Posts tagged Christmas

Dear Matthew and Simona, This is your first Christmas.

Not ever— but together… as two who are now one.

All the other Christmases you’ve experienced have been about Matthew. Or Simona. Or Matthew trying to catch Simona… and Simona (in the words of my less-than-subtle mother) “running just fast enough to get caught”!

This Christmas is not about any of that. The wedding is planned and accomplished, photographed and photo-shopped. The honeymoon is over and done with remnants of beautiful memories tucked away in boxes.

This Christmas is your first as ONE.

It is about the ONE you are becoming; the forging of Matt into Simo and Simo into Matt. This Christmas is about becoming MatthewSimonaComer. MSC.

How can it be that one ceremony, a few words of promise, a signature on a document, can change everything? Can change you?

Can change Christmas?

When each of you chose to entwine your life with the other, it was more than merely an act of commitment—those vows you spoke were a decision.

Though you could not have fully understood all the implications of that decision, the dawning of what it meant is now changing the way you do life.

Your giving of yourselves to each other before God is unleashing changes in the fundamental essence of…

who you are

how you live

what you do


what you don’t do.

This ideal of two becoming one has chafed for centuries. It’s never been easy. In fact many take issue with this idea. Because, let’s be honest, this two melding into one is…



inconvenient and uncomfortable.

Two becoming one goes against the grain of all that independence and individuality we fight for so furiously.

Two becoming one is fraught with giving up… giving in… working it out, choosing.

Jesus said it succinctly:

“Haven’t you read… at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said,

‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Matthew 19:4-6

The joining of Matthew to Simona and Simona to Matthew is both a mission and a mystery.

Somehow, in some way we can only see in snatches, the blending of the two of you into ONE hints at the bending of God come down— His mission, first glimpsed by Mary with a babe in her arms.

This blending of the two of you mirrors God’s love-fueled determination to set His bride free of all that came between His heart and ours.

And more…

This forming of something beautiful in the blending of two into one hints at the mystery of a God who created us with the capacity, the need, to live in Him.

To be ONE with Him.

Paul called it a “profound mystery”, this loving and leading, this two becoming one, this dance to the sometimes discordant music of romance and real life.

My dear son and daughter, may I just ask you to take a moment and think about that? To ponder that profound mystery… to allow yourselves to see who you are becoming?

And more:

Will you give yourselves grace when this forging is harder than you’d thought it would be?

This losing of yourselves to find who you really are— together— is never easy; it takes time, it takes talking, it takes thinking through.

And it takes forever.

Loving you both, and loving the emerging of who you are,


From my heart,


P.S. To those who are listening.. Is it worth it? This work of giving up and giving in and giving to each other? Are you learning to be who you really are in the midst of becoming One? Can you tell us about it? Your stories make truth real.



Christmas at our house is not simple. Or quiet.

A Comer Christmas is loud… everyone talking at once because there’s so much to say and so many questions to ask and so much we didn’t know.

A Comer Christmas is chaotic… Moses making the rounds of laps, Duke wrestling with the cousins, Scarlet telling everyone they’re “gorgeous”, Sunday grinning big, Jude commanding the troupes.

A Comer Christmas is presents, piles and piles of presents.

And I know that’s not in vogue right now. I read about the stoics who don’t do gifts, the unselfish who write checks to charities instead, the ones who give it all away in order to give the season more fully to Jesus.

And I love that, it’s beautiful, inspiring, grand— but that’s not our story.

Instead we have lists flying over cyber world, big brown trucks making deliveries, secret texts with ideas and links and let-me-check-with-so-and-so’s.

And I know right now that my daughters are talking about what to get who and where to get it. My sons are planning their morning-of-Christmas-eve coffee klatch. Phil is managing lists and package arrivals and airport runs and who goes to whose house when.

On this Christmas like every other there will be tears, and meltdowns, raised eyebrows, moodiness, teasing… moments.

Our day will be imperfect and messy.

But in the midst of it all there will be a family full of people who are fully present, passionate about each other, building a heritage for each.

And me? I’ll be savoring every moment. Wishing the whole world could have what I have— a family in love with the Savior… and each other.

I’ll sit in my corner of the sofa,

…wishing every mother could know that all she’s doing now will give her this someday. Not ideal or idyllic, but beautiful and good.

… wishing I could tell her that she won’t be sorry she gave up on order and stillness and perfection and gave in to messy, sticky, crazy love.

… wishing she could see that she won’t be sorry she worked so hard or stayed so present or forgave again or decided to decide.

All day, in the midst of my own family’s way of doing Christmas, I’ll be wishing that every mother could know that all those years of busy will come down to one day of enough.

From a heart bursting,



(image by Maria Lamb)

HE'S NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING: what women really want #6



We’ve browsed through magazines, linked onto websites, and made our wish lists. Clothing sizes, shoe preferences, colors and particulars. Everything we think our men need to know in order to give us a Christmas to remember.

Now, armed with ideas, men are heading to the mall, determined to get that one thing they hope will make a woman happy.

And so, I have a list of my own to give the men who love the women I care about. It won’t break the bank or your back, but it will give her exactly what she really wants from you this Christmas.

Ten Things To Give The Woman You Love For Christmas:

1.  Your Attention- full and undivided.

Uninterrupted by cell phone rings and texting dings. She knows you can’t give it all the tim e, but for Christmas won’t you try? Do it on purpose.

2. Your Eyes- it’s the stuff of romance.

When a man looks into a woman’s eyes she knows he sees her. But it doesn’t have to be Hollywood mush. Just a moment of linking up, of homing in on the window to her soul. Dive deep. There's a person of unique value in there. Look for what she cannot say.

3.  Your Touch- purposeful and affectionate.

A way of showing her you connect with her. Women crave those brushes of love against their skin. To run your fingers across her heart, you'll need to step into her space and bring her into yours.

4.  Your Stories- give her a memory, a picture in your mind that you’ve tucked away somewhere of her being who she is and you loving that part of her. Tell it well and she’ll know for a moment that you really do know her.

5.  Your Hope- she sees everything not right with the world she’s trying to create for those she loves.  Tell her it’s okay, that perfection isn’t perfect, that love is messy and so is real life and you love her no matter what.

6.  Your Honor- What is the thing she does remarkably well? Have you told her? Have you told her in front of others? It’s not a woman’s way to brag about herself. Can you be her trumpeter?

7.  Your Depths- Give her those hidden hopes and dreams and thoughts and observations that will never be part of a quick phone call. She wants to know you way deep down inside.

8.  Your Help- Christmas can be overwhelming for a woman. So much to do and so many glossy pictures of others doing it better. Get up and help her. Lend a hand. Make life a little easier for her so she can be who she really is. And jump in before she gets crabby about all the work, she hates herself for being like that.

9.  Your Generosity- Can you choose in the midst of the pressures of real life to give a little more extravagantly than anyone would expect? Add a flourish. Make her coffee and cover it with whipped cream. Buy her something she doesn’t need. Bless her.

10.  Your Love- That’s what she really wants.

Every woman I know wants to be loved. To be considered better than average in a world that measures our success by means we’ll never attain.

To be  held in a place so uniquely special to you that you’re willing to give your attention, your eyes, your touch, your stories, your hope and honor and depths and help and generosity just to be sure she knows how much you love her.

We want to feel loved.

You have it in your power to give that kind of love this Christmas to your wife or your girlfriend, your good friend, your mom.

Will you?

From my heart,


P.S. How about telling us that one remarkable thing you love about her? We’d love to hear— I’d love to hear!

Dear friends,

Since God loved us that much,

We surely ought to love each other.

I John 4:11




Dear Matthew,

Christmas is just a few short days away. Presents lie wrapped and waiting under the tree. Cookies on platters, lights and bows and boughs tucked into every available space.

Our home is radiating anticipation.

And that’s why I want to talk to you about this unique need of every woman.

Dare I say it? Dare I mention the religiously political incorrectness of a woman wanting what she does not have? Of wanting presents? Pretty things? Thoughtfulness?

Isn’t she supposed to be sort of self-denying and esoteric? A modern day monk-like creature who recycles and reuses and wants nothing?

But these letters are about loving and truth and knowing, not about pretending.  And one thing I know...

all women love to be given gifts.

Even the Apostle Paul got this. The man who once went after Believers, squelching passion, persecuting a faith that threatened his rightness. A warrior kind of man.

Paul wrote this:

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives,

exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.

His words evoke her beauty.

Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her,

dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.

And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.

They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Ephesians 5:25-33      

The Message

A man who wants to make a woman feel loved gives.  

A lot.  


Here's how:

Uniquely Study her, know her, notice who she is. Your dad buys me books, especially old books. He knows I love stories and biographies and poetry and flowers and silver and anything shiny.

Surprisingly -  A single rose for no reason at all, something you just saw that made you think of her, a gift certificate to a favorite place because you know she’ll “have nothing to wear”. Just the idea that you were thinking of her is enough to melt a woman’s heart. We know how busy life gets, we understand that you’re caught up in the rush to achieve and advance and provide— so when you stop for a moment and just give something for no reason, something melts inside our hearts. We respond.

Extravagantly - Every Christmas I watch your normally frugal brother lavish gifts on Tammy. He blows his budget, empties his wallet, and gives all he can to shout love to his wife. Don’t you think Tammy lives for those moments? And remembers when times are tight and there’s not enough left for extras? And feels cherished? Affectionately - Sometimes your dad gives me something that makes no sense to him. He just knows I light up when he gives me Marco Polo tea, or another book by my hard-to-find favorite author who died so long ago nobody reads her books anymore. Who goes ballistic over a used paperback about a missionary in China?Yet I know that he knows that I will. And so he gives me what he knows that I want. And I love that he does. Willingly - If a man is loving on and giving to his girlfriend/fiancé/wife  because he wants to, she’ll sense it. Women know things by watching and sniffing and filling in the gaps and picking up clues men don’t even realize they give. A man who gives because he wants to is showing a rare from-the-heart kind of love that sweeps a woman right off her proverbial feet. Irresistible! 

So give!   Uniquely,    surprisingly,    extravagantly,    affectionately,    willingly.

It’s a godly and bold and beautiful way to love a woman.

From my heart,



Last night we took Sunday to the Nutcracker. Dressed all up in her red cape, hair twisted into adorable puff balls, a smile so big she could hardly see through her squinted eyes… she glowed.


It was a double date… Pops and Amma, Uncle Matt and Sunday.

And we twittered and tweeted and Insta’d and flickered… while Sunday just grinned. She was the star and she knew it, like a princess knows her subjects adore her— of course.

Wide-eyed with wonder, our little grand-girl took it all in.

The glitter, the elegance, the crowd, the kids. She had no idea what we were doing, just that we were loving her.

Opening a world of beauty a little wider.

Taking her by the hand to experience something grand together.

She laughed and she clapped at all the wrong times. Just an outburst of joy at being there!

Sitting on my lap to see, Sunday danced and wiggled to the beat of a drum I could not hear. She seemed to go in all the wrong directions,  unbound by what she did not know.

And it dawned on me suddenly that just over 8 months ago Sunday sat in an orphanage on the other side of the world. Her life was confined and confusing, devoid of beauty, of wonder, of the love of family.

One year ago John Mark and Tammy called us to pray- they’d been assigned a child from the agency. Would they take her?

All we had was a picture. And just the barest sketch of a story. And the belief that when we pray for wisdom, for guidance, for grace… He gives it. Generously.

And He did and He has!

Sunday Love Comer is an unbearably generous gift from God to all of us. We love her. I mean, we actually, really, honestly love our little girl.




And aren’t we all like Sunday? Adopted by a Father who loves us, who opens beauty and wonder each day.

Cherished, adored, disciplined, included, brought close, held tight, taught, shown off, given gifts, wanted.


God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family

by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.

This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us

who belong to his dear Son.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom

with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

He has showered his kindness on us,

along with all wisdom and understanding.

Ephesians 1:5-8


From my heart,


Christmas At Our House

Eleven days ‘til Christmas. Eleven days to plan and shop and wrap and bake and cook and write notes and clean and get everything ready for our Comer Christmas.

Eleven days of joy. And maybe just a little stress and a bit of worry.

Will I get it done? Should I stop everything else to work more? Longer? Harder?

And I already know the answer.


For the next eleven days I’ll just mix all these tasks with a heart overflowing with love and memories and anticipation of my family coming together to celebrate.

My favorite days with my favorite people in my favorite place.

Would you like to see? To watch what happens at our house?

(My grandma gave me this angel on my first Christmas- 53 years ago. She's frayed and crooked and full of rich memories just like me. I think she must be in style again... vintage.)

Leading up to Christmas Day and then on into the week after, I’d like to invite you into my home and heart. Let you see our Christmas, our family, our ways of celebrating the story of God coming close.

Let me warn you: we love Christmas. All of it. The extravagance of gifts for each other, the scents of cinnamon and ginger and chocolate and good things coming fresh out of the oven, even the mess we make in the midst of all this fun.

(pine cones from my parent's house in the Sierras)

We are neither minimalists nor perfectionists. We just love Christmas.

From my heart,