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
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
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.
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
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
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
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!!!
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
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