Winter Pause, Winter Joy

Tireless Hope Advent 2014

Guest Posts:


Living in Istanbul I dearly miss winter, the cozied snow, even the biting wind at times. I’m always drawn inward during winter, for better or worse. It’s a time of pause and waiting: Waiting for the heat to kick in, Waiting in traffic, Waiting in line. Pausing to pray, Pausing to feast, Pausing to savor precious time with those we love. When I think about it, there’s not much difference (to me) between “pause” and “wait” save for the connotation I’ve attached to each. Waiting, for me, usually means I’m holding out for something external to happen, something out of my control. Because of this, I tend to have a negative feeling attached to waiting. Pausing on the other hand, pausing is positive, pausing tends to be an intentional moment, a choosing to take the opportunity to reflect and be mindful.

Guess which one I spend more time doing.

The fact of the matter really, is that every time I’m in that waiting mode, negative and brooding, there is an already there, totally pre-ingrained alternative option: to pause.

So my prayer for us this advent is that we, within those inevitable moments of wait, will take the opportunity to pause and pray/give thanks/breathe/trust/rest.  That we will really ingest the hope already here, and be filled with joy.

Jayme Jo Ebert, Istanbul Turkey

Winter Pause

Joy, Joy Joy

What is joy?

Is it a jolly little fat guy bringing toys?

Is it the first sips of the seasonal peppermint mocha?

Is it kids running and playing and screaming at a park?

Is it the deep belly laugh?

Is it making connections, entering into relationships, growing, and coming out different on the other side??

The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters say, “At the Heart of Ministry is Relationship.” I think at the heart of joy is relationship. Joy can be fully realized and fully expressed when we humans are connected and in true “relationship” with one another. Joy is sharing that peppermint mocha with your best friend, while watching little kids scream and play at the park, while we share stories that evoke those deep belly laughs…and we look at each other and we know that we are both loved by each other, but more importantly, that we are Beloved. When in relation with one another, we can sometimes get a glimpse of what our creator sees. JOY!

Jessica John, Chicago, IL

This Advent, we are sharing reflections and stories from the Middle East, and reflections from friends in the Midwest US. Our realities may be very different from people in other parts of the world, but we all face our own pains, know our joys, and hold our own dreams closely.

And we all welcome December with Tireless Hope.



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