Tag Archives: peace

Still Moments – Come As You Are

This Sunday the invitation is a simple one – come as you are. Wherever you are, in whatever condition you may find yourself. Let rescue begin…this is why it’s to Him I run.

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
(Crowder, Come As You Are)

A Tangled Mess And Chicken Thoughts

magicRadio silence…and where to begin.  There are so many thoughts flying around in my head right now, so many changes around the corner.  I can’t even begin to fathom.  I have this tangled up knot of thoughts and feelings and emotions and “what ifs,” and worries, and fears, and dreams.  I have been trying to untangle it, following each thread to see where it may lead.  Then I have these stray thoughts that go flying through my head like chickens, squawking and flapping and making a huge ruckus, distracting me from the progress I had been making on untangling the other mess. (I don’t know why chickens.  I am telling you, I am a wreck.) You see, this is what happens when you set a “wow” goal at the beginning of 2015 and find that God isn’t going to waste anytime getting to work – on you and for you.

Let me back up and see if I can untangle at least one thought line for you. I don’t usually buy into New Year’s Resolutions.  Mine usually occur in the back-to school-season. (That’s when I make my grand plans for all the Good Things I am going to accomplish as we transition from summer chaos to school day chaos. Er, I mean school day orderliness…sorry random thought thread.) But this year I did kind of jump on the band wagon with a nod to setting a “wow” goal.  And that’s when the wheels began to come off of the comfortable I had set up for myself and the knot started compounding exponentially and the chickens came to roost. (Read A Reflection…A Resolution for my “wow” goal inspiration.)

Have you ever felt like you were a spectator in your own life? Over the past week that is exactly where I have found myself. I gave my “wow” goal to God at the beginning of the year and figured we would have a nice, steady, 12-month, slow and measured movement to it’s completion.  Instead, I have found myself quickly face to face with “wow” and God. Major career change, a brand new business opportunity-maybe, and this huge blank slate (optimistic) or hole (pessimistic) that I don’t know what I am supposed to do with.

I know (in my head) that to live in obedience we go when God says go. Abraham didn’t know where he was going but God told him to pack up and move out and he did. (And this wasn’t just taking a walk around the block. He had tents and animals and people and all of their stuff that they packed up.  He left behind everything that he had known, aka comfort and safety.) Abraham was on a need-to-know basis with God which meant only seeing as far as the next step and even that was cloudy for him at times.  That scares and exhilarates me at the same time.  This is what faith and complete dependance on God look like.

Unfortunately, no matter how much I want to respond like Abraham, I feel more like Jonah. Jonah didn’t want to go. I was ok with just kind of going.  I wanted both, safety and following in faith and I had lots of excuses, just like Jonah, about why I couldn’t just step out.  But when God say go, you go.  And if you don’t He will take every excuse away and kick you out anyway.  So now I am kicked out and I don’t know where I am going.  Make sense?  It makes no sense and perfect sense at the same time. That’s why I am a tangled up mess with chickens running around in my head.

Who knew that God moving could be so terrifying?  But there is another side to this.  And this is the side that has kept me from losing it altogether and quiets the chickens.  I am not alone and this is not my plan to figure out. Outside of my comfort there are amazing things waiting for me.  God-things are waiting for me!

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today’s trouble is enough for today.”(Matthew 6:31-34)

These are Jesus’ words meant for comfort and instruction. His promise to us.  I am learning to live in what author Nicky Gumbel calls “day-tight compartments.” One day at a time.  As Corrie ten Boom put it, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow; but it empties today of strength.”  We are called to change our ambitions and priorities and take on a new set that are both exciting and challenging: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

Being on a need-to-know basis is shaking up everything that I knew and 2015 is going to be an adventure. This…this “wow” thing that is beginning to take shape is not at all what I thought or expected, but it is leading me directly into the presence of Jesus.  There is so much more…more to say and share and discover but it’s still all tangled up.  Will you adventure with me and see what surprises lie in the great unknown?

How is your 2015 going?

On the tenth day of Christmas…

gifts10A Tale of Two Christmases

Sitting in the glow of the Christmas lights with my coffee this morning my brain felt all warm and sleepy and completely devoid of any coherent thought.  As the sun rose outside my windows though and I was reading through some Christmas devotionals my thoughts began assembling themselves into two streams of consciousness that stem from this question. What kind of Christmas are you preparing for?  

A holly-jolly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year…

This year we have been checking off one holiday tradition after another and making some new ones up along the way in the building of our Christmas. It isn’t just one day, but an entire season in our home. The gingerbread houses have been constructed.  The children’s Christmas pageant at church was sweet and full of angels and shepherds and songs to lift your spirits.  We have been to two band concerts, a piano recital, played the Christmas light game (an entertaining but competitive way to pass the time in the car at night.) We have seen Santa and already enjoyed lots and lots of good food and plenty of delicious desserts with more on the horizon as this week unfolds.  Christmas seasons like this make it easy to feel wrapped up in God’s love, to see His blessings surrounding you, to stand in church and belt out Joy to the World and mean it.  Your soul is “amening” the beautifully written bible verses of the season and you have grabbed a hold of each and every promise that was made and kept by God. This is Christmas, a time to celebrate!

But…

Maybe you are bracing for a tough Christmas. The promise of Great Joy that the angels made to the shepherds feels like it passed you over and there isn’t much joy in sight this Christmas.  The fact is it’s been a rough year for many and there’s not much joy in sight this Christmas. Sadness and hurt are all we see. I understand that.There have been years when these same songs and promises of peace and love and joy felt like an assault on my senses.  I have stood with empty arms on Christmas morning, missing the baby that was supposed to be cradled there. The year that my grandfather passed away just weeks before Christmas made each tradition, song, church service, painful reminders of the hole that was left in his absence. The shadow of disease, and the absence of a diagnosis, overshadowed one season with a cloud of fear.   In these seasons of life it felt like joy had given up on me. No matter how hard I tried, and pretended for the sake of those around me I just couldn’t convince myself deep down. Two sides to every coin right? I get it if you are barely holding it together, swallowing the tears, suppressing the pain because those things do not a Merry Christmas make.  But they are in fact a reality.

The miracle of Christmas is that your story isn’t over.  God is not indifferent to our pain. In fact, He left eternity and came to earth to show how much he cares. He came to live with us and die for us. Your story of mistakes, sadness, shame, and hurt, my story of grief and fear, are erased and re-written by God’s unmerited love. This Christmas, if you are looking for peace, for joy, for love, you’ll find it in Jesus because He is the promise. When you take God at His word, when you reach out and grab a hold of His promises, believing it even when you aren’t feeling it, a beautiful change of heart will begin to happen.  The facade of pain and hurt will begin to crack and fade away in the glory of the love of The One they call Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Immanuel  – God with us.  There is hope and I would love nothing more than for you to grab a hold of that gift this Christmas.

A tale of two Christmases, a testament to the seasons of life. No matter where you find yourself this season, this story, This Gift is for you. I bring you good news of great joy. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, straight from Jesus himself. For God so loved you and me that He sent His son to be born and die in our broken world for our brokenness as the Ultimate Gift.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:8-11)

 

On the first day of Christmas…

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Of all the things we want, what we want most is meaning.
Because in the midst of this season — you need Christmas for you too.
Because you’re tired of asking — Where did the wonder go?
Because this year, you’re desperate to hush the hurry & find the holy. To feel the reason to rejoice!
Because you don’t want to wake up Christmas morning — and feel like you somehow missed Him.
Come. This year can be different. That’s a gift you want — & He wants for you.

When I first read this, written by Ann VosKamp, my entire soul was crying out “YES!” Yes, I want more meaning! Yes, I want the wonderment of Christmas back! I don’t want to just consume Christmas, I want to experience it.

Can you believe there are just 12 days until Christmas? (I can’t! How has the month of December slipped by so quickly?!) Let’s count down these next 12 days together in encouragement and laughter and continue to be sensitive to Him in all of our moments leading up to “the big day” so that we don’t wake Christmas morning and wonder how we missed Him in all of it.

So, on this first day of Christmas, I am going to invite you to open up an early gift. (Those are always great, right?) This particular gift can begin to color your Christmas in an entirely different light.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:8-14)

A baby is born, but not just any baby, a baby who injects peace and joy and love into a broken and hurting world. When the angels sang about peace on earth that first Christmas night I have to wonder if they had any idea what kind of promise they were making.

The Christmas expectation bar…it gets raised every year. The unique, one-of-a-kind, thoughtful gift that not only rivals, but tops last year’s. (And if you have to fight someone else for it, that makes it that much better.) Christmas dinner that looks like a banquet spread for royalty complete with a starched linen tablecloth and 263 piece table setting. Packages wrapped with paper and bows that coordinate not only with the tree (fresh cut and strung with 15,000 lights, of course) but the rest of the meticulously placed decorations. Baked goods (in bulk quantities) that look like they could be decorations themselves and disappear quickly at the hands of the kids while you wonder if they even tasted them. This time of year our thoughts tend to get set into fast-forward as do our feet and we have lists for our lists. (At least I do, I love lists!) This is why when I read VosKamp’s words I was ready to slam on the brakes.

Christmas has become a watered down holiday that starts at Halloween and ends for so many people anti-climatically in an exhausted heap on Christmas morning. The world today is a fast-paced, immediate gratification, need, need, need, bigger, newer, shinier place. But at Christmas, with a soundtrack featuring Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, I can close my eyes and picture my Norman Rockwell painting of Christmas. But the reality is more often a fighting, noisy, grouchy, too-much-to-do-not-enough-time production that stretches our patience and our bank accounts, accompanied to the tune of Dominic the Christmas Donkey. (How is that even a Christmas song by the way?) So how can we break through the chaos and the noise of this season and rediscover the wonder?

CF Richardson said, “If peace be in the heart, the wildest winter storm is full of solemn beauty.” Christmas is kind of like that wild winter storm but if we have peace in our hearts, Christmas, even in all of its demanding chaos, with the baking, and the wrapping, and the Santa line, and the kids all hopped up on Christmas spirit and sugar, and the out-of-town-family can be beautiful. The key is peace. And peace is found on this night, wrapped in swaddling cloths, surrounded by farm animals, lying in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. Is that what we do sometimes? Have we hung a no vacancy sign on our lives, whether or not we even realize it in our busyness and self-sufficiency? Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the obligatory visit to the manger, most often it happens on Christmas eve, but is it just a short layover between dinner and Santa or is it something more?

I love Christmas, I love the traditions, the baking, the decorations, the pretty packages and presents, I love Santa. (I may even love the chaos at little bit.) I am not suggesting that we remove those things from our celebrations. If anything think about how much more beautiful they would be when infused with peace and a deeper purpose to the season. Peace on earth, come to us. If you find yourself stressed out, and in search of the ever elusive peace we sing about, then I would venture to say that you have hung that no vacancy sign. It is so easy to get caught up in doing Christmas the way the world tells us Christmas should be done and lost in the expectations that we put on ourselves to create the perfect holiday, that we don’t spend time kneeling at the manager, allowing ourselves the gifts of peace.

We desperately need the wonder of Christmas again — and the miracle of real change. And it can start right here in the midst of the crazy with peace. Peace that extends beyond Christmas day into our families, our marriages, our jobs. Sometimes it feels like we are engaged in a great battle and all we want is a break, an opportunity to say “Time out!” so that we can catch our breath before re-engaging, especially during craziness of the holidays.

Max Lucado says, “We cannot have the peace of God until we have peace with God.” Looking for peace without God is like trying to swim upstream, it is exhausting, a constant battle. We can’t fight our way to peace; it’s not something you “do.” This peace, a lasting heartfelt peace, is a gift from God.

“For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

On the first day of Christmas my True Love gave to me, Peace…

This too shall pass…

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I have recently found myself pondering some very important questions. For example, is my car invisible? I have really begun to believe this may actually be truth with as many people as have pulled out in front of me, even though there are no cars behind me! This has not been a one time occurrence but instead more like a daily treat! And then as a follow up question. Why, if you are in such a hurry, that you must pull out in front of me, can you not at least do the speed limit? I have also been recently questioning if my speedometer is not set correctly as every car I am behind seems to be doing 15 miles an hour less than the speed limit. I am not a speed demon by any means, and I try to build some flex time into my travel, but not 15 extra minutes of flex time! This is white-knuckle driving, not because of bad road conditions, but because of the death grip I have on the steering wheel in frustration as the minutes tick by and I get later and later for wherever I am on my way to.

Quick, how would you describe your life right now in five words or less?

Me? I would say I am on my way. That’s how I feel like I live. I am always on my way somewhere. On my way to take the kids to school then depending on the day, I could be on my way to work, either on location or at home. Once there I try to cram as much as I can into the hours between 10 and 2 before being on my way back to pick the kids up from school. Then we are on our way to a music lesson or sports practice (or both), or possibly to feed a sports team if it’s an away game day (which often means fitting baking somewhere in between those precious “working” hours.) Then I am on my way to a sporting event, or on my way to the grocery store to pick up a random item that I need (even though I make lists, there is always something missing when I get home!) Many days I can be found at both. Then it’s on my way home to make dinner, probably do a load (or two) of laundry, help with homework (the dreaded math!) tidy up the mess we have all left in our wake throughout the day, then maybe work a little bit more if 10-2 didn’t accomplish everything on the day’s must-do list and then I am on my way to bed. A picture of a fairly typical day, where a lot of hours are spent on my way to somewhere, in my invisible car.

As the saying goes though, this too shall pass. There are plenty days when the last thing I want to do is get back and the car, and be “on my way” but there is going to come a day, in the not so distant future, when I won’t have to, so I am not complaining.

It seems like just yesterday I was tripping over toys strewn across the family room, changing diapers, and buckling kids into car seats. And now, I look at my two quickly growing children, young adults really, and I realize where we are really on our way to. I pray that as we quickly make our way towards the next chapter in our family that we can teach them enough, prepare them enough. I can’t always protect them from the world, although I try. I can’t save them from themselves some days, although I try. Some days I feel like I am literally in a tug of war match with Satan over them. We mess up, we get angry, I am far from a perfect mother, and I do not have perfect children, or a perfect family, but we try. The beautiful thing is we don’t have to be perfect. Perfection is not our standard. We just have to have a little bit of forgiveness (sometimes a little harder to come by than others) and love. Love the Lord our God, love our neighbor, love our children (and our parents), love our enemy. (That last one can be tough, I know, but this isn’t the a la carte menu. We can’t pick and choose, so love your enemy, with some help from God.)

I don’t know how you described you life (or if you even humored me when I asked you to.) I don’t know where you are in life. Today, I share my “spot in time” with you in hopes of encouragement. Know that whatever you are facing today, whatever your description was, good, bad, or filled with a little bit of crazy, I can only tell you this…it will pass. Sometimes that passing is bittersweet, but if you can keep God-centered, you won’t lose your way or your hope.

If you are having a bad day today, you are not alone. God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Heb 13:5) Find rest, refuge, and peace in Jesus. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28) “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

If you are having a good day, remember the Lord, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (Psalms 107:1) “Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.” (Psalms 103:1-2)

And if you find yourself more like me, with an invisible car, smack dab in the middle of crazy, hold on tight and use the Lord as your balance. Crazy can be wonderful if you don’t let it run you over. Remember, in the midst, God wants to be the center of our day, seek Him first, His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt 6:33) In all things (this goes for the good and bad days too) pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17.) Talk to God, share your day with Him. This is real life, and He wants to be a part of yours, no matter what it looks like.

And remember, this too shall pass…

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest… A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.” (Ecc 3:1-2,4)

We interrupt this Christmas celebration to bring you Joy…

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This last “interruption” post has been on my to-do list since the beginning of the week. A week which started with another dead car battery. (My car now has a brand new one, I am not going to play that morning guessing game anymore.) So this meant that my 8th grader was unexcused for the 40 min that he missed while I charged the battery and drove the 20 min to school and has to make up that time. I was at two different hospitals that day, once to visit Hannah who had to be intubated early Monday morning and then to pick up my 3 year old niece while my sister sat with another family member at the ER. Tuesday was the day I had slated to bake Christmas cookies and wrap presents until I received a mid-morning call that said 8th grader was vomiting and needed picked up. So needless to say, it’s been quite a week, (and it’s only barely half over.) Thankfully, aside from assorted practices, my fifth grader has remained healthy and even keeled this week.  Even still I have found myself  asking a very important question as  frustration begins creeping into my days.  “Tragedy or inconvenience?” Sometimes in the midst it is easy to confuse the two.

My segment on joy was actually planned to be a video clip from a women’s program that I took part in last Friday evening. But true to the way of the week, first I couldn’t find the cable for the video camera and then the sound was sub-par. Soooo…here goes joy, in written form. I hope it will have the same impact.
 

 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,  and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  (Luke 2:8-14)

So not only did angels proclaim peace that night, they also promised great joy. Joy to the world, right? Tis the season for joy. But the fact is it’s been a rough year for many and there’s not much joy in sight this Christmas. Sadness and hurt are all we see. I understand that. Many of you know my story, but for those of you who don’t let me share just a bit with you. When I was 23 years old, we experienced the death of our son at 32 weeks into my pregnancy. That was in October. Do the math and you will find that I was due in the middle of December. What most people don’t know is that my plans for our Christmas cards that year were birth announcements. I had visions of two little boys on Christmas morning in matching pajamas, the whole bit. So for me, that Christmas was like the back-handed slap of life. I had only barely begun to heal from our son’s death when the hole that was left became ever more pronounced when there was no baby at Christmas. I can remember telling my parents” I am just not feeling it this year. ” It felt like joy had given up on me. No matter how hard I tried, and pretended for the sake of those around me I just couldn’t convince myself deep down. Ten years later I spent the entire Christmas season undergoing a series of medical tests that continued to bring more questions than answers. That entire season was overshadowed by the cloud of fear, no terror. All I knew was the doctors were very concerned which in turn made me very concerned, and has ended in a diagnosis of an extremely rare and incurable autoimmune disease. I get it if you are sitting here tonight, humoring whoever it is that invited you. But I am so glad you are here because let me tell you today as I stand on the other side of that fear and joy-lessness, sometimes you just need time, sometimes you need to take the outstretched hand of someone else who loves you even when you don’t want to, but no matter what, if you are going to find your way out, it always takes God. The miracle of Christmas is that your story isn’t over. My story did not end there. God is not indifferent to your pain. In fact, He left eternity and came to earth to show how much he cares. He came to live with us and die for us. Your story of mistakes, sadness, shame, and hurt, my story of grief and fear, are erased and re-written by God’s unmerited love. This Christmas, if you are looking for peace, for joy, for love, you’ll find it in Jesus because He is the promise. I bring you good news of great joy. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, straight from Jesus himself. For God so loved you and me that He sent His son to be born and die in a world where the no vacancy sign was lit. There is hope and I would love nothing more than to share that hope with you this Christmas.

It starts with making room…

Read the entire interruption series beginning with Hannah’s story, then Hope, Comfort, and finally, Peace.

We interrupt this Christmas celebration to bring you back to reality…

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.  Let your heart light.  From now on our troubles will be out of sight.

Stop!  Time out! Someone forgot to notify our troubles that it is Christmas and that because of this nostalgic song and the season that we find ourselves in, they are supposed to magically disappear.
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Today, I want to introduce you to someone who interrupted our holiday preparations.  Our tiny Hannah. This sweet little baby made her entrance into this world one week ago at 26 weeks into my sister-in-law’s pregnancy.  At only 13 inches long and just 2 lbs 6 oz, she magnifies the miracle of life and the mighty and merciful God that we serve.  The doctors have nicknamed her “Little Tiger” for her already evident strength of spirit.  After years spent praying for a child, this dream pregnancy had been anything but.  The first trimester was spent battling nausea and vomiting.  Then came a terrifying diagnosis of Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) that brought all of us to our knees. ABS occurs when the fetus becomes entangled in fibrous string-like amniotic bands in the womb, restricting blood flow and affecting the baby’s development, causing anything from limb amputation and cleft palate, to club feet, or miscarriage.  Two weeks ago, during a bi-weekly ABS ultrasound it was discovered that Hannah’s mom was two centimeters dilated and beginning to efface.  The doctors did what they could to prevent labor and prepare and protect the baby but four days later Hannah’s mom’s water broke and after being rushed to one of the leading neonatal hospitals in the country Hannah made her appearance in this world.  And in joyful praise, Hannah is perfect.  The ABS didn’t affect her at all, and may very well have saved her life because of the increased monitoring.  Hannah’s story has only just begun but God’s merciful hand of protection on her is increasingly evident. In an answer to prayer and a display of God’s power,  Hannah spent only 14 hours on  the ventilator and has since been breathing on her own.  Every day is a milestone with challenges and questions, victories and sometimes set backs but there is no doubt that her little life is already bringing God glory.  God is already using her in a very mighty way!

Seeing Hannah lying in the NICU, hooked to machines beeping and monitoring, you can’t help but be overcome.  She has captured my heart while at the same time  pricking it in a way I never thought I would have known.  Looking at her tiny, fragile body, I can’t help but think of my own son, delivered at 32 weeks, who never had the opportunity at life.  The mix of emotions over the last week has been tumultuous.  I only share this insight as an explanation of the lens through which I share Hannah’s story.  I have had difficult moments claiming that “it is well with my soul” this week, with unrest billowing and rolling, always just under the surface, for these young parents, waiting and watching and holding their breath, afraid for the very life of their sweet little baby, not knowing what the next hour, let alone day is going to bring.  Having been on the other side of this story my heart is in anguish, knowing too well all that they fear, but finding comfort in the confidence of our God, who is holding all of this together.

So, I come back to the words of the song above, let your heart be light.  This is after all, the season for joy. The season for a plastic smile and a shiny veneer of holiday cheer.  But what happens when you find yourself picking up the pieces of your dreams, having to revert to Plan B before you even knew you needed a Plan B.  This is when real life interrupts the idealist version of Christmas.

This week, through Hannah’s story,  I want to share with you another picture of Christmas.  A picture of peace and hope, comfort and joy, in the midst of real life, delivered into a manger on that first Christmas.  These promises fulfilled through the birth of a tiny baby.

She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” (Matthew 1:23)

In the meantime and in the days going forward, will you join me in praying for “Little Tiger” Hannah and her parents and doctors?20131208-211411.jpg
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. (Psalm 107:28-30)

It’s a book trailer…

buynow

Run and Be Still Books now available in soft cover and hardback!

Plus, through Wed 10/23 take an additional 10% off with code BOOKTRAILERWP1013!

Things have been busy lately (to put it mildly.)  Tonight, I am excited to share my newest project with you, the book trailer, in addition to offering my WordPress readers a special discount.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Still Moments – Do Less, Accomplish More

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I needed this reminder today! I can’t be the only one, so I will share it!
Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? (Luke 12:22-26 NLT)

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NLT)

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3 NLT)