I’m an Advent Failure!

Every year I have grandiose plans for Advent. Books to read, activities to complete, prayers to write. And every year one of two things happen: I don’t get started until December 10th  . . . OR  . . .  by December 10th I’ve missed so many days I am ready to give up. For the past few years I’ve owned my Advent failures and determined not to attempt so much and instead slow and be still more. Instead of adding to my December calendar, I subtract. I write less and expect less—of myself and of ... [Read More]

When God Draws Near: The Passion of the Redeemed

I love this season!  I love the lights and the decorations.  I love the music and the parties.  I love Black Friday shopping and wrapping the gifts.  I love the food and the gathering around the table. Christmas is definitely one of my favorite times of the year! But mostly because Christmas is such a great opportunity for me to be light in the darkness!  Just as my tree lights shine through the windows and the candles promise rest and warmth as they glisten in the darkness of night, so I have ... [Read More]

When God Draws Near: The Person of Redemption

About half of women in the United States feel unattractive without makeup (source).  Based on my Twitter stream, a good percentage of women struggle to build solid friendships with other women in their communities.  We battle  feelings of insecurity and insignificance.  We wonder if we are good enough at mothering, wife-ing, homemaking, and ministering. Based on the popularity of books like Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess,Unglued: Making Wise Choices ... [Read More]

When God Draws Near: May We Be Stilled

Here we are ... Thanksgiving week.  I have no idea how this is even possible.  2012 has flown by! We are halfway through the When God Draws Near series and I'm working hard to get the devotions finished up and ready for you in a couple of weeks. One of my favorite things is to provide ideas and resources for others.  Last week I mentioned a playlist for meditating and keeping your heart and mind focused on the redemption story throughout the holiday season.  Thankfully I am married to a ... [Read More]

When God Draws Near: The Plan for Redemption

I have redeemed you.  I have called you by name.  You are mine. Isaiah 43:1 Redeemed.  Bought back.  In the busy-ness and business of this mad dash toward Christmas, we easily lose sight of the promise of redemption woven deep into the manger and stable.   Caught up in the messiness of our lives, the promise of something better than rules, SOMEONE called Redeemer, can get lost in the piles of gift lists and menus and more events than time. But there it is, this plan sprinkled throughout ... [Read More]

When God Draws Near: The Story of Redemption

Started thinking about Christmas yet?  I should go ahead and confess that I'm one of "those people" who buys Christmas gifts all year long and generally speaking has all the hard planning parts of the season taken care of long before December 1 ever arrives.   You may not be a year-round gift buyer like me but maybe you are like me in another way: Somehow the business and busy-ness of Christmas leave little time for stillness and contemplation of Christ. The beauty of the manger story gets so ... [Read More]