Christmas

Mary and Me.

Decorating the tree, snow, eggnog, family, big comfy scarves, presents, the Christmas story, a warm fire, Creme Brulee Latte at Starbucks (grande, extra hot, less sweet, and cinnamon on top)… These are just a few things I look forward to each year as Christmas  approaches!

This year is a little different.  A few unique to us things flood my mind that I wouldn’t have necessarily dwelt on previously.  Matt and I will spend this Christmas together and not physically with our families.  I’ll be making my first turkey! Oh, and we’re having a baby soon!! Now that changes a few things..

I love learning about the “not so focused on” characters in the Christmas story like Zachariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-25), the Wisemen or the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12), Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) and so on. Yet the past few months, every ache or pain I experience, every “new” movement that our baby makes, the Lord brings my mind to Mary so often.

What might she have experienced during her pregnancy? Was it similar to the things I have been experiencing? What were some of the funny comments and advice people had given her?  What were those tough statements she had to swallow as some would have put her down for being in her position. Did she enjoy being pregnant? Did she struggle to not complain when the future seemed somewhat unknown?  Did she fear?

I try and read between the lines as I read about the path that the Lord had chosen for Mary. A women of faith, a servant of the Lord, and favored she was.

“For nothing with God [is or ever] shall be impossible.. Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to Your Word.” AMP
Luke 1:37-38

This Christmas truly isn’t about me. It never has been! It’s not about our joyfully expectant baby girl. It’s not about Mary and how she carried the Son of God. No, today and everyday it is about Jesus.  Son of the Most High.

“For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given;
And the government shall be upon His shoulder,
And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

“And He Himself existed and is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [His is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.]”
Colossians 1:17

Have you lost your wonder and awe for HIM? Has your mind been wrapped up in decorating, shopping, baking, and you have not taken the time to soak in the goodness of the Best Gift of all? Jesus is the best thing we could ever have and we have been given all of Him.

“Thank you Jesus for coming to earth, for choosing us because of Your great Love, for humbling yourself to the point of death on a cross, and demolishing the barrier of sin between us so that we can have a relationship with you today.”

Jesus took our place. Let’s remember HIM this Christmas.  Everything about Christmas this year has been given to us so that we are pointed back to Himself.

“But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart.”
Luke 2:19

Is your heart expectant? Make Jesus your treasure today.

Spiritual Growth

The Journey of Seeking Him.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” 
Jeremiah 29:13
“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
Deuteronomy 4:29
“Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise,…”
1 Chronicles 22:19

“The more I seek You, the more I find You. The more I find You, the more I love You.” These were a few lyrics to a sweet song that a friend of mine and myself sang in church. What a beautiful truth! God promises us that when we seek Him with all of our heart, wholeheartedly, we will find Him.  It’s a sure thing, it’s a promise, and we can believe it!

Jesus is so good to us. It amazes me that He wants to give us every bit of His joy, blessing, and fullness of life. Have you experienced even a taste of that? I know that when I see Jesus in people, I want to know how they got that! When I see His people working together for His glory, I want to be apart of that! When Jesus is evident in something, I don’t want to miss out. Have you been there? Have you craved more of Him?

It seems that everything in my life lately has been a theme of finding my ALL in Jesus alone.  All or nothing. My satisfaction is in Him alone. In Him is found perfect peace. In Him in FULLNESS of joy.

“Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
Psalm 90:14
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.”
Isaiah 26:3
“You will make known to me thepath of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
Psalm 16:11
When I look for these things {apart} from the Source, I end up frustrated, confused, and down.
“If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any persons better than Christ, or any indulgence better than the hope of heaven—take alarm.”
– Thomas Guthrie
“Hungry I come to you for I know you satisfy.”
-Joy Williams, “Hungry”
Where do you go when your physically hungry? Subway! Or the fridge. Spiritually, I’ve been asking the Lord to remind me everyday that I NEED Him! More than I think I do.  More than my physical food. He’s the giver of every breath that I breathe.  Stop and think about that for a moment. Every breath.  You don’t even realize that you are breathing until you stop and think about it or until you can’t breathe. (Or when someone has really bad breath and you hold yours..)
Jesus is our source of life and making Him the source of our lives requires humility, desperation, and a seeking. Are you seeking Him?  One of my favorite passages in Scripture   says,
 
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5
“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.”
Psalm 107:9

Christ, who is your life… Colossians says it clearly. (Colossians 3:4)
“If Christ is your life, you are free from the desperate quest to find life in situations, locations, and relationships.”
-Paul David Tripp

No more searching for purpose, meaning, or identity.  Jesus has given you ALL of that and more! What a joy, blessing, and privilege it is to {seek Him together}.