Five years ago, as something of an experiment, I was asked to write a song for use in one of Rosedale United Church‘s Advent services. It was for Magnificat Sunday. I finished the words to “May it Be” 20 minutes before singing it. I stood before the congregation, seven months pregnant, channeling my own anxieties about becoming a new mother into the music. As the last line in the piece states, I was afraid.

The next year, I had a 10-month-old baby. As I sang the song again for our congregation, I was reflecting on what a wild ride the first year of motherhood had been. I sang the piece with joy.

Sorrow filled my heart as I sang “May it Be” a third time. I had miscarried only days before and by the third verse, I was singing through sobs and tears. That day, I sang the song in grief I didn’t know I was capable of feeling.

The week before year four’s performance, Simon made his acting debut as Baby Jesus in the church Christmas pageant. Our family was complete.

Last year, our congregation started leading 17 community groups in their goal of sponsoring Syrian families attempting to make a better life for their children in Canada. I sang “May it Be”, after watching my second son be baptized, while thinking of all the frightened mothers only wanting for their children to be well, safe and happy.

Tomorrow will be the sixth time singing this song at Rosedale United Church. It has now been sung in various congregations around Canada and the United States. I received a message it will be played in the UK tomorrow. It might be the song I am most proud of writing. It represents anger, fear, longing, hope and promise. Team Flannel (our family) is about to embark upon some big changes in 2017. Tomorrow I will be reflecting on what the last five years have brought – love, family, and community – while thinking ahead to the uncertainty and adventure of our new journey.

My heart is filled with affection and love for everybody in my circle this evening. May this season be filled with peace for all of you.