Dan gave me a new journal for Christmas and I wrote the words below on the first page. I wrote only intending them for my journal, but I felt compelled to share them here. Many of my friends choose a word or phrase that they wish live the coming year out with. I suppose that I would say these are mine.
They entered my soul through the lips of my girls as they softly spoke them to their teddy bears. I heard as if for the first time as Aneliese sang them in a song that she was improvising. They wove themselves around me as the girls “read” them from a small book. And I believe.

God is with us- Immanuel. With us. God is. And he is with us. Immanuel.

I have heard those words often; they are ones common to the Christian faith. But not until I saw the comfort that they brought my small daughters when we read them on the first day of Advent and the delight that they seem to find in them, did they become so real to me. Here in our home. Immanuel. As we strive to parent and love our daughters well, Immanuel. As we wonder at the beauty surrounding us, Immanuel. As we navigate the daily maze of life challenges, Immanuel. God is with us. He has been, he will be. God. is. with. us. That for me has been the binding of 2011 and the ushering in of 2012.