I’m not sure where you’re at, but for me this season has felt unending and lacking movement. I find myself asking not just, “What are you doing, Lord?” but also, “Why aren’t you doing anything?” A good friend has articulated recently feeling like God is about to do some big things, but nothing is yet clear and He still seems hidden.
Cue the Christmas story. We imagine it all beginning with Mary with the animals, giving birth to her baby on an itchy pile of hay. But it really begins so much earlier than this, and we learn for ourselves how to pay attention to what God might be doing by looking back at the years leading up to Jesus in the manger.
When we look at Scripture, we flip just one page to transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament, while in reality there are 400 years of silence and space in between the two. 400 years of seemingly nothing from God. No words, no direction, no clarity. And then, suddenly, a baby. This is not the plan that anyone would have imagined. This is not the way we would have pictured God coming out of 400 years of silence. Surely You are preparing something…epic? I’m beginning to realize that I’m believing that God is doing nothing in my life because I have a very specific idea and area of my life where I want and expect Him to be working.
I don’t know about you, but I have realized in this season my need for joy. It actually feels like desperation. It has been so easy to be stressed, worried, frustrated, anxious, you name it. Discouragement has been constantly within reach, considering the state of the world and how divided our nation has been. On […]
In my Advent devotional it had this phrase: “refuse the wrong of rushing.” I was tempted to write it on my arm so I would be reminded all day of this, that is how much I needed to hear that. On any day, but particularly a full work day, it feels practically impossible to not rush from thing to thing. It feels challenging not to speed through a conversation or already mentally be at the next thing. It came back to me many times throughout the day: refuse to rush. Refuse to let the anxiety or stress or over-scheduling dominate your mind and soul. Don’t forget to breath.
Thursday I woke up feeling tired and low energy, and it only got worse as the day went on. Late afternoon came and I found myself shivering under a heated blanket and knew that I was in for the worst. The stomach flu is unlike any other sickness; it is life consuming and utterly terrible. I honestly can only think of like one or two people in the world that I would wish it on.
I knew that the following days would be absolutely miserable and there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing requires mental toughness like the flu. And there is nothing to make it more obvious that you are single and live alone than being stuck in bed without the things you need because there is no one there to do that for you (thank you, sweet Jesus, for my precious neighbor ladies who brought me the necessities, those darling angel college students).
But these are not the lessons that I want to share. It may seem silly, and hopefully it doesn’t leave you feeling nauseous yourself, but I felt like I found some valuable takeaways from my time in darkness…
Well friends, it is our last week of Advent. (As far as the Christmas season goes.) The final theme is LOVE. I have been contemplating how crazy it is to be loved.
Then I think of that song that says, “It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone.” I think it’s dumb. Maybe I am not understanding what he is going for, but it seems nuts to me. I mean seriously, it is INSANE to be loved by anyone. It is actually mind-blowing.
Here is a silly little example: Every time someone calls me Kal, my heart could just actually burst. I lose it because I feel known and loved.
Remember the first week of Advent where I said of the weekly themes (Hope, Peace, JOY, Love): “In the church we toss these words at people like fuzzy blankets, all happy and glittery. In reality they have depth and strength to them that are highly underrated”? Gosh. I keep coming back to that. This world is messy and hard and broken. I mean seriously – my heart is breaking over Aleppo. Not to mention all the other heart wrenching events of this year. And JOY – it seems the most fuzzy and glittery of them all.
Humble and human, willing to bend You are Fashioned of flesh and the fire of life, You are Not too proud to wear our skin to know this weary world we’re in Humble, humble Jesus Humble in sorrow, You gladly carried Your cross Never refusing Your life to the weakest of us Not too proud […]
The final Candle, the final theme of Advent, is Jesus Christ. He came! He dwelt among us. He saved us. In the end, it is all about Jesus. He is our reason for hope. He is our reason for preparation. He is our reason for JOY! He is our reason for love. I felt the […]