DECEMBER 2017: A GATHERING OF WOMEN
By Tanya Lopez, Regional Disciples Women Ministry Staff
Winter is here. I must admit it is my favorite of all the seasons. The journey to Advent brings me great comfort and joy in a life that is endlessly busy. I love sweaters and the warmth of a hot drink on a cold day. The days are shorter and everything gets grey and dark. I know that Winter can sometimes be very difficult for many people and that in some areas around our country the Winter can be very intense and absolutely ravaging, but Winter offers a gift and a lesson for us all.
This winter will mark the end of my first Semester in Seminary! It has been an amazing experience, but a very demanding and life-changing one as well. With a family and other responsibilities, adding one more thing- it gets to be too much at times. One of the books I had to read for my Spiritual Formation Class “Let your Life Speak” very poignantly articulated something I have always felt about the winter. The author, Parker Palmer, writes:
“… times of dormancy and deep rest are essential to all living things. Despite all appearances, of course, nature is not dead in winter- it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for Spring. Winter is a time when we are admonished, and even inclined, to do the same for ourselves.”
I have always felt that the winter slows things down. It does not mean things are not moving forward. Nature teaches us that that deep rest is crucial for renewal. With the year winding, down, we are gifted the time to reflect, to wait in anticipation during advent, to allow ourselves the time to renew. It is essential to all living things, and yet how often do we find ourselves trying to cram in one last event, another party, another opportunity to make it to whatever goals and other benchmarks we have set up for ourselves. We miss the biggest gift of advent and of winter when we do this!
This winter and advent season, I invite you to embrace the time for deep rest. To look within yourself and to go underground- wherever and whatever that may look like. In doing so may we find renewal, and the hope of the advent season that will renew our strength for the coming year!
As a people of God, as the church, there is much to do! There is brokenness and we can heal and repair the breaches in our little corners of the world by working together. Without renewed strength and hope however, we cannot press forward. Let us be open to the grandest gifts of this season!
May you all be blessed this advent season!
With love and gratitude,
Disciples Women Ministry Staff
2401 N. Lake Ave, Altadena, California 91001