|Lisbon, Portugal // May 28, 2019|
I'm sitting cross legged on the floor because it's good for Baby listening to a Christmas Jazz playlist sipping an iced brown sugar latte surrounded by my planner and the index cards I filled with editorial notes for this space back in September with a heart encouraged by today's Advent devotions, an early morning drive with my sister, and the December temperatures that have it RAINING today. If the length of that sentence should tell you something, it's that this post is going to be ALL OVER THE PLACE.
Grab a drink. Settle in. And let's have a coffee date. K?
This Advent, I've got four things going. And not surprisingly, every day's reading ties together. I'm kind of amazed because they're not only tying together, they're reinforcing what God has been teaching me lately. While what I really want to do is come here each day to type up an Advent devotional of my own that sums up what I've been learning, I'll settle for taking it down in my journal and continuing to come here when I can.
I will share with you what I'm doing and what the last three days have held...I begin each morning with the day's literature themed devotion from Biola University that you can find HERE. Then, I click over to my email where I have been receiving the Gentle Leading Advent guide from Abbey that you can sign up for HERE. After that, I go through my daily Bible reading plan (currently, I'm going through 1 Samuel and a Psalm). On Sundays, I finish up by opening up the pdf The Village Church made available and scrolling down to the page that corresponds to that week of Advent which you can find HERE.
On Monday, I found myself steeped in HOPE and the light of the Gospel which is Christ Himself that shines out into the darkness of this world. On Tuesday, I was reminded that God has prepared a HOME for us and that we are on our way there. Today, I was reminded of the PATTERN OF FAITH and that while we wait, there are promises of God that require no waiting. Along the way, I listened to a sermon my Mom shared and have continued working my way through Piper's series on the God who strengthens His people. Let's just say...There is no shortage of truth. God's Word goes out and gets passed around and as it does, He works in our hearts to make them sure and firm and GLAD IN HIM.
Even my prayers have changed lately. As I pray, I don't just pray for peace or faith or joy or help. I pray that God would draw those on my heart and mind to Himself and satisfy them with Himself as He teaches them to know Him and to be known by Him. Somehow...I expected and prayed for His blessing over them without longing for them to walk with Him and was disappointed by their struggles. My struggle to trust God makes so much sense and I'm watching it give way as I seek His will in His way ACCORDING to His Word. I'm not just praying that He would do them good, but rather, that He Himself would BE their good.
As far as writing goes, I'm back to that place where the only writing I seem to be doing is in my journal. I've found myself there a lot over the years and then slowly but surely I get drawn back to the pages elsewhere. I still have dreams of being published and passing my words around and maybe even making some money. There is no "good" time or "right" time, you just have to sit in the chair and write and keep at it. Lately, I think about the women before me who have carved out space for their craft. They've silenced every excuse and made room. And something came of it all. They have books and articles and interviews and thankful people to their names. Some of them, like Mary Higgins Clark who just released another fantastic suspense novel are 91 and STILL AT IT. Their stories encourage me. They wrote in private. They were rejected. They figured it out and kept writing and found a way to get their words out there and that was the real work, after that, they just had to keep doing what they'd been doing all along and maintain willingness to share it.
That's mainly what I had tumbling around my mind this morning as I shuffled around our apartment. I think I'll go ahead and hit publish, hoping this makes some kind of sense.
What's happening in your life right now?
What has God been using to encourage your soul?