Welcome to A Garden Variety Blog!

Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups on my table.
--Tang Dynasty

I hope you, whomever you are,
will sit down "with" me for tea,
or flavored coffee or spiced cider,
and have a garden variety chat.
Now and then.
I am not so consistant about blogging
as I ought to be.
I *am* consistant about
drinking hot beverage
and the coffee/tea is always on the hob.

Come on in!

Sunday, December 2, 2012


http://pegsjournal2009.blogspot.com/  Found my old blog!  2009 was a long time ago.  Here at the ending of 2012, and the beginning of 2013, seemed a good time to start again.  I'm starting...again...with Advent. 

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  I've had this "Advent Log" for several years now.  It may actually be pictured in my old blogs.

The original plan was to make the Advent celebration a family thing.  The problem has always been that I seemed to be the only one who wanted to celebrate Advent - at least as a family thing.

With Crystal married (to Kevin McConnell, my son -in-love) and away from home, in her own home, raising Ruby Rose - and with Carrie having found the church that she truly loves (Catholic) and being finally in her own "family" (her church) - and Larry still working more than full time - I am alone a lot.  At first that seemed just wrong.  I am people oriented and need not just any people around me, but "MY" people.

Late, though, I've begun to explore the depths of Alone-ness, and the beauty and peace waiting in the depths.

Advent this year starts my journey into embracing alone-ness.
At first I thought (picture pouting lip, stomping foot, toddler style flounce)
I'd do what I felt led to do, IN SPITE of others.

But decorating my old (ah, memories) Advent log, setting in the new candles (ah, Dollar Store), and researching Advent traditions, Scriptures and weekly focus have all been gently leading me into peace and stillness.  This I would never have found surrounded by people.
Thought I would share the process since I think probably each day, with it's repeated focus and each new week with it's new focus, will draw me ever deeper and bring an "Alone with myself and my God" kind of peace that I may have never experienced before.

So - Yesterday evening (Saturday), as I read on an Advent site, I dedicated the Advent candles and holder. I used this prayer as a pattern. "Lord God, bless this wreath and bless us as well. May this wreath remind me of the hope and joy that Jesus brings into the world. I ask this through Christ our Lord."

Today, as you see above, I lit the first candle, and read the Scripture designated for day 1. 
The Lighting of the First Candle: Waiting for the Shepherd

First Sunday of Advent (Isaiah 1:1-18)

On the first Sunday of Advent, we read the beginning of the book of Isaiah, where the prophet speaks in the voice of God and calls the people of Israel to repentance, to prepare them for the coming of His Son. But the Old Testament people of Israel also represents the New Testament Church, so the call to repentance applies to us as well.

For the rest of the weekFirst Monday of Advent (Isaiah 1:21-27; 2:1-5)

In the reading for the first Monday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah continues to call Israel to account, and God reveals His plan to remake Israel, purifying her so that she will be the shining city on a hill, toward which men of all nations will turn. This remade Israel is the Church of the New Testament, and it is Christ's coming that remakes Her.

First Tuesday of Advent (Isaiah 2:6-22; 4:2-6)

The Prophet Isaiah continues the theme of the judgment of Israel in the reading for the first Tuesday of Advent. Because of the sins of the people, God will humble Israel, and only the "bud of the Lord"—Christ—will shine in glory.

First Wednesday of Advent (Isaiah 5:1-7)

In this passage for the first Wednesday of Advent, Isaiah discusses the vineyard that the Lord has built—the house of Israel. The passage calls to mind Christ's parable of the vineyard, in which the vineyard owner sends his only son to oversee the vineyard, and the workers in the vineyard kill him, foreshadowing Christ's own death.

First Thursday of Advent (Isaiah 16:1-5; 17:4-8)

In this reading for the first Thursday of Advent, we see Isaiah prophesying the purification of Old Testament Israel. The Chosen People have squandered their inheritance, and now God is opening the door of salvation to all nations. Israel survives, as the New Testament Church; and over her sits a just judge, Jesus Christ.

First Friday of Advent (Isaiah 19:16-25)

The Prophet Isaiah continues with his theme of the conversion of nations in the reading for the first Friday of Advent. With the coming of Christ, salvation is no longer confined to Israel. Egypt, whose enslavement of the Israelites represented the darkness of sin, will be converted, as will Assyria. Christ's love encompasses all nations, and all are welcome in the New Testament Israel, the Church.

First Saturday of Advent (Isaiah 21:6-12)

Isaiah's prophecy foretells the coming of Christ, and of His triumph over sin. In the reading for the first Saturday of Advent, Babylon, the symbol of sin and idolatry, has fallen. Like the watchman, in this Advent we wait for the triumph of the Lord.