I am entering the Christmas season, with a weary and worn spirit. I have stepped into the advent similarly in years past, depleted and empty of anything worthy of celebration… but ironically so desperately in need of a Savior. The timing seems wrong, but perhaps so right, as I long to linger in His Light that was introduced to us long ago in a Manger. Maybe being stripped of strength will lead me to once again surrender to the One who gives it. Perhaps being vulnerable to life’s tiring terrain will once again guide me to His Timeless Truth.
It seems there is always a reason for the season, yes?
I was given a gift a few weeks ago, by my dear friend Stacy Voss… her beautiful book titled “Savoring Christmas”.
In the madness and mess of my life right now, I find this positively on purpose.
Thank you God.
Amidst the crisis and emotional turmoil, the never-ending conflicts and sickness, I was able to anxiously follow up on my ankle pain with a surgeon to remove the dislodged broken bone that is wreaking all kinds of pissed off pain.
Surgery set for December 16th.
In two weeks, I will come out of surgery with in a cast or brace for 6-8 weeks with no driving or weight on my ankle.
A bit tough to take.
But necessary. Oh so necessary, as my ankle screams at me for relief.
So the timing couldn’t be more awful and perfect all at once.
Back to the book…
I had hours of waiting at the Doctor’s office…and during some painful tormenting nights, I spent more time in silent solace tending to my heart with Stacy’s insight, wisdom, and sweet encouragement to truly soak in the significance of the season. Her day-to-day devotion is exactly what I need, especially for this year. Perhaps? For every year.
Sweet friends, you simply must go order her book now. It’s such a simple effortless read – yet a profound book of truths and stories and reflections that will open your heart to truly basking in the simplicity of the season’s gifts- Peace. Hope. Grace. Joy. Giving. Love. Stacy has the ability to take you through a perspective that filters the stress of the outside world we tend to allow in, and leads you through days of intentional faith. Designed to invite you to take steps toward experiencing the Christmas Season with clarity, while seeing Christ’s birth and God’s mission anew.
This has been my refuge…my source of strength and surrender during this time. Stacy has opened my twisted and tight heart to take in the Spirit’s Light in a way I never imagined. So many of her messages speak to me in immeasurable ways.
I simply must share a few with you:
“God with us. I want to challenge you this season to experience God’s presence in a way you never have previously. December usually is a month in which we run from one Christmas party to the next, got to umpteen different stores, send cards, wrap presents, and find ourselves beat and exhausted. In the midst of our celebrations, it can also be a time of increased loneliness, depression or disappointment. Where we might ask, Is God in the middle of that?
Please. Just look. Emmanuel, God with us, looked very different that first Christmas than many expected. While hopes of a king coming in power to victoriously save the people from oppression, kept most looking for jewels and crowns. The true Messiah humbly lay in a smelly feeding trough. And while we look for relief from our pain, suffering or loneliness, Emmanuel may appear very differently to us this year. Perhaps it will be through the prompting to buy dinner for a stranger, or sacrifice something that affects you deeply for the benefit of another. Perhaps, Emmanuel will come to you through the provision of a friend, meal, or touch.
In this world of relativism, one truth still remains.
God is with us.”
This particular chapter touched me so deeply, especially during the season I seem to be in. Even the title alone seemed to beam it’s light directly to my heart. I wonder if any of you need this too?
“It Isn’t Supposed to Be This Way”
“How many times have you told yourself “It isn’t supposed to be this way?” Maybe it was when you were about to have a mental breakdown in the store as you scrambled to buy one of the few toys left on the shelf. Perhaps you thought it after snapping at your kids, knowing the real problem was your sheer exhaustion from attending too many Christmas parties. So often we overschedule in December and feel frantic, but what about the times we’re lonely due to loss of a loved one or from being apart from family.
“It Isn’t Supposed to Be This Way,” we silently scream when we hear our own grown kids won’t be coming home, making our reality that much harder as we couple it with unmet expectations.
My guess is this sentiment has been expressed since the first Christmas.
Think of Joseph knocking on doors, crying out for anyone who would assist him. “Please, sir. My wife…yes I know everything is full, but the baby is on its way. It’s not just any baby, either.”
Can you fathom Joseph’s emotions? He was the head of the house, longing to provide and protect as God has built into every man, and yet he watched as his wife writhe in pain without even a soft place to lie down. God, surely you don’t want your son to be born like this!
Did Mary have her, “It Isn’t Supposed to Be This Way” moments too? Her childhood dreams of being a mom never looked like this. Maybe she always pictured her own mother there for the birth of her firstborn, yet there she was, in a musky stable, giving birth to the most high.
A prince. In a place built for animals.
The Messiah, as a helpless baby.
It isn’t supposed to be this way.
Or is it?
Today is the only day that I ask that you make sure you read the accompanying questions, for in them you will find the answer to the statement so many of us have muttered.
“The LORD almighty has sworn, ‘ surely, as I have planned, so it will be, as I have proposed, so it will happen.’” Isaiah 14:24
You will be blessed, reading through this precious devotional this season. Order it now, so you cannot waste another day fretting and fraying through this frantic time of year. Buy this one gift for yourself, and allow it to nourish your spirit, guide your mind and open your heart to a more purposeful Christmas.
Lets not allow this cherished season be wasted on what nots… life is full of them. Allow God to minister to your heart through Stacy’s gift and soak in the significance of God’s greatest gift to you.