We have reached the final week before Christmas. Hopefully your stockings have been hung by the chimney with care and you have decked the halls with boughs of holly. Even so, there are many of us that are still in the midst of last minute preparations such as wrapping presents, baking cookies or sending out last minute Christmas greetings.
But let’s press pause and take an accounting of our hearts. Have you opened your heart to receiving the promises of Christmas? Are you open to receiving the gift of love God so graciously sent as His son one silent night? In between your many preparations for the just right presents and decorations, have you allowed yourself to bask in absolute silence with a heart open to receiving and an invitation for God to sit with you in the quiet?
[Tweet “In the time of waiting, there is always hope, love, joy and peace.”]
As I reflect on those questions for myself, I have a moment of clarity. I look at my good intentions to choose God and the silence, and find how life has pulled me in other directions. As I take an accounting of my heart, I remember the times I spend in the Word working toward a deeper understanding of what Advent really means. I count the times I started each day in quiet worship and prayer even though I fell short somedays. My look back assures me I am a lifelong learner and far from perfect. There is grace for both. The beauty of this time of waiting and preparation is that even if we miss the mark on all we are trying to do there is still…
The hope of Christ that lights the darkest corners of our hearts.
A love that fills our hearts with a never-ending overflow of abundance.
The gift of joy that reigns down as grace, forgiveness and redemption.
Peace that comes with our faith in knowing that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.
In this final week before Christmas, I am looking to steal some quiet moments. I am reflecting on the joy that always comes in the morning because of the gift of the baby Jesus. The hope for a bright future passes before my vision of a world that is broken while God continues to bring wholeness. My heart opens wider to prepare room for the miracle that takes place in the birth of our Savior.
I pray in thanksgiving that…
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And whisper praise that He is a …
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
[Tweet “One silent night the landscape of the world changed&those walking in darkness saw a great light.”]
One silent night the landscape of the world changed and has never been the same since. The people walking in darkness saw a great light and our celebration continues today.
May you all find hope in your heart, a peace that fills you with deep understanding and love that fuels your soul this Christmas as you dive deeper with Jesus.
Christmas blessings to all,
and Dawn for Grace Moments
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Oh Mary, this is beautiful. I haven’t been able to read my link up posts until today. And it’s Christmas Eve. This was so needed today. Merry Christmas!
Thank you Barbie! I am always blessed when you stop by. I hope your Christmas was wonderful. Love you friend!
Such a beautiful message of hope, Mary! Blessings on your Christmas!
Thank you June! I am so blessed you stopped by. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Here’s to hoping that both you and I are able to carve out those quiet moments of waiting on God during the holidays, Mary! I know I’m so looking forward to that hush instead of the rush! ha! Merry Christmas to you and your growing family, dear friend! And I hope this next year is your best yet!
I am praying for quiet moments and time with family. You have a growing family too. I pray this Christmas creates many memories and a deeper love of how it all began. Merry Christmas! Love you friend!
“One silent night the landscape of the world changed and has never been the same since.”
One very ordinary day the landscape of my life changed and has never been the same since. It was the day I yielded – the day I said “I’m all in, Lord, I’m all Yours.”
A blessed season of Christmas to you and yours. xo
I love hearing your testimony. You are such a shining light for God. Thank you for being such a wonderful cheerleader for me too. Merry Christmas sweet friend!
These words were such a gift to me today friend! Thank You!
Thank you for encouraging me so well. It is always a blessing when you stop by! Merry Christmas!
Hi Mary – God bless you for sharing this moving perspective. There is still time for quiet moments and my heart will find them.
Merry Christmas and a joy filled new year to you and your family.
Hoping to see you after the holidays.
I always love seeing you here, Karen! I pray that your family time is beyond amazing. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Love you friend!
Honestly, no, I have not been good at taking those quiet moments to reflect and open my heart to God over the last few weeks. Thank you for this beautiful and grace-filled reminder of why I need to do that. As I finish up at work for the holidays tomorrow I hope to find the time to do that because it is the most important preparation. Hope you have a lovely Christmas!
It is a struggle for me too and choosing quiet is something I need to be intentional about. I am praying that you have found some quiet in these last few days. May God fill you with his peace and hope this holiday season and beyond. Merry Christmas!
We all fall short of truly giving Jesus His proper due Mary. That’s why I am so very thankful for the beautiful gifts of His mercy and grace! Merry Christmas to you! Praying God blesses you in the upcoming year! xoxo
Mercy and grace are two gifts that I need delivered everyday. I am grateful for God who loves nothing more than to redeem us over and over. I am praying that Christmas blessings abound and 2017 is amazing.
Stealing some quiet moments for me and God sounds like great advice, Mary. I still feel behind on Christmas—haven’t wrapped my gifts or hung my stockings or made the Chex Mix—but that’s all trivia. Thanks for keeping us focused. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!
There are things I have not finished yet either but now I am making the choice as to whether they are needed. I love that I don’t have to be perfect and can step back if I want because my time is better spent in quiet with Jesus than in messy busyness.
Love that you stopped to read my words. I am grateful for you! Merry Christmas!
Oh what a beautiful, reflective post and such gorgeous images! I can answer a “Yes but not enough” to the questions you pose above. And as I read on, peace enters in with these reassuring words: ” My look back assures me I am a lifelong learner and far from perfect. There is grace for both.” Yes and Amen! We struggle and strive for perfection in this busy season, when all God asks of us is to steer heart and mind in the right direction. As we sit quietly before Him, savour the silence, breathe in His peace and allow joy to permeate our hearts, we will discover God ever-present and always willing to meet with us. Thank you, Mary, for this wonderful offering. It’s just the reminder I needed today. Abundant Christmas blessings to you and your loved ones! xo <3
God never asks us to be perfect because that is not how he made us. He delights in us and loves spending time with us. That is how we give joy back to the Lord.
As we all put finishing touches on our celebrations, may we pause, look up and notice that God loves us dearly and that is enough. Christmas blessings to you and yours Joy!
I love your thoughts on good intentions, because so often I start out with the best of motives, and then get sidetracked into over-doing things or get caught up in perfectionism.
And, Mary, these pictures you have posted make me think that you have been outside enjoying the beauty of this time of year. You challenge me to be more intentional about using visuals along with my words to communicate in this wonderful world of blogging.
I love being outside and I love taking pictures. It is a win-win for me. As for good intentions, I am easily sidetracked but I know that God always welcomes me back and extends grace for those days I veer from the path.
I imagine you would have amazing pictures from the beauty that you have in Maine. I pray you and your family have a beautiful Christmas!
Love this post and the pictures, Mary. Especially the nativity! It’s charming.
I don’t have too much choice but to keep my heart open. There are no stockings or boughs of holly here, not even a tree. Life has become a simple and very direct one-act play, a beasting in which I am, at the end of the day,pummeled nearly senseless by pain.
And yet, there is hope. Not the petulant expectation of a miracle, but that I will find the strength to outlast the night and find flowers of joy growing between tomorrows paving-stones of pain.
In the middle of your pain you leave this beautiful comment and I am beyond grateful for you. I adore how you described the hope as flowers of joy between the paving stones of pain. I am praying for those flowers to appear for you. Merry Christmas!