t have profits, they can’t make the expensive flashy commercials that have your kids whining about the unfairness of life, why they’re so deprived and how you’re the worst mother ever.

Folks, sometimes there’s power in the pen, but always there’s power in the pocketbook.

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Someone is coming to town

Is Santa real? they might ask someday. Well, perhaps not as you think. But there once was a man who loved us so much that he came to where we live. He arrived on his visit in the middle of the night and most of the world went without knowing what had happened until he left again. We don’t know if the red suit is real, but we know what he looks like. His coming sparks a new spirit in each of us.

Image via CC - Kevin Dooley

Image via CC – Kevin Dooley

Yes, my children. There is a man who visits every person in the whole world in one night. He comes from “up north” to where we live and when we wake to this reality, our world will change. He brings a bit of his reality with him and leaves it in the living room. There is too much goodness in the place he calls home and he delights to share it with us. He packs up what he can and then asks us to look beyond the packaging and the ribbons to see it.

Once these gifts fall into your heart and not just into your hands, you will find that you cannot wait to unwrap these things because the joy is multiplied when you share it with someone else. You practically give it away. And yet, find yourself with more, just as this man will return home and take the whole world with him.

[box] “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”
John 1:14, The Message[/box]

Someone is coming to town, my friends. Tonight. He sneaks in, not by chimney but by a quiet entrance through the barn or the garage. He comes not with a big sack of toys, but with gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And if we’re willing, we can wake to a home full of gifts with every new morning.

 

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