A Litany for the Weary

*Inspired by the writings of Brennan Manning

To the weary, to those who are run off their feet.  To the lonely, to the overwhelmed, to those who have reached a dead end.  To the hungry, to the dry, to the fearful.  Come and feast.  Come and sit.  Come and drink.  Here where our soul’s longing and our great need collide.  God, we long for You and we need You.  We cry out to You to fill us and we cry out, Abba Father, have mercy.

Lord God Almighty, Creator, Maker of all, breath of life.

ABBA, I belong to You.

Jesus, Light in my darkness.  Jesus, Peace for my soul.

ABBA, I belong to You.

God of Salvation, rescue us.  God of Salvation, draw near.    

ABBA, I belong to You.

Father in Heaven, You hold all things, and you hold us.  Shelter us in Your unfailing Love.  

ABBA, I belong to You.

In the current of chaos, in the noise of disorder, and in the voices that clamour at our heels: God is holding on.  God is holding on.  God is holding on.

ABBA, I belong to You.

We rest in this grace.  We breathe in this promise.  We stand upon this sure foundation.

ABBA, I belong to You.  ABBA, I belong to You.


A portrait of motherhood

It’s the physicality of motherhood that I find desperately challenging and overwhelmingly beautiful. The exertion of energy to lift, pull, console, and restrain empties me. Any mother can testify that most days involve a sequence of events involving lots of ups and downs-quite literally. It is this physical outpouring, in the pick-me-up, put-me-down, come close, push away that I find remarkable and oh so hard. It is with my physical body that my children feel secure and treasured, reassured and nourished. It is from my body that I am sustaining an infant. 

We are in the thick of the season of Lent, and my heart is drawn to the profound overlap of it all. Self sacrificing love, a revolving door of pouring out, spiritual formation in the crux and sometimes jarring current of motherhood. I know for certain I shall return to dust, I cling to prayer in the turbulence that rattles me to the core, and I collect the pebbles of grace in the most unlikely places. Lord have mercy and Lord show me the way.  


A Christmas Litany

A Christmas Litany
December 17th, 2017
By Erika Kobewka

Our Lord is born today. Our Messiah lies in straw, dust, and rags. 

How peculiar and how glorious. 

He comes in flesh, bone, and blood, and with the pure, earthy, and hungry cry of a new baby. 

How puzzling and how wondrous. 

Our Saviour comes to us, embracing our world and embracing our humanity. With the fragile neediness of an infant and within the immaculate vessel of a created body-skin, cells, and atoms. The One who made us has come to dwell among us. 

How peculiar and how glorious. 

We receive our infant Messiah. Jesus Christ, healer of our world.
We receive our Emmanuel. Our living Lord who is near. 
We receive our Almighty God. Creator and sustainer of all. 
We receive our Prince of Peace. Ruler and great king. 

Joy to the World, our Lord has come. 

How puzzling and how wondrous.


There are days when I hardly recognize this girl - when I carry her outside into the snow from our play-date, kicking and screaming, coatless and bootless, and in the spinning and delirious vortex of a melt-down.  And then on the exact same day, she zips up her jacket by herself, puts her dirty dishes in the sink after supper, reads quietly before bed, and turns her own light off.  She is in the crux of growth and blossoming before my eyes, even when all I feel are the growing pains.  I love you my sweet and perplexing girl.


I can hardly believe we are at the end of January.  This month, I have welcomed a new violin teaching rhythm, and one that has been a perfect fit for our family.  This shift with my students has meant that my days that include teaching are busier, but it also has meant lighter days for the remainder of the week.  The added time at home has been just the right thing - keeping up with Jude's mischief and watching Zoey grow into a dazzling little girl that I hardly recognize and yet she has the same gleaming eyes that I have seen every day of her 4 years.  The current of motherhood ebbs and flows - furiously on some days, and contentedly calm on others.  My kids are stunning and they are both turkeys - and so goes this great, great, great task that is before me.


Christmas came and went, and it was delightful and busy and so special.  In the mix of it all, it feels like our children grew 2 inches.  Zoey, forever the big sister, swoons and chases and knows just how to make her little brother laugh.  She whispers I-love-yous into his ear and most of the time, I can barely contain the contagious joy of it all.  Do not be fooled, they also know just how to bug each other: Jude generally pushes and pulls her hair, Zoey hollers and tattles and everything is just a smidgen overdone.  In the thick of it, they still continue to find one another, making the other light up over and over and over again.  Isn't that how it should be?  Their relationship is developing and changing and yet, it is the same as it always has been: pure love and friendship.


The winter winds have slowly been settling into these parts, and in the flurry and swirl of the most recent global events, I tend to step back from online spaces like this.  It's not like I haven't been thinking, heartbroken and confused - it's just hard, you know?  I am able to kiss my children goodnight and linger with them in my arms, while violence and fear and turmoil persist.  And words?  Sometimes it feels like they just add to the static, putting cracks in empathy and compassion.  I know that's not always the case, but a lot of online spaces after tragedy are sparse and empty even though they are packed with words.

And now, Advent and Christmas are upon us, and the longing and hope that accompanies this season saturates everything, in the very best way.  I have warm daily embraces from my husband and the eager smiles of my children, and we choose to step out our door into this world, again and again and again.