I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14 ESV)
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . .” (Andy Williams)
Christmas comes with lots of expectations, hopes and desires. Some people LOVE the season with all its trimmings and parties and fun. And others wish they could skip December and go straight into January or even June.
I normally wouldn’t even bring up this touchy topic this early in the year, but I want to let you in on some wonderful opportunities to PREPARE your hearts for a different kind of Christmas. (Oh, if you’re like me you will still celebrate your traditions and be madly checking off lists and baking cookies galore, but what if we could do this with a greater sense of God’s presence.) What if we practiced Christmas like Brother Lawrence lived out his life.
His aim was to love God. Here’s how he put it:
” . . .that having resolved to make the love of GOD the end of all his actions . . .that he was pleased when he could take up a straw from the ground for the love of GOD, seeking Him only, and nothing else, not even His gifts.”
Sometimes making a resolve before something occurs makes a huge difference in our lives.
I often hear others or myself saying something like, “God loves me, in spite of my past or mistakes or failures.” or ” God loves me, even though I don’t deserve His love.” I’m here to say something new.
GOD LOVES US! He loved us before we were born. We came into this world loved by God. Not because we were going to be someone or do something, not because He knew we’d mess up and He’d have to make us better.
He just plain loved us and loves us! And He created us to love Him.
So my resolve for this year’s Christmas season is to love! Plain and simple, however that might look in my particular family and community.
I love how God weaves themes together. And allows us to meet kindred spirits along the journey.
Victoria from Expectantly Listening is sharing her intentions for Advent, and she made a visual prayer focus to keep her heart tuned towards her desires for this season.
Bernice and Diane are launching Pause, Ponder & Prepare this week. Make sure you scroll down their page and watch the videos to see the ART component they plan to facilitate.
Here is my visual prayer collage for the ADVENTure ahead.
I really enjoyed this time of contemplation. Here are some of the phrases that spilled onto the page:
“Advent lasts a season; eternity lasts a lifetime.”
“Art in everything.”
“Jesus is the reason for the…well…for everything!”
These will be my guiding throughts as I approach my preparations, my times to pause and ponder, and my practice of Advent this year.
How will you PREPARE for Christmas this year?