“May each Christmas, as it comes, find us more and more like Him who at this time became a little child, for our sake, more simpleminded, more humble, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of God.” John Henry
The days of Advent leading up to Christmas have always been some of my favorite days of the year, and so I am grateful for the opportunity to share some thoughts that God is teaching me in this season of my life.
If I could sum this up in one word, it would be “wait”. Wait, wait, wait…and wait some more! It seems to be in the waiting that I truly find God and all that matters most. “Be Still and Know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 is a verse that I have come to value so much. As I am more aware of God’s presence within all of my moments, I find it easier to discern the way I should go daily. I know how incredibly dependent I am to have God give me what I need for my circumstances. Within any given day He may bring comfort when I’m sad, courage when I am afraid, strength when I feel weak, discernment when I am unsure, faith and trust when I lack both, patience and peace when I am anxious, hope and joy when life seems overwhelming; the list goes on.
With quiet waiting I grow in my ability to hear the whisper of His voice above all the other voices in my life. I have come to discover that my identity is as a child of God, rather than a role I play, such as wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, Director, volunteer, etc. It is in the quiet waiting that I become less preoccupied with future plans and decisions and focus on the choices I have for today. I guarantee it is worth it to carve out time to be alone with Him. As a young mom, the only time I found was at 5:30 am before my young children awoke; whatever it takes, if only for a few minutes each day…DO IT! You will never regret these moments, and I promise we will all regret the times we did not allow God to change our hearts. If we wait well, we allow God to do His work in us, to shape us, to connect to us, to soften our hearts and our minds. It is important that we learn to wait on the Lord, because He always promises to come.
“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
In order to experience life as God designed, we may need to make some changes, and the season of Advent is a great time to reflect on the true meaning of God’s plan of redemption through Christ. I like to think that a Christmas miracle can occur within our hearts and Jesus can be reborn in each of us. When this happens our families cannot help but be affected by the change occurring deep within us. We will show signs of His peace, His love, and His joy and His hope to all that know us because His Spirit will be alive within our souls.
From the children in our midst, we can sense that excitement is in the air and Christmas is coming! I have always loved these days filled with celebrating, when we bake, decorate, enjoy Christmas lights, visit Santa, serve others and give gifts. It is said that all this is not necessarily far from the heart of God. We can find Jesus in the middle of all the celebrating if we reflect on our thoughts, our attitudes, our motives, our conversations, and balance our time as we prepare for Jesus’ birth. Just SLOW DOWN in the midst of the chaos and enjoy the journey. It is wonderful to realize that from the moment we wake up in the morning until the moment we go to bed at night we have been given a variety of ways to connect with God. The question is, “are we?” My prayer is that God will bring a Christmas miracle into our hearts and homes this Christmas, and that we will be “full of God” as a result of our time WAITING with Him during the coming weeks.
Donna Speer, Former Weekday School Director