Thursday, December 19, 2013

Never Letting Go

No shadow comes without the light making a way
No raging storm can ever defy one word of faith
My heart remains sure in the wind, sure in the waves
You are the anchor for my soul
You won't let go
You won't let go
No matter what may come I know
You won't let go
You won't let go
No valley low, changes the truth
So I'm not afraid
You hold me close
You lead me through and light up the way
~Michael W. Smith, You Won't Let Go
I've been making a conscious effort this Christmas season to be aware and full of the Lord's Spirit as I prepare for celebrating his birth. I won't pretend that there haven't been moments during the past few weeks where this resolution of mine is put to the test.

There have been many reminders during this time though that show me He never lets go.  In His love for me, He has blessed me with a song, a wise word, or a perfectly timed Bible verse that shows He is here and He is enough. In the thick of it, it can be tough to feel that. Yet I'm learning that no matter what I feel in the moment, I know what is truth and that truth doesn't change.

So whether it is in the mountain top moments or the valley low moments - I know the truth, and that truth will set me free:

I know that nothing can separate me from God's love. Romans 8:38-39

I know that His joy is strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

I know that if I search for Him, I will find Him. Deuteronomy 4:29b

I know that His very breath courses through me, giving new life. Ezekiel 37:5

I know that the Lord stands with me. 2 Timothy 4:17

I know that He delights in me and with His love, He will calm all of my fears. Zephaniah 3:17 

May you too during this holiday season and in the new year to come, remember these truths and find comfort in His love for us. May He be the anchor for your soul and may you rest in the fact that He will never let go of you.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Peace on Earth and in Our Hearts

This second Sunday of Advent they lit the candle of peace and I bow my head to silently remember that He promised peace here on this earth.  Not the kind of peace that comes from believing we have it all figured out and that we are in control. But the peace that is beyond reason or understanding, and that wraps itself around our hearts whispering that there is a bigger plan.

In the middle of the busyness of the season, the lines and the crowds, the tantrums, the tears, the laughter and cookie baking, the cuddles and snuggles, the tight hugs and "I love you's," the unpredictable and the scary - in the middle of it all He beckons us to rest in Him and receive His peace.

He invites us into the hope that arrived that night in the form of a tiny baby crying out for its mother, so unassuming as he lay in a manger. He whispers, "trust me and there you will find peace." And my heart, that feels so fragile right now, yearns to let go and free fall into the peace that He offers. In the world that I cannot control, I ask that He will help me to trust and have faith that He is going before me and walking with me in each moment. I return to my constant prayer during this season, "Lord fill me with your presence and your Spirit; I need more of You." 

Wishing you peace this season too.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Season of Advent

"No matter your story before, this is your beginning now: you were formed by Love . . . for love.  And the greatest gift we can give our great God is to let His love make us glad." ~Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift

It's December and I can already tell that this Christmas season is going to fly by; only 22 days until the big day.  It feels like there is so much to do in such a short amount of time as I try to cram in as much as I can to make this holiday special for the little ones.

However, last month I committed to myself that I would look at the holiday season differently this year. I would be more intentional about remembering what the season is really about and not try to rush through it, but instead slow down. As part of that, I am reading The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. In her book, she invites her readers to look at Christmas as a celebration of a love story; a love story of the God who has been pursuing our hearts since the very beginning.

God's infinite love has been a theme that has come up a lot for me during the last few months. I have been taught about God's love all my life, but that deeper understanding of how great His love for us is has been becoming more apparent recently.

And that is what this season of Advent and Christmas is truly about. It is remembering that He loved us so completely that He gave up heaven to come down here. He gave up everything to arrive on this earth with nothing. He became the least of these so that we can be more and have more than this life offers.

So I am on a journey this advent season as I await the celebration of the birth of my Savior; the one who's love for me is greater than I could ever comprehend. Because it is out of His love that everything else flows and is made possible. As the days move closer towards December 25th, I want to be moving closer towards Him. My prayer every morning this December is that I will be filled with Him; so much so that it overflows to those around me.