Rockefeller Center. photo by I.K.Hadinger
When I decided to join this advent blog-hop, I knew I would be in New York City celebrating our 25th anniversary, and therefore unable to write during the first week of Advent celebrations.
So while our vagabond shoes strayed through the heart of New York and we were waking up in the city that never sleeps, and while we were enjoying Balanchine’s Nutcracker one night and awed throughout Andrea Bocelli’s Concerto in Brooklyn the next, fellow bloggers were reading Keri Wyatt Kent’s Deeply Loved, reflecting, and applying it in light of this beautiful advent season.
Below are excerpts; want to read more? Click on the red title which will link you to their respective blog.
Also, remember that if you leave a comment on any of these blogs participating in this blog-hop, you will be entered to win one of a number of Christian books given away each Friday during advent. So don’t be shy; let us hear your thoughts!
Enjoy. And be blessed.
I sing a song to my girls each night as I tuck them into bed. On the nights that I’m tired and showing signs of slacking, they prod me. “Mama, you need to sing our song to me.” It’s both a prayer and an affirming mantra. My oldest says that she takes it with her in her heart, so that when she’s feeling down, she sings it to herself. It strikes me last night when I put my little ladies to bed that I’ve inadvertently developed for them a tool for practicing God’s presence.”
I like fresh starts, and I will guess that you do too…This is the beauty of Advent…Advent is a season of repentance, which requires looking back, but looking back only so that we can move forward…Advent is about new beginnings. Advent brings a fresh start. We look back so that we can move forward.”
Deeply impressed in my memory is the moment I awoke every Christmas morning. The minute my fuzzy mind began to realize I was awake my heart leaped as I recognized something: Christmas had come for me. It was the first thought on my mind. I was loved and the surprise of presents, the beauty of my stocking, the fact that they had secretly been left for me to discover all affirmed that I mattered, I was wanted and worth blessing.
This year, we live in Orlando, Florida in a small apartment. Most of my decorations were given away in the move; the days-long decorating tradition lasted only a few hours. There are no children at home, no stockings to fill, no piles of gifts under the tree, little motivation to bake sugar cookies that we shouldn’t eat. So I wonder… what is Christmas really? Is it children’s delighted wonder at glitter and toys? Is it pretty decorations, gift shopping, and favorite foods? Is it special family time, traditions, or church services? All are good, and through the years I have enjoyed it all… but none are the true essence of CHRISTmas. This year as so much of Christmas normal has been stripped away, I realize that I have actually received a wonderful gift — the opportunity to focus intentionally on Christ: His story, His life, His example.
If few of us like the stress, pressure, and panic of hurry, then why do so many of us live in it? We leave things we don’t like all time. Can we leave hurry? To eliminate hurry would mean letting go of my deep fear of disappointing others…But the bigger (main) reason I sprint each day is because my day is simply too full. I am over committed. Most of us are. Recounting from the Bible in Luke 10 the story of Mary and Martha, Keri Wyatt Kent asks: “What busywork is keeping me “worried and distracted” and preventing me from sitting at Jesus feet to just listen?” I set down my book and ask the hard question. And I invite you to ask it as well. What do I need to eliminate so I don’t feel caught in the busy trap?
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