St. Jude: Patron Saint of Chaos and Impossible Causes

August 19, 2016 in Beth, But Seriously by Beth Woolsey

I’m in Hawaii, sitting next to an olive-green painted stucco wall on the concrete deck of the Kona Brewing Company drinking a half Lavaman Lager / half Hula Hefeweizen overlooking a Chevron gas station. The ocean is on the other side of the highway somewhere — probably — and my beer is nearly gone, very warm, and totally flat. Still delicious, though, because low standards for the win!

I don’t know why it always feels important to tell you where I am when I write to you. Maybe because I’m always asking myself that question both literally and figuratively; where the hell am I? Am I where I want to be? Where I meant to be? Is where I am OK anyway, even if I’ve veered off track or didn’t have a well-mapped plan?

We’re here on Oahu dropping our oldest baby off for college which is impossible to believe and still true, and, from the articles I see online, I notice I’m supposed to be doing things I haven’t done — like prepare for drop-off day with a measuring tape and garbage bags and a tool kit — and feeling things strongly instead of not being able to make sense of my feelings at all. I see I’m supposed to want to make her bed and unpack her stuff and we’re supposed to argue about that — her staking out her turf and me trying to “help” without asking how — and I wonder whether this is another Mom Thing I’m Doing Wrong because I have no real need to do any of those things, nor to wash her new sheets or worry whether she’ll do well in this new life. I don’t know whether I’m cocky, but I feel like I already know; she’ll do well in this new life and she won’t, like all of the humans throughout history — happy and well-adjusted, and also struggling and wondering where she fits. Where the hell is she, anyway? Is she where she wants to be? Where she meant to be? Is this place OK, even if she veers off track or doesn’t have a well-mapped plan?

This is a strange season, and I know that’s not true just for me or for our family. This is a Strange Season, friends.

  • Our kids are getting older and the Parenting Game changes its rules constantly these days. We practice flexibility like it’s our profession, the way doctors practice medicine; years of study, followed by internship, followed by residency which nearly kills us with its dangerous lack of sleep, followed by either actively working or being on call 24/7. Relentless, right? Relentless.
  • Our church denomination is trying to decide whether there’s room for LGBTQ people at the table, and we had more meetings this summer with no decisions again, which were agonizing to everyone and which make all of us on all the sides wonder whether there’s a place for us here.
  • Our oldest boy-child is suffering. We’re seeking more help for him (always), and we don’t know if we’re doing enough (also always).
  • And our U.S. presidential election … just… what the holy ever-loving fuck, friends?? I know I should put that differently, but OH DEAR GOD, HELP US, and, honestly, given the number of times I’ve prayed using the words “what the ever-loving fuck,” I trust Jesus to know that’s a sincere prayer.

This is just a Really Strange Season, is my point. Very Strange. Exceedingly Strange. Like standing on shifting sand. Or on what we thought was solid ground which turns out to be a thin crust of earth on top of a giant sinkhole that gives way so we freefall in perpetuity like Alice headed to Wonderland. DUDE; where the hell am I? Am I where I want to be? Where I meant to be? Is where I am OK anyway, even if I’ve veered off track or didn’t have a well-mapped plan or am in utter freefall??

In recent years, I’ve claimed St. Jude as my family’s patron saint. He is, after all, the patron saint of Chaos and Impossible Causes and Things Almost Despaired Of. I could think of no better fit. We’re not Catholic, except in the sense that we believe in a Universal Church that unifies, rather than divides, us. And I had no theology of saints or sainthood except to notice that American Protestants reject them as idols. So I have no idea how many good Christian people I’m offending in claiming a patron saint for our family, but I find that with age I’m less and less inclined to pay attention to who’s being offended and more inclined to pay attention to the things which seem Deeply True and lead me to Love God, who’s other name is Love, and Love My Neighbors As Myself. The saints, it turns out, aren’t idols but advocates who intercede with God on our behalf, and, while I can why see this is offensive to protestants, believing, as we do, that we need no intercessor between ourselves and Love since that’s what Jesus (aka, Love Incarnate) came specifically to change, I find the concept not at all offensive that may dialogue directly with Love and ask a saint to intercede alongside me.

In other words, I’m probably mucking it all up.

No doubt, the Catholics and the Protestants are both dismayed at this point.

Nevertheless, I’ve claimed St. Jude for our own.

Patron Saint of Chaos and Impossible Causes and Woolseys and Things Nearly Dispaired Of.

And so I’ve searched and searched for quite some time to find a pendant of St. Jude to wear around my neck and remind me that in the midst of all the mess and madness it’s OK to ask Love for help.

In the midst of the chaos and splendor, it’s OK to ask Love to hold my hand.

In the midst of impossible darkness, when I can no longer pray on my own because I have no words left and despair has nearly overtaken me, I can hand my prayer to another who will bear them on my behalf.

I found my pendant, finally, in a stall in the middle of a market in Mexico, and it doesn’t matter that I don’t know whether I believe St. Jude is real. It matters that he might be. And it matters that there’s a symbol for carrying what’s impossible and jumbled and full of despair to a Love that’s bigger than us all.

IMG_1309I found my pendant, finally, and I snapped it up along with 4 more for you, though I wish I could’ve bought EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US a pendant and a necklace to put it on and a respite trip to Mexico with sun and sand and sympathy, which, FOR THE LOVE, we all need. Still, like I keep reminding myself, I did what I could when I could do it, and, at the time, it was buying 5 pendants — one for me and 4 for 4 of you — in the hope you’ll know to the depth of your bones I meant them for all of us, with our prayers sent on St. Jude’s wings regardless of who hangs the metal around his/her neck.

Friends, if you’d like one of the pendants, I’ll do a drawing eventually, picking randomly from the comments on this post using a random number generator. In the meantime, I’m praying, along with St. Jude, that Love will attend us during the Strange Season, and befriend us in the Chaos, and make our Impossible Causes possible, and lend us some of what it takes to not despair.

With love to every one of you,

SignatureIMG_1308

P.P.S. Here — FINALLY (now that it’s DECEMBER) — are the four winners of the St. Jude pendants, chosen by the Random Number Generator:

  1. Stefanie who wrote: “I could not agree more Beth! Dear GOD “what the ever-loving fuck,” and please intervene for the sake of us all! Prayers to you and your children during this season, and all others. Thank you for keeping it mucky and messy. xoxox”
  2. Kathy who wrote: “Beth, you have a better understanding of Saints than many Catholics do! Saints with a capital S are canonized, officially deemed to be holy. But like one reader said, they were regular human beings, who screwed up a lot, and just kept trying. Like all of us. We are all called to be saints with a little s, when we die and meet the Divine, who is Love. I just got my Masters in Theology from a Cathloic University, and when someone asks me what I have learned, I say this: “God is Love.” I like your personal theology and philosophy. And, well, just love you. Your stories and honesty are inspiring and oh so real.”
  3. Ellen Murphy who wrote: “Upon reading this post, I thought that as a mother of three loud boys, all born in a span of 3 years and 10 months that St. Jude should be my family’s patron saint as well. Then I read the comments and random number generator be damned the mother of 5 with the refrigerated kindle needs this medal. As a Baptist in Texas, I would approach the St. Jude medal in a similar way- it could be true and it seems helpful, asking for St. Jude’s prayer is probably the spiritual version of people asking for a selfie with a celebrity. I hope you are basking in the tropical, exotic beauty of Hawaii while you are there.”
  4. Melissa D who wrote: “I, too, am in need of a patron saint of chaos, for myself and my family. Tomorrow I am supposed to be bringing oldest child back to college to begin her junior year. But she is sick – as in, got blood work for mono this morning sick – and her college is 3 hours away, so I am trying to do as much as I can to help her while she is still here for me to help. And hubby is in search of a cardiologist who takes our insurance and will do the procedure that he needs instead of only giving him meds and telling him to lose weight. And the house is a mess and the kids need school supplies and things like sneakers and underwear and I don’t know how I am going to take care of all of that. So, yes. I am all cool with asking St. Jude, to intercede for me and my family (and you and yours!) and to help me find my sanity, which I seem to have misplaced, and my floors, which I could swear were around here somewhere. PS. As someone who worships in a Catholic church, I also like to turn to Mary. One of the many names that the church has for her is “Mother of Perpetual Help”. I figure her life as a mom was pretty chaotic, and so she knows a thing or two about that. And I really do need “perpetual help”.”

8 Days of Giveaways! Day EIGHT: Just Short and Sweet

December 15, 2015 in Uncategorized by Beth Woolsey

Hello, friends, and welcome to…

8 Days of Giveaways:
Day EIGHT!

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Just Short and Sweet

Here we are! Day EIGHT already of 8 Days of Giveaways, and we definitely get to go out on top, because today I get to give away a fun, trendy, brass necklace with thanks to my childhood friend, Blythe Rhoads who makes cool things AND is working to make life better for our friends across the world in Africa through her work with Ever Increasing Children’s School in Bukasa Village, Uganda. I cannot easily express how incredibly inspired I am by people like Blythe — and so many of our other artists featured this week — who seek to love our neighbors well and who remember we’re all neighbors.

blythe&stephcraftworkshopAbout Just Short and Sweet:

We are Blythe & Stephani…roommates & friends who love Jesus, pizza, estate sales, and all things crafty & handmade. We live in sunny Southern California. We opened an Etsy shop in January 2015 out of an unceasing desire to make pretty things that inspire and bring others JOY. This October, we hosted our very first Craft Workshop, where like-minded lovers of handmade goodness gathered together and expressed their creativity by making three quality crafts…to gift or keep! We can’t wait to host more workshops in 2016.

The Giveaway: A Just Short and Sweet brass necklace (as pictured above). This unique brass necklace is lightweight and super versatile. It will go with everything in your closet, and will soon be your go-to necklace! It makes a super chic (and affordable) gift, and is made from three pieces of hand cut brass pipe and waxed cotton cord, making it both nickel-free and vegan. The cord measures 33″ around at longest length and 16″ around at shortest length, and the brass pendant is 1″ wide by 3.5″ long. Simply adjust the size by *carefully* sliding the knots closer together to make it longer, or farther apart to make it shorter. They are double knotted for extra security, and lightly burned to seal the ends and protect against unraveling. This necklace is available on a black or brown cord.

TO ENTER, simply leave a comment on this blog post anytime until 11:59pm Pacific Time on Thursday, December 17. (Psst… don’t enter on Facebook— though I LOVE comments there and read every one, I’m using the blog comment string to randomly select a winner). Any comment will work to enter, but if you’d like a prompt, let us know what prayer or wish you have for a place in this world that stirs your heart. For example, I’d say, “The Syrian refugee families are in my prayers,” or “I wish for peace and rest from the violence we see around the world.” It’s a way of waving in the dark, I think, to see each other’s laments and offer a piece of our heart to them.

This giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to Alison of the Hairline Fracture Blog! Check your email for all the details.

Do Note: For those of you who wish to purchase a necklace, $1 of each sale will be donated to Ever Increasing Children’s School in Bukasa Village, Uganda, Africa and will be used for school supplies, meals, and teacher salaries. For more information on Blythe’s work with her dad in Uganda, check out their other Etsy shop here and blog here.

Also: You can also find Just Short and Sweet on Instagram, Facebook and the World Wide Web, and you can always contact Blythe and Stephani by email at justshortandsweetshop@gmail.com.

Also-also: The artists selected for this giveaway were hand-picked by yours truly. They did not pay for these spots, nor do I benefit in any financial way by hosting these. Emotionally? I get a HUGE benefit. ‘Cause this stuff makes me happy. Each artist received a spot on the right sidebar (or, if you’re viewing on your mobile, at the bottom of the page) to advertise his/her stuff (hint: you can catch a preview there of what’s coming over the next few days), which is my gift to them to thank them for partnering with me. They’re rad.

8 Days of Giveaways! Day SEVEN: Blossoms by Branching Out

December 14, 2015 in Uncategorized by Beth Woolsey

Hello, friends and welcome to…

8 Days of Giveaways:
Day SEVEN!

Blossoms9

Photo Credit ©Nanci Imagery

Blossoms by Branching Out

Blossoms8Blossoms4Blossoms7I stumbled across Christine at a bazaar a few weeks ago, and I was completely enchanted by her hair blossoms. From teeny, tiny blooms in neutrals to HUGE, full, colorful flowers, I loved every one and bought my fair share because they’re afforable ($2-5 each), and I decided they’re perfect as stocking stuffers. Of course, that was before I decided to keep most of them for myself, but theoretically, they’re ideal to give away.

I tracked Christine down after the bazaar — and after wearing mine and finding them the perfect balance of pretty and durable — and asked her if there was any way she’d want to participate in this giveaway.

She said yes, and here we are! Thanks, Christine!

From Blossoms by Branching Out: My name is Christine and I LOVE flowers! It all started off with a sweet little girl who captured my heart. She came into my life when she was 7 months. She is now 7 and has been “officially” my precious little girl since she turned 3. I am SO grateful!

She loved ‘pretties’ in her hair, and so I started the search. I found the ones in various stores were too flimsy and thin. I really wanted something that was more full and unique. I started looking for various blooms to turn into hair blossoms. My blooms are layered and much more full than those you will find at a store; they have more unique centers and a sturdier clip, too.

I really enjoy custom orders, as well as events. Local customers set up private showings where they come and are able to look through my stock. Most of all, my desire is to provide a fun, cute product that is excellent quality, as well as affordable!

Blossoms by Branching Out offers 5 different sizes of blooms, and I can custom make blooms to fit your needs ranging from the size of a quarter on up.

Our blooms are very versatile. Not only have the adorned sweet little girls’ hair, but all ages of ladies. They can also be used as a brooch, corsages, clipped to a purse, jacket lapel. A couple of others have used it for their flower girls and bridesmaids at their weddings. They can be clipped to sashes of dresses… some gals even used them to embellish their flip flops! If you prefer, we can attach a pin onto the back instead of a clip if you prefer to use it as a pin.

Blossoms10Today’s Giveaway: a Blossoms by Branching Out headband with your choice of either 1 large bloom or 3 mini blooms as pictured right. OR, if you have different colors in mind, Christine will work with you.

TO ENTER, simply leave a comment on this blog post anytime until 11:59pm Pacific Time on Wednesday, December 16. (Psst… don’t enter on Facebook— though I LOVE comments there and read every one, I’m using the blog comment string to randomly select a winner). Any comment will work to enter, but if you’d like a prompt, tell us what small things — like hair blooms or a cup of coffee — make you happy.

This giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations, Pam Zercher! Check your email for a message with all the details. 

You can find Christine at the Blossoms: By Branching Out Facebook page here. For the month of December, Christine is also offering FREE SHIPPING. WOOHOO!

……….

Do Note: Multiple giveaways are going simultaneously — one every day for 8 days and each of them open for 48ish hours, so check back every day to see what new giveaways there are!

Also Note: This giveaway is open worldwide. None of this “America only” crap. We do not have time for America Only in this ComeUnity. Nathan Rhoads is providing two art prints and U.S. shipping; I’ll supplement shipping if one of you wins from elsewhere.

Also-also Note: The artists selected for this giveaway were hand-picked by yours truly. They did not pay for these spots, nor do I benefit in any financial way by hosting these. Emotionally? I get a HUGE benefit. ‘Cause this stuff makes me happy. Each artist received a spot on the right sidebar (or, if you’re viewing on your mobile, at the bottom of the page) to advertise his/her stuff (hint: you can catch a preview there of what’s coming over the next few days), which is my gift to them to thank them for partnering with me. They’re rad.

8 Days of Giveaways! Day SIX: Nathan Rhoads

December 13, 2015 in Uncategorized by Beth Woolsey

Hello, friends and welcome to…

8 Days of Giveaways:
Day SIX!

NathanRhoads1

Nathan Rhoads, Fine Artist

NathanRhoads2I’ve known Nathan since he was in diapers, which I’m positive is the way he was hoping I’d open this giveaway.

Nathan was one of those kids who was sweet and calm and kind; he reacted to my endearing high volume and my brother’s tendency to headbutt sweet, calm, kind children with bewilderment and confusion. But he was tenacious, man, and he stuck with us anyway, which proves there’s really nothing Nathan can’t overcome. Eventually, Nathan added a wicked funny sense of humor to his repertoire and a healthy dollop of sarcasm. Also, he and his wife named their two sons after whiskey, so I feel like we have something to work with, here.

I love Nathan’s art because it’s fantasy and imagination come to life, and I always feel like I’ve fallen into a C.S. Lewis novel or Tolkein’s world or Lewis Carroll’s when I look at his mind and heart in oil on canvas. Nathan’s art reminds me of all that’s wild and whimsical and also that love and joy walk hand in hand with ferocity and freedom.

The Giveaway: 8.5 x 11 in. Fine Art Print, signed by Nathan Rhoads. Description of Painting Included. AND Nathan is generously allowing me to select TWO winners for this giveaway! Winners may select from the following:

Nathan3Nathan5Nathan4Nathan8Nathan7Nathan6

TO ENTER, simply leave a comment on this blog post anytime until 11:59pm Pacific Time on Tuesday, December 15. (Psst… don’t enter on Facebook— though I LOVE comments there and read every one, I’m using the blog comment string to randomly select a winner). Any comment will work to enter, but if you’d like a prompt, tell us which of the prints you like best.

This giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to Jennifer Bailey and Missalindadivine! Check your email boxes for details.

Nathan Rhoads is an versatile artist working in Portland, Oregon. He earned his BFA in 1998 from Point Loma Nazarene University. His primary medium of choice is oil. Nathan’s work ranges from abstract to representational. He takes on a lot of commissioned projects, ranging from painting to illustration to graphic design.

Nathan paints live at conferences, church services, private parties, and corporate events around the country. Nathan is also a painting instructor for both kids and adults.

You can find Nathan Rhoads at his website here, on Facebook here and on Instagram here.

……….

Do Note: Multiple giveaways are going simultaneously — one every day for 8 days and each of them open for 48ish hours, so check back every day to see what new giveaways there are!

Also Note: This giveaway is open worldwide. None of this “America only” crap. We do not have time for America Only in this ComeUnity. Nathan Rhoads is providing two art prints and U.S. shipping; I’ll supplement shipping if one of you wins from elsewhere.

Also-also Note: The artists selected for this giveaway were hand-picked by yours truly. They did not pay for these spots, nor do I benefit in any financial way by hosting these. Emotionally? I get a HUGE benefit. ‘Cause this stuff makes me happy. Each artist received a spot on the right sidebar (or, if you’re viewing on your mobile, at the bottom of the page) to advertise his/her stuff (hint: you can catch a preview there of what’s coming over the next few days), which is my gift to them to thank them for partnering with me. They’re rad.

8 Days of Giveaways! Day FIVE: Sudara

December 12, 2015 in Uncategorized by Beth Woolsey

Hello, friends and welcome to…

8 Days of Giveaways:
Day FIVE!

Sudara1

PUNJAMMIES by Sudara

 

In September, I wrote to you about my successful quest for the perfect pajama pants. It was a quest I’d posed initially and facetiously as “of eternal significance” until I discovered PUNJAMMIES™ which are gorgeous, comfy jammy pants AND are made by Sudara, an organization that works to free women from sex slavery by giving them living wage jobs. “Every pair of PUNJAMMIES™,” in fact, “is named after a woman who is now steadily employed in a stable, living-wage job with a Sudara sewing center partnership.

I mean, who knew buying pajama pants CAN ACTUALLY BE an act of eternal significance? Right? 

Sudara3So here we are 4 months later, and I’m as in love with my PUNJAMMIES™ now as I was then. EVEN MORE exciting is the fact that Sudara eagerly partnered with me for this giveaway so one of you gets to win a pretty pair of the flannel Sara Capris PUNJAMMIES™ pictured to the right.

Gotta say, Sudara gets cooler and cooler all the time.

From Sudara: Let’s get right down to it: No human being should be owned by anyone, anywhere, for any reason — ever. It really is that simple.

We are passionate about India — where some of the highest estimates of slavery and sex-trafficking anywhere in the world are reported. And while it may seem overwhelming, we are hopeful because we are seeing how safe, sustainable jobs are making a way for women to make their way out of the trade- and stay out.

Our PUNJAMMIES™ are inspired by the beauty, colors and textures seen throughout the local culture and are crafted by brave women in the community who wish to remain free from the trade they escaped.

That’s why we say that Sudara goods are made from hope, and made for comfort.

Today’s Giveaway is lightweight flannel Sara Capris PUNJAMMIES™ (pictured above.)

TO ENTER, simply leave a comment on this blog post anytime until 11:59pm Pacific Time on Monday, December 14. (Psst… don’t enter on Facebook— though I LOVE comments there and read every one, I’m using the blog comment string to randomly select a winner). Any comment will work to enter, but if you’d like a prompt, tell us where you’d wear your PUNJAMMIES. Me? I pick Hawaii with all of you.

This giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to Julia Robinson, winner of the PUNJAMMIES! Look for an email in your box, Julia.

………

Do Note: Multiple giveaways are going simultaneously — one every day for 8 days and each of them open for 48ish hours, so check back every day to see what new giveaways there are!

Also Note: This giveaway is open worldwide. None of this “America only” crap. We do not have time for America Only in this ComeUnity. Sudara is providing the PUNJAMMIES and U.S. shipping; I’ll supplement shipping if one of you wins from elsewhere.

Also-also Note: The artists selected for this giveaway were hand-picked by yours truly. They did not pay for these spots, nor do I benefit in any financial way by hosting these. Emotionally? I get a HUGE benefit. ‘Cause this stuff makes me happy. Each artist received a spot on the right sidebar (or, if you’re viewing on your mobile, at the bottom of the page) to advertise his/her stuff (hint: you can catch a preview there of what’s coming over the next few days), which is my gift to them to thank them for partnering with me. They’re rad.

8 Days of Giveaways! Day FOUR: Hooked by Hanna

December 11, 2015 in Uncategorized by Beth Woolsey

Hello, friends and welcome to…

8 Days of Giveaways:
Day FOUR!hanna3

Hooked by Hanna

Hooked by Hanna is a cottage industry offering crochet creations of all kinds: unique hats, toys for babies and children, neckwear, etc. Items can be made to the customer’s preferences and specifications.

I Hanna1admit it; I’m hard wired to prefer buying gifts from artists and crafters and small business owners because, unselfishly, I want my money to benefit real people and not a group of already wealthy shareholders, and, selfishly, I really love giving one-of-a-kind gifts. Last Christmas, I pinged my friend Hanna, a crochet master and fellow bibliophile (pretty sure we could talk about books for hours), and ordered boot cuffs in cream and grey (for me) and in purple (for my high school daughter). Turns out, they were some of my favorite, favorite gifts last year. Pretty. Fun. Affordable. We still have them a year later, and they’ve held up perfectly — just like new, actually. My only complaint is Abby keeps stealing mine, the punk.

In extra cool news, Hanna is giving 25% of all ready for purchase sales in the month of December to efforts gathering supplies for refugee hygiene kits. Supplies will bHanna2e delivered to Syrian refugees through Medical Teams International. Gotta say, in a world that’s full of hurt where words of fear seem to fly unfettered, people like Hanna who find a way to send love and help and hope, using what she has — her hands and skeins of yarn — are light in the darkness, and I am endlessly grateful for people like her.

Today’s Giveaway is the incredibly gorgeous blue slouch hat pictured to your right.

TO ENTER, simply leave a comment on this blog post anytime until 11:59pm Pacific Time on Sunday, December 13. (Psst… don’t enter on Facebook— though I LOVE comments there and read every one, I’m using the blog comment string to randomly select a winner). Any comment will work to enter, but if you’d like a prompt, tell me about a favorite gift — given or received. It can be small or big, cost a great deal or nothing at all. For example, I’d tell you about the Wonder Woman panties Greg bought for my stocking this year which I haven’t mentioned to him yet because I want what he bought me to be a surprise. 🙂

This giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations, Heather! Look for a message from me with all the details!

P.S. You can find Hooked by Hanna on Facebook here. You can find all of Hanna’s ready-to-purchase items here.

P.P.S. There are boot cuffs in that ready-to-purchase album, and if anyone **ahem*Greg*ahem** wants to buy me blue or grey fingerless gloves, or one of the chiffon/crochet mixed fabric infinity scarves, I’d be OK with that.

P.P.P.S. Or commission Hanna to make me some silver Wonder Woman wrist cuffs. That could work out for you, Greg. Like, that could work out for you real well, man. Just saying.

………

Do Note: Multiple giveaways are going simultaneously — one every day for 8 days and each of them open for 48ish hours, so check back every day to see what new giveaways there are!

Also Note: This giveaway is open worldwide. None of this “America only” crap. We do not have time for America Only in this ComeUnity. Hanna is providing the blue slouch hat and U.S. shipping; I’ll supplement shipping if one of you wins from elsewhere.

Also-also Note: The artists selected for this giveaway were hand-picked by yours truly. They did not pay for these spots, nor do I benefit in any financial way by hosting these. Emotionally? I get a HUGE benefit. ‘Cause this stuff makes me happy. Each artist received a spot on the right sidebar (or, if you’re viewing on your mobile, at the bottom of the page) to advertise his/her stuff (hint: you can catch a preview there of what’s coming over the next few days), which is my gift to them to thank them for partnering with me. They’re rad.

 

8 Days of Giveaways! Day ONE: Eclectic Christmas

December 8, 2015 in Uncategorized by Beth Woolsey

I don’t usually do giveaways here at the Five Kids blog, mostly because giveaways require things like organization and forethought, and I have FIVE KIDS so organization and forethought are in very, very short supply around these parts. But there are things about this last season — this last season of politics and rhetoric and shootings and bombings and people who are hurting in the darkness — that have made me feel at times helpless and afraid.

We’ve talked about things we can do that are actually helpful.

We’ve talked about looking for Light in the darkness and our unreasonable, relentless, resilient hope.

We’ve talked about living between the Hallelujahs and sitting in the mud together when we just can’t muster the energy to take one more step.

We’ve talked about waiting and searching and waving in dark to the others who, like us, long for the dawn.

And, well, after all that, I just wanted to do something small for you. Something to thank you for being my community. Something to thank you for being my ComeUnity and beckoning unity closer; my reminder that you’re out there in greater numbers than we sometimes know — the good people who are also a little bit bad and always wild and weird and wonderful.

So I thought about what I might do. And I lamented that I can’t send you all gifts. And then I remembered my artist friends who create beautiful things and fun things and deep things and light. And I asked them if they might — maybe — be interested in partnering with me to share a few of my favorite things with you. And they said YES. And ABSOLUTELY. And so here we are, and I get to spend the next 8 days giving away 8 things, which isn’t enough, but hopefully giving away to all of you, too, the reminder that someone is thinking of you and is, as the Quakers say, holding you in the Light.

OK?

OK.

So here we go…

8 Days of Giveaways:
Day ONE!

EclecticChristmas1
Today, I get to give away my FAVORITE new Christmas CD — Eclectic Christmas. You guys, this CD walks a line between traditional and fun and has a distinct jazz overtone that makes me want to sit with you in a smoke filled bar in New Orleans and sip whiskey under strings of mismatched Christmas lights while we chat the night away, serenaded by new takes on old tunes. It’s what I so often wish the church always was — welcoming and warm and a little bit wonky.

This giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to Tracey S. and Kirsten Glinke!

TO ENTER this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog post (not on Facebook — though I LOVE comments there and read every one). Any comment at all will do, but if you need a prompt, I’ll ask you… what’s your favorite holiday song? My latest is Three Ships on this CD — the mash-up they did with The Water is Wide slays me, friends — it’s everything hopeful about advent.

 

You may enter this giveaway until 11:59pm Pacific Time on Thursday, December 10. After that, I’ll announce 2 CD winners.

Do Note: I’ll have multiple giveaways going — one every day for 8 days and each of them open for 48ish hours, so check back every day to see what new giveaways there are!

And Also Note: This giveaway is open worldwide. None of this “America only” crap. We do not have time for America Only in this ComeUnity. 

And no matter what, friends, know this: I think of you often and love you a lot. I’m exceedingly glad you’re my people.

Love,

Signature

 

 

 

P.S. If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, Eclectic Christmas is performing three times the weekend before Christmas; in Newberg on Friday, December 18 (details here),  in southwest Portland on Saturday, December 19 (details here), and again in Newberg on Sunday, December 20 (details here.)

P.P.S. My family is going to the final performance. Come with us! We would LOVE to see you there.

P.P.P.S. If you can’t wait to win or want to buy copies for Christmas gifts like I am, you can get it at CDBaby.com or search for “Eclectic Christmas” on iTunes. If you want an old-school physical CD, let me know and I’ll forward your request to the musicians, who can ship you one.

P.P.P.P.S. The artists selected for this giveaway were hand-picked by yours truly. They did not pay for these spots, nor do I benefit in any financial way by hosting these. Emotionally? I get a HUGE benefit. ‘Cause this stuff makes me happy. Each artist received a spot on the right sidebar (or, if you’re viewing on your mobile, at the bottom of the page) to advertise his/her stuff (hint: you can catch a preview there of what’s coming over the next few days), which is my gift to them to thank them for partnering with me. They’re rad.