Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
Be still and know that I am God…Psalm 46:11
We’ve entered those last weeks of the year that are so full of faith, family, fun, stress, activity and we may feel the need to buckle up and hang on. But maybe the Lord is asking us to look at things a little differently.
What if we all decided to take a big deep breath and remind ourselves that the next couple of weeks will be filled with things we love and things we don’t. What if we decided to invite God into all of it very intentionally. Being surrounded by family is a beautiful thing but getting the house set and ready for their arrival isn’t so beautiful so why not offer the getting ready prayerfully asking for His blessing on the conversation, laughter and memories that will take place. What if we remembered that nothing bad lasts forever and the same can be said for the good stuff. Life is a series of yeahs and yucks and God is found in both so lets not be in such a hurry to get through life.
As we make our way through the next crazy days, lets consider one simple suggestion…Be Where Your Feet Are! Life blazes by so meet God in the moments…he’s there in all of them. If we’re not where our feet are, we’re dwelling int he past or zipping off into the future missing what God is doing right here and right now. We won’t always be comfortable, things aren’t always the way we plan…that’s ok because pain and frustration are places God does so much teaching, forming and leading.
A Seed to Plant: Every time your tempted to “wish away” a day waiting for one that’s better, ask the Father to help you be where your feet are and feel him working,
Blessings on your day!
The person who is faithful with small matters is also faithful with great ones. Luke 16:10
Our task for the week: seek the SMALL and the SIMPLE! Seriously…I’m not kidding…our motto for the week should be “Little Is Lovely!” (Let me be clear, hips and thighs don’t count!!!) If I had any power of any kind, I would declare it National 'Little is Lovely Week!'
Christmas Eve is coming quick and this is just about the time many of us go into our “Christmas Freak Out” and completely forget about the coming of a King! We have probably done some of our shopping and now we start to worry about whether the gifts we’ve purchased are good enough or big enough or fancy enough to out-do what we gave last year. That’s where the trouble starts to brew!
Many of Gods greatest gifts are small. Babies, flowers, butterfly’s, puppies and a Son who came to save us from our sinfulness are all small but yet so completely amazing they can make us stop in our tracks and take notice. God works among the small and simple parts of our lives. He shows His magnificence in the little details but yet we live in a culture that praises, rewards and almost requires bigger, better, bolder and over the top. It’s a good time to think about which influence we’d like to be shaped by. God wanted so badly to make things small and simple He even took His Ten Commandments and broke them down into two very simple ones, Love God and Love others. How could we goof up something so simple!
Sometimes it’s the little things we take for granted. We don’t often think of the simple gift of time as something valuable we can wrap and put under the tree but it is. Instead of trying to find the newest toy or hottest appliance or trendiest outfit, give the simple gift of time. Give a now and later gift, a small treat or gift card for now and a certificate for a lunch or dinner date together later. A gift from a student one year that really touched my heart was a beautiful cookie, made and wrapped with a bow by the child complete with a card saying that child and her family had prayed for me and my family at supper each night for a week. Give the gift of an event, like bowling or a movie together. How about the gift of a promise? It could be a promise to spend an hour or an afternoon doing whatever the recipient wants whether it be playing a game, cleaning the cupboards or helping with yard work. You could attach your promise to help with spring gardening to a new shovel or pair of work gloves. Be creative…be simple…be small! As you are trying to figure out how to bless the people you love, first remember to pray for them and ask the Creator who knows them best to help you decide how to bless them with a gift.
While we’re on the subject of little, how about spending a little or a little more time in prayer each morning so we can keep our hearts focused on the true meaning of the season. Be simple but be intentional. God loves Christmas and He’s the first one in line to help us keep focused and not overwhelmed by the way our culture can clutter up Christmas.
A seed to plant: Set your alarm to get up 15 minutes earlier this week and use those minutes in simple prayer, maybe reading the first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel. Second, take a look at your shopping and to-do list and pick 5 things to do smaller or simpler.
Blessings on your day!
For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father… Matthew 16:27
Happy Advent! Advent is my favorite…it is so filled with joy and hope and anticipation. I love it because it means the teachers at school meet each morning for prayer. I love praying with my work sisters and taking 15 minutes a day to soak up some peace and have conversation focused on something great makes my heart happy. Last year we couldn’t meet in the little chapel at school like we had in past years so when we returned to the practice this week it brought joy!!
On the first Monday of Advent I showed a Fr. Mike Schmitz video about Advent and it kind of blew me away. He’s amazing but this particular video knocked it completely out of the park. We talk in class about how Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ and think about his second coming. I never really gave the second coming much though to be honest but because of Fr. Mike and a couple of other great Advent videos… I’m thinking now! I’m going to combine the best parts of all I’ve learned into one post that might help your Advent as much as it has mine.
*We prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ on Christmas…we prepare to celebrate Christ the Baby. I can honestly say I didn’t really get too far from this spot.
*We prepare for the second coming of Christ…either He will come to us at the end of time or we will go to Him. Either way we’re preparing to meet him at the time of our judgement.
*Advent it about preparing for the coming of Jesus as the baby and Jesus the Judge…something to ponder.
*Fr. Mike challenged us to think about what Advent would look like if we knew we would meet Jesus on December 25th. What if that was our last day…how would Advent be different? What would we be truly be preparing for? What would change?
*After some thought and prayer my idea of Advent preparation took a gigantic turn. All of the sudden the shopping, decorating and Christmas prep didn’t seem as important. It gave me great cause to really think about what I was actually preparing for.
*I asked the middle lovelies to think about it too and when I asked them what they thought would change; my favorite answer was…”I would focus on the things that matter.” When I asked them what mattered to them they said, “That’s pretty simple, loving God and loving others is what matters most.” I suppose if we subscribe to that powerful notion it about covers it all.
The coolest thing about it all is that thinking about Jesus the baby and Jesus the judge slams on the brakes and just brings peace. It’s one of those stop everything and think kind of statements. I put the link to the video below so if your Advent needs a direction and a jump start give it a watch.
A Seed To Plant: If the purpose of Advent was prepping for heaven, what should your four candle wait include?
Blessings on your day!
Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com