O Holy Night

Hey there, Maeve here. I am so excited to introduce you to Dara. Dara is a beautiful storyteller & person - I feel lucky that our paths crossed through a sweet friend of mine. She has a gift for drawing you in, awakening all your senses. I love the way she weaves poetry and song to speak to this season of Advent. And this carol is one of my absolute favorites - it always brings me to my knees. 
I hope your week has been blessed!


O Holy Night: The Birth Hour of Our Redemption

"O night when Christ was born…"

What follows is a kind of poetic response to the Christmas carol “O Holy Night.” Hearing it sung at Christmastime awakens my imagination and rustles emotions; but when I split the song verse by verse to look deeper, I stumbled on an underlying, but no less powerful, message.

Perceiving the symbolic role of nighttime in its lyrics, I asked: Could it be that darkness gives meaning to light? Is it because of dark that light comes?

Then came a personal reflection: What (...or Who) is coming to me in the dark?  Furthermore, What has already come that I cannot yet see?

I hope you can hear the carol playing as you read and accordingly accept the narrative written between the lines. Perhaps you will open to this mystery, in which you trust the nighttime to be the birthplace of your deliverance.

That is what I want this Christmas—to believe in what I cannot see.

Now may you, my friend, endure with me the dark hours with the expectancy of Advent, knowing that without the night, there would be no morning.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,

The night is dark, but there is some light by which to see

It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.

That holy thing being birthed during my dark hour.

 Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

I writhe and resist, casting off

’Til He appear’d and the Spirit felt its worth.

Nightfall, when there awaits the forthcoming advent.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,

Still, hope speaks to me here in the darkest,

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

And a divine light is breaking free!

Fall on your knees!

Can I rejoice even in my long night?

Can I trust that holiness is piercing the dark?

Can I see it, while here on my knees?

O, hear the angel voices!

Oh, what I didn’t recognize until I fell…

O night divine … O Holy Night!

That it is by night that we meet the delivery of a new dawn.

Dara's HeadshotDara lives in a real world brimming with boys and animals. When she’s not chasing said boys or animals, you may find her wandering the countryside (with a novel in hand and a dog by her side) or scribbling about made-up boys and animals. Come see what she is writing about at her website: www.darapowersparker.com.



Maeve again. Isn't beautiful the way she blends poetry and song? I am reminded of the goodness in both morning and night. We need both, we can't have one without the other. I love that. What resonates with you here? Tell Dara below.

Welcoming Advent

blog advent

I have this dreamy mindset of Advent.

I think of warm socks, lots of homemade cookies, sipping red wine and watching the lights twinkle on the tree.

I might be watching the lights twinkle right now.

I think of gathering people I love in our home around our table, breaking big loaves of homemade bread and dipping it into soup.

I think of walks outside admiring neighbors decorations, even when it's cold. I think of wrapping my hands around a warm mug of tea.

I think of dark chocolate.

More than food, I think of talking to God more. I think of sitting with Him as I would a good friend and asking Him all the many, sometimes conflicting questions on my heart.

I think of choosing to rest in the peace of not understanding all of His ways verse choosing to fight. Sometimes, it's really hard to choose rest. I think of trusting that His ways are good even with fists clenched tight and struggling to surrender. I think of thanking Him for the many blessings and expressing my deepest most sincere gratitude for the gifts He has given me.

The gifts He has given all of us.

I also think of sitting with Him in the pain and suffering of all that's happening in the world. Because I have to believe it must break His heart too.

Advent has never stood still long enough for me to really breath it in deep. It's as if I blinked and the season showed up again. Do you feel that way?

Last year we tried to slow down and take in the season but I kept giving God my leftovers.

And if I'm learning anything, it's that life isn't going to just stop turning and stand still for us. It's going to keep moving - really fast. We have to carve out space for the stillness and sit in it, even as the world tells us not to.

Truth is, I've never fully embraced the season. And more than anything this year, I want to hold on to Advent a little tighter. I want to understand what it means and why it matters. I want to be quiet and just listen.

I want to love bigger, better and crazier than before.

This endeavor required assistance. And even more, this little space on the web isn't really about me but it's about all of our voices. So I've asked a few women to share words or pictures about what this season means too.

I am really excited for them to share what's on their heart. Because while this season has a common theme woven throughout - a steady heartbeat, what it means and how it's celebrated looks different for each person.

And I think that might be my favorite part.

So join us as we hold on a little tighter. Sit in this with me a little, will you? And please, tell me what you're learning too. What might you be wrestling with?

What is your God saying to you?

I am so grateful for this season because it feels fresh and brand new. I need a fresh start once in a while. I need to know that our character and story is evolving and ever changing. I need to know that if parts of my most authentic self have been in hiding, it's okay to shake things up and bring those into the light.

Bring your whole self into the light dear one. We need your light.

I hope this season so far has been sweet. And if things have been hard or messy or not quite what you imagined, I hope you know you aren't alone in this. I hope you know there are people rooting for you.

I am rooting for you.

Happy Advent my friends. I can't wait to celebrate this together.