Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
Mother Teresa

Thursday, December 5, 2013



how do you do day 13?
the flowers are withering
the weather is dreary
sadness is in every crevice of my being
our enemy would say this is it...death is the end and it will hurt like this forever.

...we say together, ""Thank you God."... and grasp to pull strength from Him and one another...

HOPE trickles through our crushed hearts,

as friends are praying diligently, and asking Him to blanket us with Grace to hold on.

and He whispers through His words...

that we are not alone
that our beautiful baby is safe
that Victory is hers
and that angels surround us.




Christmas is about such a bigger plan
we read together and try to take in the story
of the certainty of His coming,

and we light our HOPE candle.  something tangible with words we stick on the candle and cling to...

We beg Him to break in—to find us, to shatter our idols, to rescue us from sin and death, to pursue us in our depravity and wandering.  He must come to us for we are unable and unwilling to come to Him.  Advent answers our despair and our self-righteousness with the beautiful mystery of Christ’s incarnation.  We are not waiting in vain! We learn on the first Sunday of Advent, as He rides in to Jerusalem on a donkey, that He is coming with His eyes set like a flint on the cross. He means to be our Savior, to conquer death, hell, and every sin that so easily besets us.
The waiting gives us time to repent, to prepare for the Savior of the world to be born, not just in manger, but in our hearts.
The season of Advent teaches us to live in expectation and repentance—to yearn for Him, to remember what it was like to live in darkness and to give thanks to the One who is always shattering the night.
We are desperate for the One who comes.

Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2013/12/why-we-need-advent-so-desperately-week-1/#Y4X6fJHExybB9BDp.99

the waiting, itself,  signifies our desperation.  we need Him so desperately to come to us. 


marvin and I want to live in expectation and repentance—to yearn for Him,... to remember what it was/and is like to live in darkness and to give thanks to the One who is always shattering the night.
 
we are desperate for the One who comes to do that.

and then... God stretches open His hand, and the rain drops begin to fall from His fingertips. 
the rain may take all kinds of forms,
 for God has limitless resources, but we know the rain when it hits us.

it refreshes us, and we feel the buds opening just a little again.

 "Yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant."

 a stump, bringing forth branches? 

it's  not just empty encouragement; it's in the very heart of God...

"To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."
~ Isaiah 61:2-3, NKJV


 
Jesus is speaking to the nation of Israel here, but timelessly, He is also speaking to our family in a beautiful, specific way,...

 for He has included us and our very real, present circumstances in the heart of His mission.

"Please God, out of ashes of devastation, draw out beauty and life. that's who You Are..."

we don't want to settle for stumps, regardless of how things seem or how we  feel.

 Jesus is in the business of bringing stumps to life with just the scent of His Spirit.

and  He does this for us...


thank you for praying.

we need Jesus.



We beg Him to break in—to find us, to shatter our idols, to rescue us from sin and death, to pursue us in our depravity and wandering.  He must come to us for we are unable and unwilling to come to Him.  Advent answers our despair and our self-righteousness with the beautiful mystery of Christ’s incarnation.  We are not waiting in vain! We learn on the first Sunday of Advent, as He rides in to Jerusalem on a donkey, that He is coming with His eyes set like a flint on the cross. He means to be our Savior, to conquer death, hell, and every sin that so easily besets us.
The waiting gives us time to repent, to prepare for the Savior of the world to be born, not just in manger, but in our hearts.
The season of Advent teaches us to live in expectation and repentance—to yearn for Him, to remember what it was like to live in darkness and to give thanks to the One who is always shattering the night.
We are desperate for the One who comes.

Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2013/12/why-we-need-advent-so-desperately-week-1/#Y4X6fJHExybB9BDp.99


We beg Him to break in—to find us, to shatter our idols, to rescue us from sin and death, to pursue us in our depravity and wandering.  He must come to us for we are unable and unwilling to come to Him.  Advent answers our despair and our self-righteousness with the beautiful mystery of Christ’s incarnation.  We are not waiting in vain! We learn on the first Sunday of Advent, as He rides in to Jerusalem on a donkey, that He is coming with His eyes set like a flint on the cross. He means to be our Savior, to conquer death, hell, and every sin that so easily besets us.
The waiting gives us time to repent, to prepare for the Savior of the world to be born, not just in manger, but in our hearts.
The season of Advent teaches us to live in expectation and repentance—to yearn for Him, to remember what it was like to live in darkness and to give thanks to the One who is always shattering the night.
We are desperate for the One who comes.

Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2013/12/why-we-need-advent-so-desperately-week-1/#Y4X6fJHExybB9BDp.99
We beg Him to break in—to find us, to shatter our idols, to rescue us from sin and death, to pursue us in our depravity and wandering.  He must come to us for we are unable and unwilling to come to Him.  Advent answers our despair and our self-righteousness with the beautiful mystery of Christ’s incarnation.  We are not waiting in vain! We learn on the first Sunday of Advent, as He rides in to Jerusalem on a donkey, that He is coming with His eyes set like a flint on the cross. He means to be our Savior, to conquer death, hell, and every sin that so easily besets us.
The waiting gives us time to repent, to prepare for the Savior of the world to be born, not just in manger, but in our hearts.
The season of Advent teaches us to live in expectation and repentance—to yearn for Him, to remember what it was like to live in darkness and to give thanks to the One who is always shattering the night.
We are desperate for the One who comes.

Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2013/12/why-we-need-advent-so-desperately-week-1/#Y4X6fJHExybB9BDp.99


We beg Him to break in—to find us, to shatter our idols, to rescue us from sin and death, to pursue us in our depravity and wandering.  He must come to us for we are unable and unwilling to come to Him.  Advent answers our despair and our self-righteousness with the beautiful mystery of Christ’s incarnation.  We are not waiting in vain! We learn on the first Sunday of Advent, as He rides in to Jerusalem on a donkey, that He is coming with His eyes set like a flint on the cross. He means to be our Savior, to conquer death, hell, and every sin that so easily besets us.
The waiting gives us time to repent, to prepare for the Savior of the world to be born, not just in manger, but in our hearts.
The season of Advent teaches us to live in expectation and repentance—to yearn for Him, to remember what it was like to live in darkness and to give thanks to the One who is always shattering the night.
We are desperate for the One who comes.

Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2013/12/why-we-need-advent-so-desperately-week-1/#Y4X6fJHExybB9BDp.99

We beg Him to break in—to find us, to shatter our idols, to rescue us from sin and death, to pursue us in our depravity and wandering.  He must come to us for we are unable and unwilling to come to Him.  Advent answers our despair and our self-righteousness with the beautiful mystery of Christ’s incarnation.  We are not waiting in vain! We learn on the first Sunday of Advent, as He rides in to Jerusalem on a donkey, that He is coming with His eyes set like a flint on the cross. He means to be our Savior, to conquer death, hell, and every sin that so easily besets us.
The waiting gives us time to repent, to prepare for the Savior of the world to be born, not just in manger, but in our hearts.
The season of Advent teaches us to live in expectation and repentance—to yearn for Him, to remember what it was like to live in darkness and to give thanks to the One who is always shattering the night.
We are desperate for the One who comes.

Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/2013/12/why-we-need-advent-so-desperately-week-1/#Y4X6fJHExybB9BDp.99

2 comments:

Jackie said...

Love you heart and love you. Praying for you and your family!

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

Yes, you will make it. And YES He is near to you in your pain and grief.