The Rock Home Companion

It’s made us happy this year, Jesus everywhere – if you look. The metaphors happen – accidental classrooms in the Carols. Even on an Elmo Christmas show, as they looked for a Christmas miracle having to do with Santa and Nutcrackers, Alicia Keys sings of a child, sleeping in the night who would bring us goodness and light. And my boys called it: It’s about Jesus!

He’s not gone from the season. I went to buy the makings for eggnog at Walmart, and at the front of the store was a food drive, and everyone leaving dropped off a bag of food, so much bustle in the cold for strangers. I think about the 20 degree lows and how over 2,000 now live in the woods here in North West Arkansas – homeless – but some still finding love from community.

Even though the house has settled so that the bathroom door won’t close, and all the doorknobs are starting to fall off this old rock house, I am so thankful for the heat, for these rattly windows, and for our close friends, our backdoor neighbors. They’ve invited us to celebrate Advent with them. They’re close enough that they travel by house shoe. We share hot meals. 

Cheerful givers have a contagion. I’ve been watching a few, hoping they would rub off on us

Jude learned it at church yesterday. “God loves a cheerful giver,” he quoted after Bible class. And after lunch, as he licked a lollipop, his older brother wanted one, too, and Jude handed his over, said, “Here Isaac, you can have mine.” What?

There has been a Christmas miracle here in the rock house, several in fact. Seth is a good man. That I married one of those is a miracle I witnessed 10 years ago. He gets ideas, and then he works them out. “What if our Christmas parties centered around giving?” he asked. We were having a party anyway, and our friends fell for it, this rock house with a hat by the door, filling with savory conversation and sweet drinks.

When I asked Jude how it felt to give Isaac his sucker, he said it felt good, like jumping on the trampoline, and I agreed. Spending pocket change on canned goods and asking friends to give $10 each is NOTHING. It’s not even close to the widow’s mite. It’s not great sacrifice even, but it sends a giver’s soul singing. How would it feel to trust, if we gave our all? What if giving weren’t seasonal?

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About me


Wild in the Hollow Book Club: an Introductory video
August 28, 2015
How Right Living Was My Brokenness: a guest post from Kelly Smith
August 11, 2015
Marriage Letters: On Home
July 06, 2015
A Final Haines Home Companion: a Secret I’ve Kept
June 06, 2014
On Broken Parts in Regular Towns: Alabama, Arkansas, and Haiti
April 03, 2014
On Losing Place
September 05, 2013
How the Light Peeks Through
August 26, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: A Little Eden
March 13, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: Alter
February 22, 2013


Reply December 7, 2009

That is what I strive for. For it NOT to be seasonal.

Reply December 7, 2009

I was thinking about that too. Why are food drives mostly at Christmas? Two of my little ones shared their Sunday School goodies with their brother and sister yesterday too, although not the ones they were eating. That is cute!

Reply December 7, 2009

Thank you for the beautiful reminder and, for being you.

Reply December 7, 2009

Oh my gosh, I love Jude.

Reply December 7, 2009

When I read your posts my eardrums start to get thick with enthrallment, like what I'm reading is too heavy to fit in my head all at once. I like it. I enjoy having to come back and re-read your wisdom to keep getting pieces to stick.

All that said, my favorite part of your post? "When I asked Jude how it felt to give Isaac his sucker, he said it felt good, like jumping on the trampoline, and I agreed."

Reply December 8, 2009

I've been inspired by the Christmas Change project to commit to a year of giving to my cause. Thank you both for your leadership in this movement.

And I, too, find Him everywhere - all the time, but especially now. The Light of the world is not easily hidden.

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