Connecting with God, each other, and ourselves in the broken and beautiful

Practicing Families Post – Friday, December 9, 2016


Happy and Holy Advent, my friends. I wrote a guest post for the “Practicing Families” blog today, and since you know it’s my rhythm to write prayers for Fridays and they asked me to post on a Friday, I decided to do a “parent’s prayer for Advent.” I would add, however, this prayer can be fitting for anyone who finds herself or himself spinning and hustling in these weeks leading up to Christmas. Instead of resting in the glorious mystery of it all, we can so easily spell out even more expectations and to-do’s for ourselves. Take time to rest in your enoughness this season because that’s what the manger is – a place to rest in the complete, all-encompassing love of Christ.

If you want to see the original post, please visit Practicing Families.

Lord Jesus,

I now stop what I’m doing,

what I’m thinking,

what I’m scrambling to plan,

and hustling to finish so that I can

be here.

Be here in the safety and warmth of your love.

This love that holds me fast and keeps me grounded.

What I want to be a season of joy for my children so quickly becomes a season of increased expectations for me –

not because they expect things, but because I do.

It’s the pressure I put on myself to

make things perfect,

and memorable,

and happy,

and *special*.

But you came to me amidst darkness and stars –

reminding me how darkness and light are most beautiful together.

And in that holy, mysterious and messy night you re-defined perfection,

promising me that leaning into the mystery

and laying down in loving awe

composed the most beautiful response.

You tell me the best gift I can give my children this Christmas is

to look with love into their eyes.

To pause throughout the day to pray over them.

To envelop them with arms of fierce grace when I feel most frustrated or annoyed.

To sit in wonder for a moment (or many)

and marvel at all that shaped our family this year.

To give thanks

and allow tears to fall

and dreams to rise.

To take my pilgrim band by their hands and walk together,

deep into the heart of Bethlehem shining bright within our souls.

This will be more than enough,

Because you’ve made a manger in which my heart

will rest and find your heartbeat becoming mine.




  1. Rachel

    Absolutely beautiful. Arianne, thank you for these uplifting words today.

    • ariannelehn

      Thank you so much, my precious friend. You uplift me so!

  2. Jill Perillo Kinder

    So beautiful. Made me cry. Thanks so much. Merry Christmas!

    • ariannelehn

      Oh Jill, thank you for your message. I’m grateful it found resonance in your heart. Merry Christmas to you, my friend!

    • moormanrowe

      Oh, Arianne and Jill…two of my favorite young women. Daughters in my heart. Arianne, your words stirred and comforted me beyond measure. And Jill, I cried too. I love you both.

      • ariannelehn

        And how we love you, Susanne! You are a heart mother and mentor in more ways than I can count.

  3. Joanne Beatty

    I always look forward to your Friday prayer. You have such a beautiful gift for writing and I so appreciate your sharing your wisdom and Gods love this way.

    • ariannelehn

      Thank you so much, Joanne! You have been encouragement to my heart time and time again. Much love to you and Bob.

  4. geraldine weiss

    Love your writing, Ariane! Especially soul stirring for me was your description of dark and light:

    But you came to me amidst darkness and stars –

    reminding me how darkness and light are most beautiful together.

    And in that holy, mysterious and messy night you re-defined perfection.

    • ariannelehn

      Thank you for your continual encouragement, Geraldine!!

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