But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman born subject to the regulations of the Law, To purchase the freedom of those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [ and be recognized as God’s sons]. and because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the Holy Spirit of His Son into our heart, crying, Abba! Father!
I have been plodding slowly down this path to the stable, celebrating Advent, being intentional with time as a precious commodity. Time is one of the gifts He gives us. It is the invitation to come sit with Him, deep in the stillness of His presence, and let Him permeate who we are. I love this place of waiting in the Lord because He never fails to show up when I make the appointment to wait upon Him.
And as much as I love this sacred space of holding, some days I miss the invitation for the catching up in all the other things. This time of year can be busy, filled with other invites and come-to-visit moments and I don’t stay long enough in the waiting place to get fully filled up. Getting lost in the temporary, failing to look beyond the immediate to the eternal infinite, steals a bit of joy and peace that the journey is meant to fulfill.
But Christmas is the answer to all those temporary stumbles we make. Christmas is the lens we can look through closely at the promise He has whispered to the ages. Christmas allows us to look at the Truth and anticipate JOY while resting in His peace.
I tend to be a fire-quick starter, friends… a jump in with both feet, eyes closed, holding my breath while smiling as I do it kind-of-girl. And I start a lot of really really good things, but then living becomes busy and, truth-be-told, I haven’t learned to juggle well, yet. You know, the guilty feelings that procrastination and presumed failure wield strong in our fighting… yeah, those beauties are small stones I drop easily.
But Grace… friends. Grace. It pauses the throwing and it lets us put on the gloves to catch the blessings.
Dropping those blessings happens a lot in this time of the year, too, because I have an ideal of what a perfect memory season it ‘should’ be. Yet, my preconceived ideas and the reality of passing time, as the earth continues to spin away the days, have a way of missing one another. Sometimes, the abundance the season of waiting and preparing can be emptying rather than filling.
As a family we even missed a few days of Advent preparing, and we had to recount steps in order revisit days on the calendar to mark them off. Can I confess that we even took a few detours as we traveled the road? A part of me wants to grieve the lack of my plan’s fulfillment. But the sweet presence of His Spirit, the anticipation of joy as the outcome that kept my heart from sinking, kept me walking rather than just giving up.
But when commodities of Christmas are expectant hope, anticipated joy, redemptive love, and unending peace the advent journey becomes more of a memory… it becomes a way of living!
And this reminds me of the power of staying on this journey and placing one foot right in front of the other. Learning to take the distractions as a part of HIS plan, a detour from my own scheduled agenda, actually brings a fulfillment of what He wants to accomplish as we unwrap each day’s blessing.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. -Ephesians 2:8
Grace shines in the overflowing gifts that Christmas brings to us … Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace. They are being offered in the promises that the angels serenaded in the cosmos, the shepherds found in the stable, and the wise men sought by the star. Grace, friends, this God-gift is ours from Him, replenished repeatedly, and it is the remnant of the Christmas message. By grace we have the invitation to come, by grace we have been adopted, by grace we have been saved.
And this direction from Psalm 27 meets us close. It draws deep into the passion of the pilgrim’s heart… the longing cry and gentle plea that keeps us pushing forward.
One thing I have asked of the Lord, that which I will seek, inquire for, and insistently require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord. [In His Presence] all the days of my life to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider and inquire in His temple.
It brings us back to that verses in Galatians 4:4-5, to the crying out of the Spirit unto the Father. We must own the voice of those being prepared, being set away from the intentions of our agendas, in order to be separated unto the purpose of His heart; that kind of cry is where we find ourselves on this journey to the Stable of Hope. And as we look for that which is eternal, trading the temporal castings that trap us close to the world’s way of seeking joy and peace, that desiring…that requiring…that inquiring, we are lost in the beholding. We are steadfast in the gazing, catching the tendrils of beauty as we consider Him.
Each day of this journey brings us one step closer to the promise that His birth provided: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love…. all of which are a commodity of grace. In Him is found an ample supply of each. In seeking Him, we are given a glimpse of His perfecting within us, using these gifts that strip away the blinders and open up our true eyes to see His light shining.
Like the wise men, we seek Him, inquiring to dwell close, choosing the pardon that adoption gives to the orphan, and waiting in anticipation for the joy that comes when you know you yourself have been received by grace. And we cry, Abba! The Father who provides the way back to Himself, through the coming One who redeems us by His Love.
These 2 middle weeks of Advent preparations focus on His Redemptive Peace and Anticipated Joy…timeless promises that reveal His heart toward us. Praying that you will find new joy as you discover and unwrap the gifts that advent has presented us in our searching.
Grab the free Journey to the Stable Advent Journal here. It’s never to late to be a wise one, seeking Him and following the star light of His love as it shines to lead us home.
Journey to the Stable Advent Journal
Walking with friends for the journey:
Unite, #RaRaLinkUp, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart, Three Word Wednesday,Coffee and Conversation, Thought Provoking Thursday, Everyday Jesus, Thoughtful Thursdays, Missional Woman, Faith n’ Friends Blog Hop, Fellowship Friday, Grace n’ Truth Blog Hop, Essential Things Devotions, Dance with Jesus, Weekend Whispers, Give Me Grace
May grace rain upon each of us as we take those steps towards the manger, nearing the Christ Who has come to reign in our hearts.
Caring through Christ, ~ linda
I love this, fellow quick-starter 🙂 .. but you always inspire me to take a deep breath and exhale slowly. I appreciate your witness and example!
“But Christmas is the answer to all those temporary stumbles we make.” Wow, wow! So right. Everything wrapped up in Christmas is the answer to everything we’re trying to get wrapped up! Thank you for this wonderful reminder.
all this beauty a way of life. oh yes, Dawn. oh yes! celebration, love, awe, and wonder 365 days a year. that’s why He came …
Christmas blessings to you, to yours …
Oh, Dawn … beautiful words of hope and peace here! I love the phrase from your first verse: “when the proper time had fully come.” It’s so comforting to know that God doesn’t haphazardly schedule anything, but that everything happens according to His perfect schedule. That gives me courage to do as you say and keep putting one foot in front of the other, learning to take those “distractions” as part of His plan. Blessings to you today!
“sacred space of holding” — yes, I love that phrase. And I love the encouragement about what matters here. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday. xoxo
I have a sign in my office that reads, “There are no detours on the road to Grace.” So often the things we think of as interruptions, detours, or even mistakes, are the very things God uses to show us the evidence of grace in our experience. Beautiful post!
I love this, Dawn:
“Grace. It pauses the throwing and it lets us put on the gloves to catch the blessings.” May I do more pausing today to receive these blessings of Advent. Thanks for sharing.
Yes Gal, I am slowing down, to reflect, revive and refresh…Thank God you wrote this.
I am so glad to know you, Dawn. Thank you for all the inspirational and encouraging words. I appreciate you and I appreciate your ministry. I hope you will find some time in the upcoming year to write something for my readers.
Wishing you all the best this holiday.
I so resonate with this piece today! I was enriched by reading this! These are indeed the exact commodities we need and should be looking for. You brought this reflection up close and personal! Love that!!! Thanks so much!!
Blessings on your day!
Loving your words about “temporary stumbles.” I read a quote from Chuck Swindoll early this morning that said, “The people who stumble and stay down are a dime a dozen.” He was focusing on the rarity of getting back up again, and the power of Christ to make that happen. I think of Advent as that time of re-grouping in my awareness of His presence. He’s there even when I’m on the floor picking myself up. Thanks for your reminder!
Grace … Sometimes it’s hard to understand the depth of it. But even just a small sampling is greater than anything this world has to offer. So grateful for grace. Thanks for this piece. Joining you #graceandtruth linkup. Blessings to you in your journey!
Thank you for sharing. I’m once again reminded where my focus needs to be this season. God bless.
“It is the invitation to come sit with Him.” That phrase has my mind spinning. It’s resonating with me today, something for me to ponder throughout the day/weekend. Thank you Dawn. Found your lovely site today on Faith ‘n Friends.
This is the line which spoke to me tonight > “And this reminds me of the power of staying on this journey and placing one foot right in front of the other.” I read this & had to turn to Galatians to read, “At just the right time we will rap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (6:9) May we not tire but keep going, one foot in front of the other.” Thank you for this encouragement today! Blessings!
Oh, Christmas. It’s like everything we ever worked for in a year. Our reward. 🙂
Dawn, this post really resonated with me as a fellow seeker after a more contemplative-style Christmas. So much here has spoken to me, especially this: “Learning to take the distractions as a part of HIS plan, a detour from my own scheduled agenda, actually brings a fulfillment of what He wants to accomplish as we unwrap each day’s blessing.” because it is a great reminder of the need to be interruptible and not make our schedules and plans set in stone. God works in and through those very things we think are set out to derail us. May you have plenty of pause for thought, quiet, joy-filled reflection and rest in the midst of your busy preparations. 🙂 x
I fear I haven’t done well keeping my thoughts focused on Him this Advent. Somehow time sped much too quickly and now I feel as if I am in catch up mode. May I use this temporary stumble to dedicate the final days sitting still, praying and reading His Word. Thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas!