Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Day after Christmas---- Day 360

Usually, I’m sad the day after Christmas.  Usually---I am sad right after the presents are opened and the family room is destroyed…if I’m being honest.  

But not today.  

It’s different for me this year.  Maybe because of Advent?  Maybe because of pouring myself into Ann Voskamp’s newest book, The Greatest Gift?  

This year, I have spent every day understanding what Christmas really means and that Christmas is every day because Christ stays with us.  Jesus doesn’t go anywhere…He is with us everywhere we go.  


As we end 2013—I reflect back at the year.  My one word for 2013 was “Forward” and I truly believe I have grown.  I have moved forward with God.  I have done things with Him that I never thought possible.  I’ve sat with Him, I’ve listened to Him (maybe not 100%--sadly), I’ve taken steps forward with Him and I’ve grown.  I have a ways to go but I’m continuing to move forward with Him.

2014’s one word hasn’t been decided on yet.  I have a few I’m tossing around but I will know when the time is right.  Finding that one word for me isn’t something I can just grab at…it requires prayer and patience.  

So this day after Christmas…I’m not sad that it is over.  I’m not sad because I know that this only means that the Greatest Gift given continues to be my gift every single day that I accept to unwrap it.  Jesus reaches out His hand and I choose to keep holding on to it.  

(the picture below was taken earlier this month)

“You can only hear your life sing…when you still.”  
 Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!! { Day 359 }

Day 359---Advent Day 25

Highlights from Ann Voskamp's book, The Greatest Gift

Advent Day 25

"God is here!  God is here!  Christ is born to you, to you!"  ~Ann Voskamp

"Jesus left the starry heavens to save us from our sins....Now, a thousand thousand trees dance with light.  Now, a thousand thousand gifts carry love.  Now, at the foot of every tree, we are all only recipients of grace."  ~Ann Voskamp

Merry CHRISTmas everyone!  "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given."  Isaiah 9:6

"God is with us...God stays with us...Christ, the always Gift for all our days."  ~Ann Voskamp

Day 358---Advent Day 24

Highlights from Ann Voskamp's book, The Greatest Gift

Advent Day 24

"God comes quiet.....This night a battle has been waged and won for you." ~Ann Voskamp

"This is the truest love story of history--and it's His-Story." ~Ann Voskamp

God did it for LOVE.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Day 357--- Advent day 23

Advent Day 23

Highlights from Ann Voskamp's book, The Greatest Gift

"Christmas is about God's doing whatever it takes to be with us---and our doing whatever it takes to be with Him.  He climbed down from the throne in heaven to get to you.  Climb over the throes of Christmas to get to Him."  ~Ann Voskamp

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day 356 ---- Advent Day 22

Highlights from Ann Voskamp's book, The Greatest Gift

"Greetings, favored woman!  The Lord is with you!"  ~Luke 1:28

"Be a dwelling space for God."

"There is no need to produce or perform or perfect---simply become a place for God.  That is all."

"Because God knows:  relations is the only reality; there is nothing else."

"Everything is given from heaven.  Everything is a gift."

"Simply come, bend, make a space, receive."

"Your greatest gift is not your gifts, but your surrendered yes to be a space for God."

Make space for Jesus.

***All quotes (except the scripture) are from Ann Voskamp

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Advent Day 21

Advent Day 21:  "Prepare the way for the LORD'S coming!"  ~Matthew 3:3

"You felt that road--how it can twist, right there in your gut.  Expectations can ride like highwaymen, ransacking joy, killing relationships.  Performance bandits can choke mercilessly at the jugular, steal the riches of His grace." ~Ann Voskamp

"There is only room in us when we are done with us" ~Ann Voskamp

"Rest happy as only children can be happy in the days before Christmas.  Rest happy and love this story of a coming King who prepares the downtrodden for Christmas by becoming the Way, who lays Himself down in the creche, on the Cross, so we can lie down and rest."  ~Ann Voskamp

Highlights from Ann Voskamp's book, The Greatest Gift

Friday, December 20, 2013

Advent Day 20

Highlights from Ann Voskamp's book, The Greatest Gift

Advent Day 20

"He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord." ~Luke 1:17

"God meets us right where we don't believe...When our believing runs out, God's loving runs on."
~Ann Voskamp

"There is this. Never doubt that there are two kinds of doubt: one that fully lives into the questions, and one that uses the questions as weapons against fully living."  ~Ann Voskamp    And that is a bam statement right there!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Advent Day 19

Hightlights from Ann Voskamp's book, The Greatest Gift

Advent Day 19

"As the cold can move you deeper toward the fire, struggling can move you deeper toward God, who warms you with joy.  Struggling can deepen joy."  ~Ann Voskamp

Be All In! { Day 353 }

I have to wake early before anyone else does.  It’s like my go power.  I need to get up, get some coffee, and sit with Jesus.  Sometimes I read, sometimes I edit photos with scripture and sometimes I write.  But it’s my quiet time and it helps me focus before little feet hit the floor.

Motherhood--- I can treat it as a common thing…a commonplace… but it’s really only for a moment.  It goes by so fast. I should treat it as amazing grace.  

This weekend my pastor talked about Mary.  He said that she was “all in for God.”  I thought…what am I “all in for?” 

Mary did everything for Him and was chosen to be Jesus’ mom.  When the angel told her what was going to happen she didn’t say, “Oh I can’t do that!”  She said, “I am the Lord’s servant…may it be to me as you have said.”  She was all in.  

I would have questioned it for sure.  Her only question to the angel was, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”  I don’t know exactly what I would have said but I’m pretty sure I would have been thinking--- not me.  I can’t do that! 

Be all in…to whatever God gives you.  When He gives you the small things…be all in.  When you can handle the small things…He will give you bigger things.  Have a heart for God.  

Sometimes I watch my kids sleep and say, “I get to do this!  I get to be their Mommy.”  But when they are arguing over whatever and making me crazy with their fighting over who gets the shower first (really?)---I suck the joy out and think I can’t take it.  Only I can kill joy.  Nobody around me can kill the joy…only me.  I am the one that can choose to react.  

Charis…means grace in Greek. 

Mary was favored and was blessed with all kinds of grace.

So…I get up early and I write.  I write out all the small gifts that He has blessed me with.  All the small things that when I’m writing them out…seem so big and so great.  Charis.

Writing out God’s gifts to me is like a present unwrapping for Him as well.  I see all that He has given…and as I write…He smiles.  Charis.

Be all in for God!  

Motherhood!  Be All In!

Being a wife!  Be All In!

Write!  Be All In!

Be all in for God! 

Day 142