Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
In the freezing, snowing, cold and ice of North Dakota, lives a warm and lovely soul named Roxanne. I have never had the honor of meeting this delightful woman but her words have touched me and her spirit has inspired me. Even though our paths have never crossed, I feel like I’ve known her for years. She writes with such a convincing sweetness and honest zip, you just want to sit down and share a pot of coffee with her. More than a year ago, I read something she wrote about choosing a “word” for the year. Choosing a word for the year requires prayer and deep thought but if the process is done right, the result is a “God inspired” tool to help you navigate your way through a new year and all the challenges and celebrations it’s sure to bring. It seemed like a great idea, but I never really got around to it last year. I wanted to just pick my own without the prayer and deep thought so the result was less than wonderful. Ok, I’ll just be honest; I just picked one on my own and by February I had forgotten what the word was! Not so helpful! I read Roxanne’s posts and articles throughout the year 2013 and saw time and time again how truly inspired her word had been and the countless times God had offered His peace and comfort and sometimes even humor through her word for the year. This year I was determined to get it right! I got a message in mid-December and found out Roxanne already had her word for 2014…YIKES I knew I’d better get busy. Nothing like a 13 hour car ride to Kansas before Christmas to think and pray about my word…and so I did!
As we backed out of our icy driveway that Sunday morning headed for Kansas, I began to pray that God would inspire my thoughts and help me discover a word that would guide my year on a path closer to Him. It sat on my mind the whole trip, but as we pulled into my Dad’s driveway 13 hours later, I still didn’t have a word. I guess I expected a little light bulb to go on and illuminate my word written in perfect penmanship on a blackboard or something. I had nothing and I was a little frustrated to say the least. The only thing I did get a clear sense of was all the places I fell short in my discipleship; the more I thought about a guiding word, the more it felt like I was on a bad trip down memory lane 2013. As we began a few days with family and friends, I put it to the side and vowed to re-visit the process on the way home.
Friday came and we were once again packed in the car at the front end of a long drive and once again, I began praying about a word. In between praying, thinking, reading and goofing around with Dave and the kids, it all began to make sense. God was leading me on a backwards journey. Before He gave me a word to lead me, He wanted me to take a look at where I had been. After a very long and sometimes uncomfortable examination of conscience spanning the past twelve months, the word was as clear as a bell. God lovingly encouraged me to look long and hard at some of the areas of weakness and sin in my life. It was like a movie that just seemed to keep getting stuck in a few spots; and they weren’t the good spots! I really think He was inviting me to dwell there and take a good look so I wouldn’t ever want to go back…not because it was uncomfortable for me, but because it was those very places that kept me away from Him. As I began to pray about those spots in my 2013 and ask His forgiveness I began to realize there were concrete changes I needed to make in my life in order to be sure I didn’t wind up right back in the same yucky spot. I’m not gonna lie, I have a lot of work to do but as soon as I realized that and vowed to do the work, He gave me my word. It was as clear as a bell…a word I had never even considered and it came out of nowhere and it was unmistakable and powerful and exciting! It’s a very strong word, a busy word, a demanding word. My word tells me that I’ve got work to do and He will be there with me, but I’ve got to roll up my sleeves and get busy. It’s not a sweet comfy word like peace, happiness or prayerfulness; it’s a giant word, a mighty word, a “get busy” word. My word is…
I’m not going to tell you just yet what my word is. I’m going to try it on for a few weeks while each of you think and pray for your own. I think I wanted a word like Roxanne’s, I really liked her word and I spent a whole year trying to pick my own when I really should have let God choose it for me. You see, her word matched her journey, not mine! So, you and God get busy and pick a word and then we’ll all share. Remember, if you do it right, you will truly get a “God inspired” word to lead you through your year. I’m thinking this is a whole lot more powerful than any resolution. Don’t worry if it takes a few days and don’t worry if it involves a trip backwards through some of your “un-lovely” moments and days…it’s all part of the process. Rest assured in a couple weeks, I’ll be sharing my word and asking for yours. God bless you as you think and pray; and God bless Roxanne for this most excellent journey!
A Seed To Plant: Re-play 2013 and prayerfully ask God to reveal the ways He wants to draw you into a deeper relationship with Him. Ask Him for a word to guide you.
Blessings on your day!
I want to wish all of you a very blessed and happy Christmas! I am going to unplug for the next week and spend time with family and friends. I'll be back with more joyful words on Monday the 30th.
Enjoy a beautiful week; pray...rest...laugh...eat...and enjoy the simple blessings of life this Christmas week.
Blessings to you all!
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm
Things can get pretty crazy this time of year. It's such a joyous time when you've got a minute to stop and think about it; but finding a minute to stop and think can be a bit of a challenge. When I was a kid if you were sassy your mother made you stand in a corner. I think that's a lost form of discipline today but I'm not sure it was such a bad idea. The premise behind it makes sense...you're upset, saying things you don't mean to so go take a breath face the wall where there are no distractions and stand still to calm down. I sort of wish someone would send me to go stand in the corner! I could use a few minutes to be still without distractions and calm down. Truth is we don't really need a corner to do that but we do need to make a real effort to be still. Satan loves to use busyness and noise to dilute our focus.
Everybody loves babies, they're so cute and sweet and innocent and this time of year the image of the Baby Jesus fills our eyes and warms our hearts. It's hard to compete with a baby for attention so Satan has to pull out his big guns this time of year. Don't let him get you! Be still for a minute and imagine the manger that Mary and Joseph tenderly laid Jesus in. See the fresh straw, imagine the stable and the animals and the chilly night air; throw yourself right into the story. Be still and just soak in the events of that night. It's a bit like a spiritual standing in the corner.
We have a choice; we can get lost in the chaos, or pause at the manger and spend a few minutes a day getting ready for a love so overwhelming it's hard to imagine. So in the next few days leading up to Christmas, be still and know that the manger is more than a Christmas decoration.
A Seed To Plant: Take a few minutes each day between now and Christmas and gaze at a picture or image of the Christ Child and ponder the greatness of that night...your day will be changed!
Blessings on your day!
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7
When I was in the second grade I remember giving my mom the “gift of all time”, or so I thought. We had a mantle above the gas fireplace in our living room and each December that became the perfect spot for the Nativity set. Putting out the little statues was always mom’s job…nobody else got to help, we just watched her unwrap each piece from the newspaper and shoe box that was its home for most of the year. I’m sure they were made out of simple ceramics but she handled them as if they were made of priceless crystal. I remember her always holding Mary a little longer than the others. I told myself that when I got big I would ask her why…but I never really got the chance to ask that question. Now that I’m a mother, I think I understand.
Early that second grade December, my brother Jim got a pair of new shoes because he was growing so fast his toes just wouldn’t fit into his school shoes any more. We went to Kinney’s shoe store and all their shoes came in brown boxes. As we rode home from Topeka looking at the beautiful Christmas lights I remember spying that brown shoe box on Jim’s lap thinking I had the absolute perfect gift idea. You see, that Nativity set my mom loved so much had no stable and I was convinced that I could turn that brown shoe box into a magnificent stable! The next afternoon I set to work. I wasn’t sure how that shoe box would be transformed but I knew my first step was to make the gray inside of the box brown like wood. It was a little trickier than I had imagined. Coloring the inside a shoe box carefully and in all one direction was hard. Now, before I tell the rest of the story I just need to interject one important detail…I’m not very artistic or crafty so the transfer of the image in my head to an actual stable took some VERY wrong turns! Turning the box lid into a roof was a disaster. I used so much glue and tape trying to get it to stay up that that shoe box weighed about five pounds. One failed attempt actually involved trying to attach real tree bark to the roof to try to cover up all my other mistakes . After several afternoons I finally got a finished product that would stand up with the strategic placement of two nice sized rocks in the back corners. I was so proud! I was also amazed that I had done the whole project by myself without anybody knowing a thing. I’m sure my mom was in the kitchen thanking God for my new found love of library books…NOT! The afternoon I finished, Jim and dad were out in the garage so it was the perfect time to present mom with her gift. I’m not gonna lie…it was an awful looking sight but it was a mess I felt so proud of. Mom looked at it and then looked at me and just wrapped me in her arms. I remember sitting down to the table with her to stare at it and she just scooped me up on her lap. The crazy looking thing barely even stood up but I told her I thought with the rocks and maybe some extra tape we would have no problem propping it up. As I sat there on her lap, my brother Jim and my dad walked into the kitchen. Jim had something behind his back and he was smiling so big it made us all excited. Without even recognizing the “stable” on the table he pulled the gift from behind his back. He and dad had built a stable, a real stable out of real wood for mom’s beautiful Nativity statues.
Looking back at that afternoon I wouldn’t have wanted to be my mom for all the money in the world! Before I knew it, both of us were on her lap and she was just hugging both our necks. After a few minutes the boys were off to clean up the garage and I just sat with mom and her two stables. Dad and Jim had been able to create out of simple wood scraps a stable that looked exactly like the one I had seen in my mind. She kissed my forehead and said, “I am so lucky! I went from no stable to two stables all in one afternoon. Now I have a place to lay Baby Jesus.” That’s it…that’s all she said…that’s all I needed to hear. A place for Baby Jesus to rest! I remember thinking that someone as important as the Son of God, even if only duplicated in plaster, needed the best place possible to rest His head. Mom left both stables there on the table and went about her chores. I just sat there looking at them and I realized the power of her simple words. He would want the best…even from me, as an eight year old. I took my stable to my room and put it under my bed, where it stayed for years. Several years later I pulled it out at Christmas time and mom and I had a great laugh at my creation.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that Christmas humility lesson. Jim could have easily pointed out how much better his was and mom could have certainly pointed out the flaws in my stable but they both loved me enough to let me figure out how to be humble on my own terms. They both left this earth way earlier than I wanted them to, but I thank God every day for the lessons they taught me…even the ones made out of a cardboard shoe box.
A Seed To Plant: Sit for a few quiet minutes in front of a Nativity scene this week and ask God to reveal one simple thing you can do to make your heart the perfect place for Baby Jesus to rest.
Blessings on your day!
The LORD preserves the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me. Psalm 116:6
Sometimes I worry about myself and the things I remember. I can’t seem to remember 5 things from the grocery store, but I can remember the silliest little details about things that seemingly have no relevance or importance. As I get older, I think sometimes things stick in our mind for a reason and we might do well to sit still for a bit and try to figure out what it is about simple, silly things that keep them in our mind. There is usually a reason and a message!
Last September I wrote a post about my Grandma Thelma and the flurry of conversation between cousins and aunts on Facebook on the day that would have been her 107th birthday. As the conversations continued on for days, I made mention of one simple toy from Grandma’s toy box. The toy I remembered was a red and yellow plastic motorcycle with a policeman on
it. I suppose the thing that made the toy memorable to me was the fact
that the policeman didn’t have a head. Now you might be wondering why Grandma would keep it around but the boy cousins would all explain that it was because that thing was indestructible. I thought I was the only one who remembered it but I was wrong. One cousin in particular spoke right up
and claimed to have the toy in his home. I was shocked! I remembered
it fondly because it spoke to my Grandmas resourceful character and her ability to find usefulness in almost anything but I figured the aunts and uncles had tossed it out when they cleaned out Grandma’s things. The surprise got even bigger this week when we were all tagged in a picture from the motorcycle owning cousin. The picture was of the toy, which has been turned into a Christmas tree ornament and is proudly and lovingly displayed
on his family Christmas tree every year. The simple picture drew me to tears and tossed me back in time several decades. I can honestly say I’ve
gone back to look at that picture more than a dozen times in the past few days and each time, I am flooded with memories and laughter and a sense of connection to cousins hundreds of miles away that I rarely have the chance to see. All that from a headless motorcycle cop hanging on a tree…silly; yes…powerful; you bet!
Jesus spent the three years of His public ministry traveling and teaching the people about His Father using parables. His parables were simple stories with a magnificent lesson. He chose to use something simple to grab the attention of His followers. I think He’s still doing the same thing today. When I wonder why on earth I can remember silly things He’s usually got something to tell me. That old toy/tree ornament is a great reminder of a family influenced by the simple, humble life of a faithful woman. It reminds me that I remain connected to the people who loved her even if we’re hundreds of miles apart. I remember my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Justice because she taught with love and gentleness. I remember a classmate
in first grade who ate Elmer’s paste because it tasted minty not knowing it
could make him sick, I felt it was my duty to warn him; which he didn’t like but the teacher backed me up and I will always remember the day he thanked me for “keeping his belly safe.” I can’t remember to lay something out to thaw for supper but I remember as plain as day my next door neighbor playing along every year as my brother Jim and I put a bouquet of lilacs tied with fishing string on her front porch on May day. We'd hide in the bushes after ringing the bell and then tug the string to move the flowers each time she bent down to grab them. Every year she acted completely surprised that we could be so tricky! Why do I remember those things? I remember them because like the parables, they were simple, common things that demonstrated Christ-like values and behaviors.
Growing closer to Christ isn’t rocket-science! It’s very much about the little things; the simple things. Being a disciple is a job for everyone and if you’re looking for a way to find Him so you can follow Him…look for Him in the simple things that touch your heart…like headless motorcycle cop tree ornaments and the cousin who hangs it on his tree and then shares the picture…give it some thought and you will find Him in the middle of it all gently, sweetly, simply inviting you in.
A Seed To Plant: Pick a parable…any parable and read it, then read it slowly and ask God to show you a word or a phrase that will draw you more tightly to Him.
Blessings on your day!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33
It was one of those days you couldn’t have made up if you tried! I just had to let God be in charge because there wasn’t a darn thing I could do to unravel the craziness going on around me! The little lovelies were excited beyond imagination about the upcoming arrival of St. Nicholas so the noise and energy level in room 1-2 was a few decibels higher than normal but there was no mistaking the cell phone ring from my computer table.
My phone rarely rings and if it does, I leave it until recess but something made the hair on the back of my neck stand up when it rang…funny how
that happened. As I picked up the phone I could see on the display that it was son number 2. Jason had two big exams that day making my laid back easy going son a bit ruffled. His voice on the phone made me ruffled too. He was reporting the indicator lights displaying on his dash board as he traveled from one campus to the other between exams. As he was reading the messages from his dash board, I hear dinging and then he said, “well, now there’s smoke coming out from under my hood so I’m pulling off the road”. Humm, what now…unless I could load 20 seven year olds into my Impala, there was no way I could rescue him. Waiting on a tow truck, switching vehicles with his brother (who just happened to be home) and still getting two exams taken all fell in place but not without a lot of stress and blood pressure increases.
Once I realized everything in his world was in order, the phone rang again…no kidding…I answered it and it was son number 1. He was home working on Miles, Shannon’s stubborn, high-strung show steer getting him ready for the big Winter Beef Classic show at Michigan State. Something spooked Miles and away he went across several fields until he came to a nice bean field a ways down the road. He had no intention of coming back home easily. The great escape occurred about noon and he wasn’t returned to the barn until nearly 6 that evening. Shannon was out in the field with her dad, brother and some great neighbors in the freezing cold. Another element tossed into the evening just for a little added fun; Shannon was being inducted into the National Honor Society at 7 and had to somehow magically transform herself from the tomboy wearing muddy chore clothes and boots to a lovely young lady dressed in the new dress hanging on her closet door. We were also in a time crunch because the speaker for the induction ceremony was me...just a little stress!
Add to all that the fact that I had been booked to speak at three different events during the week and during lunch, between phone calls from the
boys, I was working on a power point for a big presentation Friday night and
accidentally deleted three hours of work in one simple click of the mouse. I jammed the copy machine, gave half of a spelling test with the wrong words, used a permanent marker on the white board and drove all the way down our gravel road to school with my scarf half hanging out the car door. But through it all…there was calmness in my soul…partly because there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about any of it but mostly because I did the one thing I could…PRAYED without ceasing. I prayed for patience, peace, safety, comfort and perseverance. I prayed not because it was all I COULD do, I prayed with an expectant hope because it was all I NEEDED to do.
When the day was finally over and Dave and I crawled in bed we recounted the day. We didn’t know the extent of the repair bill on the Pontiac and we witnessed the disappointment on Shannon and Kevin’s faces when they realized Miles wouldn’t be going to MSU, those were the yucky parts. But
the good news was abundant! The Pontiac smoked in a good spot…not on the freeway or in downtown Lansing, but on a less busy road not all that far from home and the tow truck came in time for him to make it to his next exam on time. Miles was back in the barn and nobody got hurt. Everybody learned big lessons in patience and we were reminded of the value of great neighbors. Miles taking a run down Pratt road on a Thursday afternoon was a much better deal than him taking a run through the ag Pavilion at MSU with 1,100 other head of cattle and hundreds of people to crash into. God was good that day and He worked through some crazy circumstances.
Joy is God’s gift to us. Joy isn’t an emotion; it’s the state of being completely in the will of God. Sometimes that’s an easy, cozy place to be and other times it’s tricky, disappointing and stressful but that true joy comes sparkling through when you realize in the middle of all of it that God has you in the palm of His hand and everything will be fine; maybe not easy, but fine! Sometimes it takes things like a smokin’ Pontiac and a crazy steer to build patience, trust and expectant hope in the Lord who loves us ALWAYS and UNCONDITIONALLY. He doesn’t give us crazy days to punish us, He shows up in them so we can see how much He loves us, protect us and guide us!
A Seed To Plant: Start each day this week with a prayer for peace and for a greater awareness of God’s presence in your life.
Blessings on your day!
…this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood. Luke 21:3-4
Every time I hear this Gospel story my shoulders droop a little and the wind gets knocked out of my sails a bit. Upon hearing it, I’m always inspired to give a little more…but not from my surplus. Each time I hear this reading I recognize a new shoot of selfishness sprouting up in my heart and I don’t like the way that feels. Sometimes hearing God’s word is like looking in a mirror and the reflection isn’t always pleasant. The Gospel talks about coins or money, but when I ponder this reading I think of giving in much broader terms than money. I think about my time, my talents and my attitude.
The widow gave with complete trust! What an example for us all. I’m pretty good at half-trusting or maybe on a good day two-thirds trusting and if life is going along smoothly I might even dive into three-quarter trusting for a day or two but then satan and his seeds of doubt start to enter the picture and everything changes. That little widow gave EVERYTHING she had knowing she would die of hunger, or feast on the love of the God she trusted…either would have been fine with her! Holy Cow…I’d like to learn to do that! I’ve been thinking about this reading for a couple of weeks and the Holy Spirit has sent me several thoughts I’d like to share.
This is the time of year we are aware of charitable giving. We drop coins in the bell ringer’s bucket, take tags off the giving tree and we donate food to the food bank. I remember when the kids were little; they picked all the things from the pantry they didn’t like to eat to give to the food bank. They weren’t too happy when I made them pick one of their favorite foods or snacks to give away. I got one of those “see here” lessons one year when one of the boys took the last container of coffee to the collection basket. Given my enormous LOVE of coffee; that felt a little like the widow’s gift but I think the Gospel invites us to look deeper and wider than holiday generosity.
What if we took a chunk of our summer vacation spending and used it to buy amusement park tickets for a struggling family who could use a break? What if we downsized or gave up our family birthday gift budget and sponsored a birthday party at a local homeless shelter or orphanage? What if we spent a week of summer vacation helping habitat for humanity instead of renting a cottage on the lake? They seem like big ideas I know but are they bigger than handing over your last two coins? When we think of giving from our means instead of from our surplus, the possibilities could be amazing and life changing not only for the receiver of our generosity but for the giver as well.
For some reason I kept thinking about the gift of our attitude. I’ll be honest,
sometimes my attitude gives a “gift” I don’t intend. As we enter the Christmas season our heart and our faith tell us it’s a season of wonder and joy and preparation for Jesus, the greatest gift ever received. Unfortunately the chaos of the season brings stress, hectic schedules, impatience and too much attention on material things. All of that craziness can leave our attitude a bit soggy but what if we decided to give the gift of a pleasant smile or a cheerful hello to ten people each time we were out and about this December? What if we gave up our spot in line two or three times a week, that would be a gift of cheerfulness and of our time and patience…some days we only have a few of those “coins” left. What if we called someone who was struggling with something in their life; relationships, sickness, financial stress you name it and we gave them the gift of a cup of coffee and an hour of conversation focused not on giving advice and “fixing” but simply on compassion and love. Those were precisely the motives that encouraged the widow to give her gift.
I also thought a lot about giving things that really don’t cost anything at all. There are always people who need our help, our patience, our ears and our hands. Time is a precious commodity and sometimes we are stingier with it than we are with our money. I wonder what would happen if we would give up a night at the movies or out with friends and spend it visiting with a lonely elderly person. I wonder what would happen if we volunteered to help at a nursing home or soup kitchen instead of going out for dinner or sitting on our cozy couch resting. Jesus praised the efforts of the poor widow not because of the value of her gift but because of the value of her humility, trust and generosity. So; which coins are you going to give?
A Seed To Plant: Pick one or two of the ideas from this post and just do it! I guarantee Jesus will be pleased and we will be blessed.
Blessings on your day!
Stay Awake! Matthew 24:42
Holy cow…did December sneak up on anybody else? I used to invisibly roll my eyes in youthful disrespect when “older” people said, “oh just wait; the older you get the faster time goes by!” The older I get, the more truth I
discover in those words! Does anyone else ever feel like hitting the pause button long enough to get caught up?
This past weekend many Christians began the season of Advent. I have a new Advent attitude this year. My new attitude comes from some extra prayer and study about the preparation season leading up to the birth of Christ. I’ve been “hitting the books” so to speak because I have the great privilege of presenting a Woman’s night of Advent Prayer and Reflection this week…twice! I discovered some simple truths and beautiful thoughts for all of us as we stand at the edge of December. I hope they give you a new perspective on this often stressful, hectic, perhaps even chaotic month. Stay awake fits…not because we’re exhausted by all the activity but because we need to be awake and tuned in to the gift of God’s Son or Christmas becomes nothing more than another day.
Popular culture and the wonderful world of retail sales catapulted us into Christmas right after the last bag of Halloween candy left the shelf but those of us who yearn for the true meaning…the deeper meaning…the life changing meaning of Christmas need to be willing to wait a little. As a society, we aren’t very good at waiting! We like everything quickly and conveniently and we sometimes get lost in the “one-up” philosophy
that often drives our ambitions and our actions. If you feel even a little part of that thinking seeping into your heart or thoughts, sit still for a minute and think about Advent.
If the season of Advent could be summed up in two words, they would be PATIENTLY WAITING! Yikes…really…but when will the shopping and baking and decorating and celebrating happen if we just sit around waiting?
Good question I suppose, but maybe the answer is right in front of us…maybe we don’t have to spend so much time focused on all those things. If those are the things that take away from really “getting” Christmas maybe a prayerful re-vamp of December priorities is in order. I think that’s the point of this post! I have a few big questions for all of us…ready…Is walking into church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning the highlight of your December? What consumes more time; shopping for the perfect gifts or preparing to receive the perfect gift of God’s Son? And finally, would you like to spend Christmas wrapped up in the Wonder and Awe lying in the manger or exhausted, sick of the decorations and ready to flip the page and clean up the mess? Jesus is bigger than one day!
God sent the gift of His Son in a tiny, humble, simple beginning…He figured we could relate to that. I think He felt like each of us could accept and believe something so “real”. Each December He gives us the chance to re-live the true meaning of His gift. Each December we have a chance to clean our spiritual house to prepare for Him to dwell in our hearts. That only happens through still, quiet prayer and a desire on our part to seek Him and be blessed beyond measure by the true gift of Christmas. I’m sure some of you are tempted to scream at your screen at me and say…geez Sheri…it’s the busiest month of the year and you are suggesting I take time I already don’t have enough of to sit still and pray for my heart to be ready for the New Born King! ABSOLUTELY!!! Scream away, but that’s exactly what I’m challenging all of us to do this December. I have to let you in on a secret…God can multiply time! If you unselfishly, trustingly, prayerfully give Him some of your day, He will bless you unbelievably. Be honest as you start your prayer, say to Him, “God, I’ve got SO much to do today, please know these 10 or 15 minutes I’m going to sit here in prayer are precious. Please take my busy day and show me how to make You a part of it. Bless my
actions and my words and my tasks.” Then my friends…stand back and prepare to be amazed at what He will do! If you aren’t sure what to do
with that prayer time, read the story…the Christmas story from the Annunciation all the way through the Magi. Read it little by little again and again asking God to get your heart ready. Ask Him to make this Christmas about His Son…His gift and not so much about all the other stuff. I know it may sound crazy but invite God to go shopping with you…He has made some amazing gifts “appear” when I had no ideas and very little
budget. Invite Him into all of it, asking Him to help you keep His Son as the focus.
I figure if I do Advent right, I will go to Mass Christmas Eve with my family and be so filled with joy and gratitude my heart will feel like it just might burst! I want to FEEL the meaning of Christmas! That’s my goal this December.
A Seed To Plant: Take the first step today…sit in quiet prayer and ask God to show you how to “do December” with a spirit of prayerful anticipation of the most amazing gift imaginable; His Son.
Blessings on your day!
Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com