Today, I am providing a podcast that I hope will help and encourage you right where you are. Tomorrow, I will have a blog that speaks directly to the importance of decluttering our souls—taking away the doubts, the guilt, the fears, the stress and making a plan of how to stay close to our precious, loving Father, whatever befalls us during this new year, 2021.
As I look back through the years, I realize that what I needed as a young mama and wife is what I still need—friends and community. In this very strange time of unusual isolation and separation from our normal commitments, activities and communities, we have all felt hollow in our hearts. A longing for someone to understand, someone to celebrate life with.
God is looking for our heart-love for Him, not our perfection. In the midst of invisibility and times when no one sees or knows what is going on in our lives, the stresses from challenging children, the loneliness of a struggling marriage, the cleaning up of one more mess amidst the crumbs of our life. Yet, God wants to companion us through these places and show us His love.
Most of us are entering into the Christmas season and trying to figure out how to take care of the needs of our loved ones, keep feeding the masses, maintain our responsibilities and stay sane. Yet, there is a part of me, through the years, that has learned to “give in to the Christmas Season.” I don’t mean the commercialism or being too busy and over committed. But learning to enjoy the gifts given, however simple, the simple celebrations of home, the lights and the mystery of imagination that can be so much a part of the joy of life.
Today on my podcast, I am reintroducing you to my friend, Malcolm Guite, a scholar in Cambridge, a Poet and very winsome and informative teacher. You will love hearing about why and how we celebrate Christ throughout the church year. This podcast has been a favorite in the past couple of years, and now it has become a tradition to play it again, to bring all of us from the dark world, this year a Covid-filled year, into the light of Christ’s reality.
Sensing God is a discovery of Jesus in all of the sensory points embedded into each of us. It shows how the holiest acts in our daily lives are often the simplest: reveling in the beauty of nature; listening to our favorite music; eating a nourishing meal with family. These are potentially heartbeats of a living faith, and when we learn to recognize and respond to God's goodness in them, it draws us into redemptive participation with Him, the source of all beauty.
Long after each year's gifts have been forgotten, if we give to our loved ones a joyful, loving heart, we will have given them a gift that will be with them their whole lives. They will come to us again and again for the "Life" they need to feel, hear and be comforted by during every season.
“Miracle on Highway 34” is a beautiful modern retelling of the nativity set in a small town diner and the characters that find themselves there on Christmas Eve during a snow storm. After such a chaotic and tumultuous year, Nathan is releasing a movie that offers a little bit of hope, love, warmth, and joy. Nathan wrote, produced, directed, and is acting opposite his wife Keelia in the film. He is hoping it will be a blessing to you and your family this year, something that perhaps you can make a memory around.
Our brains and souls long for color, beauty, the crafting of words and ideas, the discipline of conquering a classical piece of music on piano or a contemporary song on guitar. Our palate are made for deliciousness, our longings are for traditions, celebrations with our people in our place done in our way.
Though many of us cannot be with our families for Thanksgiving, and we are inside our homes with no where to go for reprieve, and we wish the tumult of the election would go away and that Covid would end, we pick up ourselves, we bring beauty to choose, light to darkness and we breath in the peace that He is with us.
My dearest friend and daughter has such a perfectly timed surprise for all of us. I can’t wait to share about it today with all of you. Sarah has joined me to tall you all about what is ahead that I know will encourage your heart. Here is a message from her.
Our idealism does make us vulnerable. May God give us grace to not be destroyed in the flow of darkness right now but help us to be light givers.
Today, I had the privilege of having a chat with my sweet friend, Leah Boden. Not too long ago she was at my house sharing a “cuppa.” So in honor of that time, you see my photo. But today, we had to be quarantined. I loved this podcast and I know you will be encouraged as I was.
God whispered, “Be gentle to yourself today. Don’t make this day the one where you get everything done, figure life out, take care of everyone else in the world. Just be still, just rest, just breathe in peace.” Truly, it was the message that came to my heart.
There is this auspicious week where the voting takes place and at this moment, I have no idea what will happen. Yet, when I come into God’s presence, when I am still and “know that He is God,” somehow He takes me beyond the illusion the this world and what we “think” is happening is of utmost importance, when from His point of view, there are always bigger issues at stake. I want to live in awareness of Him and His eternal and providentially directed ways and not be defined by the human attempts all around me to super impose meaning and value of life where in reality God’s purposes are greater and more important.
Today, we share all sorts of fun with you. How to initiate and respond in friendship, all about taking time in nature and so much more. I hope many of you will ponder reaching out to someone, or maybe you will hit the ball back to someone who has initiated to you. Or maybe you can serve a ball yourself. :)
I was so thankful to be able to have a conversation with my online friend, Pierce Taylor Hibbs, about anxiety. In this episode, today I talk about some of these issues with him, author of Struck Down but Not Destroyed: Living Faithfully with Anxiety, about ways to move through these issues. We share stories of God's faithfulness and presence, our own growth in compassion, and our responses to God in times of great anxiety and suffering.
I invite you to join us in our podcast today and it is my prayer that our message will give you encouragement but also a pause to think about how to live well into this moment that you have.
If you want to equip your children to stand strong for truth, for Christ and for family values that includes a high picture of morality, marriage, sex, the foundations of scripture, world view, then you must gently engage over the years, little by little, day by day. It is best for children to hear about controversial subjects from their parents than on the internet.
Gentleness grows stronger with practice. It comes with humility. It grows as wisdom and takes root in the heart that values the ones she loves. May God grant us to become gentle in our love, that others may see Him through us.
God longs for the most personal, intimate relationship with us. While He created us with this in mind, sometimes in the midst of a particularly challenging time, we allow ourselves to drift away from Him. And yet, it is in drawing closer to Him than ever before, in committing ourselves to daily time alone with Him, that we are able to claim our roles as His child. When we let Him meet us where we are, peace will follow.
There have been crucial dark moments in my life when I would have floundered or fallen apart if I had not had friends to carry me, to comfort me, to guide me when I couldn’t see where I was going. We were created with a yearning for connection, community, and a sense of belonging, a people to call home. Much of our joy is sustained through relationships with people who have chosen to love us, to help us, to be committed.
The secret to cultivating a lifegiving home is not a perfectly balanced life, luxurious home, or a fancy table of food. Instead, it is an open mind, inspired heart, and a deep longing to create stability, no matter the circumstances.
The starting point of your influence is the state of your own heart, mind and soul. If there is purity, wisdom, strength, faith, love and righteousness there, then when you pour out your life, those around you will be blessed indeed.
In all of our ideals, righteousness is progressive. In other words, we make mistakes, we fail, sometimes we do foolish things because they are so accepted in culture. Sometimes, wickedness jumps after us like Potifer's wife chasing Joseph. And our children learned the concept of fleeing--just drop what will burn you and flee--run immediately away from the temptation.