Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Light of Hope

The darkness falls quickly these days – we have changed the long, luxurious days of summer for the even longer, chilly nights of winter. While I love the holidays this time of the year and the cozy factor that comes from all the warm sweaters and my favorite scarves, I find myself missing the long sunsets and bright mornings of summer.

Which is why the holiday seasons we revel in these winter months – Advent, Hanukkah, and Christmas – bring such delight. These festivals of light. These celebrations of anticipation and thankfulness.

For Advent this year, I’m going back to re-read The Greatest Gift, by Ann Voskamp (along with several fellow writers and, perhaps, the whole of the (in)courage community!) and our family will be reading, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (also authored by Ann) and discovering the Jesse Tree in our Advent family devotion time.

Tonight at the table, we lit the first Advent candle – the candle of hope.

I read from one of my favorite chapters in Isaiah – 40 – and shared these words of hope with my sweet family gathered near:
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. 

What else could bring hope more, than the utterance of assurance from the God of the universe? What he has spoken will come to pass. What he spoken is true, and right, and will be honored.  His word stands forever and it the foundation of our lives.

I also love the hope declared at the end of this chapter:
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Are your tired and weary? Has this year been more than you feel you can bear? Does it feel as if the light of this season cannot possibly reach into the depths of your suffering and struggle?

He hears and he knows. The Father of compassion, the God of all comfort sees your heart and reaches out now and always to draw you near. To give you strength. To give you endurance. To give you hope.

I pray that the light of hope will be kindled and renewed in your hearts as we move forward into this season of discovering the greatest gift.

I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Still

No matter how scattered or organized; how empty or brimming with creativity; how filled with joy or laid low by anger and frustration; how wrapped in community or wandering in self-imposed loneliness, I always find rest in the writing and grace in the embrace of Grace and welcome of friends.

On Fridays a bunch of brave writers gather here to all spend five collective minutes writing on a single prompt. It’s a great way to catch your breath at the end of a long week. This blessed, beautiful place where we open our hearts and let words and tears and the inner workings of our lives bleed and flow and dance across the virtual pages. Yes, this community opens wide and invites you in to share. Come and visit and read. You will be blessed.

This week: Still


I can be calm. I can be quiet. No one who knows me would tell you that I am a boundless ball of energy.

I am not a Tigger personality.

I may be an introvert,
But I am not still.

If intensity can vibrate softly, tenuously poised on tension’s edge; if ferocity can roar soundlessly; if wildness can be contained beneath the muted, glass-faced front of self-control – all the while flinging about beneath it; that would be me.

There are words and ideas I yearn for: release,
I don’t know how.
I am not still.

The news ticker of my mind runs laps while for now, my physical body struggles to walk complete a circuit of the local market. I am continually trying to argue and fight against this fact and turn it into a myth.  I am not still.

My spirit longs to pause before the throne of grace – longs to know what it is to truly leave things there in trust. Not leave it, then come dashing back ; somehow sure that my own watch care can discern the answer that would find far better resolution and assurance in the hands that fashioned Saturn’s rings. I am not still.

After how many lessons and a journey well-marked with my own tangents and segues between point A and point next that were redeemed by grace beyond measure – how many times do I still wonder, and question, and demand, and fret, and worry?

I am not still.

And yet (bless those saving words)

He remains.
He is still here.
He has never left.
Moving through kairos time – always and everywhere altogether –
All the while, fully still and complete.
He remains.

Under His hand,
I can be still.


How to Join
Want to know about how Five Minute Friday got started, and how to participate? All the details are here. No editing or second guessing. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. Let's continue the conversation!