Day 8: May we SEE You as our Audience of One

“What will you do with Jesus? What will your answer be? Will you receive Him in your heart this Christmas? Will you crown Him as your King?”

My seven year old daughter will be singing those words tonight in her second grade Christmas musical. She has solos in two different songs and I find myself more nervous than she is. She is ready. She knows the words, she can sing the tune in her sleep and we found the perfect Christmas bow for her hair! But most importantly of all, she knows that she is singing to her Savior and that her Savior will sing through her.

She did a solo last year too, and it was incredible. Yes, she sounded beautiful and sweet, but what was incredible was the way she got to experience the Holy Spirit that night. She was so very nervous, and kept praying that Jesus would help her, that He would sing through her, and I was praying that He would let her focus only on Him. She stepped up to the mic (on her tiptoes poor little thing;) and she started to sing. The Holy Spirit’s presence was palpable to me (and to several others). My shy little girl, sang her heart out to her Savior and He sang His heart out through her.

As soon as the concert was over, she ran to me and said, “Mommy, did you feel that? That was so cool! I want to do it again. I felt like Jesus was standing right in front of me and I singing just for Him.”

This Christmas, I want to see Jesus standing right in front of me at all times. As I am running errands, I want to see Him standing in front of me, so that my focus is on Him and not my too big to-do list. As I am cooking, I want to see Him standing by the stove as I pray for those I am cooking for. As I am cleaning the house for what seems like the millionth time, I want to see Him standing in front of me, knowing that He is cleaning my heart; His home.

I will be praying for my girl tonight as she sings. I will ask Jesus to help her, to sing through her and to allow her to focus only on Him; her audience of One. But I will also be praying for myself, that Jesus will help me, that He will work through me, and that He will keep my focus on Him this Christmas and always.

May we SEE You as our audience of One.

Here is a picture of my sweet girl practicing her solo at home.


Day 7: Candy Cane Poem


While I may look like a candy cane,

I’m really a tool for remembering;

That the shepherds were the first to hear:

The Savior was born and He was near.

Upside down I make a “J”,

To remind you that Jesus is the only way.

My colors are a reminder too,

That Jesus came to rescue you.

The red is for the blood He shed

As on the cross, He bowed His head.

The white is for sin forgiven

So one day you can be with Him in heaven.

May you remember this Christmas Day

That Jesus is the only Way.

Day 6: Confession Time

Confession time: Sometimes I just don’t “feel” Christmas. I mean I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas: the decorations, the baking, the eating, the wonder, the true meaning…everything. But there are days, when I just don’t feel it. Instead, I feel the extra work, the extra stress, the extra money spent, and the extra people in all the parking lots!

In my times of “not feeling it,” bitterness creeps in saying, “Why do we have to do this? Why have we let Christmas turn into this commercialized mess?, Can we just opt out for a year?”

But then I remember that faith is not a feeling, and Christmas is really all about Christ. So, I will tell my bitterness to take a hike, and I will ask God to fill me with Himself. When I am not “feeling” the world’s Christmas experience, I will cling to God’s word and read about the real Christmas experience.

I will ask God to keep me focused on what He has already done, instead of all that I still have to do. I will seek His peace, in the midst of the shopping storm. And I will ask the Lord to be sweeter to me than anything I could ever bake.

Praying that we all enjoy a Christmas spent in His presence, seeing Him in the everyday moments (even if we aren’t feeling all warm and fuzzy while hunting for a parking place at the mall!)

Day 4: True Hope

I am challenging myself to write a short post each day of this Christmas season. You can read about my reasons why by clicking the link below:

Day 4: May we SEE You as True Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

For many, the Christmas season is a sweet time of celebration, but for many others it brings pain and feelings of despair. It is that one time of year, when you can’t help but remember how things used to be: loved ones who used to be there, relationships that used to be better, and circumstances that brought joy and not pain, or how things still are not: empty arms still waiting to hold a baby, the unfulfilled desire for a spouse, the longing for a job.

I know many people who have endured the loss of a loved one, heartbreak, and other devastation would rather skip the Christmas season altogether, and I can’t say I blame them. However, my prayer today is that those who are hurting with that raw and gut wrenching pain, would feel the HOPE of Immanuel today. Christmas without Christ is a season of wishful hope that leaves us unsatisfied. It is a “cross my fingers” hope that the gift I want is under the tree, or a “bite my nails” hope that everything comes together and I did enough to create Christmas magic for my family. That kind of hope brings fear, frustration and failure. That kind of hope causes hurting hearts to retreat for the season, because honestly, who can deal with that kind of pressure when all you have energy for is getting out of bed in the morning and maybe brushing your teeth!

But when you invite Jesus in your Christmas season, you experience true HOPE. The Hope that says, “I don’t have to hold it all together, because He already is. The Hope that says, “The God of all comfort is holding me in the shadow of His wing.” The Hope that says, “God Almighty, the Creator of all, chose to leave the majesty and splendor of heaven, to wrap Himself in flesh and be born to a woman He created, all so that He could die on a cross to give me eternal life with Him.”

Real hope is the absolute trust and faith in God’s unfailing promises. Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God’s promise to send us a Savior; a Savior to rescue us from sin and a Savior to rescue us from despair.

May we all place our hope in Jesus this Christmas and cling to Him to help us through the hard times. May we all take comfort from knowing that our King knows the pain of death, loss and brokenness. That is why He came to earth. He came to fix and restore. He came to bring life and love. I pray for all those precious hearts that are hurting today. And I ask the “God of all Hope, to fill you with joy and peace” this Christmas season.

Day 3: Tuesdays with Tozer

I am challenging myself to write a short post each day of this Christmas season. You can read about my reasons why by clicking the link below:

Day 3

Our gratefulness challenge is going well. My seven year old daughter has offered the most praises so far (she is not a morning person 😉 )

For today’s post, I wanted to include a prayer written by A.W. Tozer in his book The Pursuit of God. I have been reading this gem of a book and absolutely love it. It does take some brain power and focus to really understand it which means I am taking my time going through it. The prayer I have included below really stuck out to me. I love the words of this prayer, both as I endeavor to SEE God more, and as I train my heart to stay focused on Him this Christmas season.

May we all SEE God as more real than anything else this Christmas.

“O God, quicken to life every power within me, that I may lay hold on eternal things. Open my eyes that I may see; give me accurate spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make Heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been. Amen” (from The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer)

Day 1: The Gratefulness Challenge

I am challenging myself to write a short post each day of this Christmas season. You can read about my reasons why by clicking the link below:

Day 1:

I was convicted and inspired in church this morning to be more grateful for the grace that God has poured out on me. I deserve nothing but death and hell, but by God’s unfathomable grace and mercy, He has given me eternal life in His Son, Jesus. Yet, all too often I choose to see what I don’t have instead of the eternal gifts that I do have. So, this Christmas season my family is embarking on a gratefulness challenge. For every complaint we make, we must then give a praise. For example, when if I complain about traffic; I would then turn that around and praise God for the car He has given us.

We want to praise Him often for the grace and life we have been given. During this Advent season, my hope is that we spend more time praising God for the priceless gift of Jesus, then we do anything else.

Anyone want to join us in our gratefulness challenge? And if you happen to hear me complain about something, please call me on it and remind me to give a praise 😉

May we SEE the importance of time with You

Time. There never seems to be enough of it. It often goes by way too fast, or sometimes it seems to stand still. So much of it is wasted on things that just don’t matter.

Time. Both my enemy and my friend. As my enemy, time passes too quickly, stealing moments that I will never get back: my baby’s chubby little legs toddling toward me to plant a open mouth kiss on my cheek, my twenty-year old in shape body, the newness and excitement of first falling in love. And yet, time is often my friend as it heals wounds, both physical and emotional; as I spend precious time with my family; and as I bask in the glow of my time with the God I love.

This Christmas season, I want to honor God with my time. I want to surrender “my” time for “His” time. Over this past Thanksgiving week, I found myself enjoying time off and time away from the normal routine, but unfortunately, I also found myself spending too much time away from God. My devotional time was sacrificed for a few extra hours of sleep, my quiet time with the Lord was spent searching for black Friday deals. He was always there, and I was aware of Him in the background, but shouldn’t the King of the Universe be in the foreground of my mind at all times?

As my vacation week comes to an end, I look back and see that I spent a lot of time relaxing away from the normal routine which is good, but I look back, with what feels like sadness, at the time I missed spending with God.

This Christmas I want be purposeful about keeping God in the forefront of my mind and my family. I don’t want to-do lists, shopping strategies, and menu planning to override my time with the One who made Christmas possible. I don’t want to tell my Savior that there is no room for Him in my Christmas season. I want this year to be all about Him.

I want all the usual activities and traditions, but I want to keep myself focused on the One who left the majesty of Heaven to be born in a smelly stable for the sole purpose of rescuing a people who would reject and crucify Him. I want to SEE Jesus in every moment of this Christmas season and always. I want Him to be more important than sleep, shopping, cooking, and making Christmas magic for my kids. I don’t want to sacrifice my time with Him for anything.

Time. I want my time to matter this year. Taking time off is a good thing; unless we are taking time off from our relationship with Jesus. I realized this week that “seeing” Jesus in the everyday moments takes work and it takes time. The more time I spend in His presence, the more I can recognize His presence. But when I allow things (even good things) to crowd Him out, my vision instantly begins to get cloudy.

As a way of holding myself accountable to keep my eyes fixed on Him this season, I am going to write a very short post everyday. It will be a quote from a book that I want to meditate on that day, or a song I am going to listen to. It might be a verse or a prayer. I want to use my blog this year to keep my heart open to receive my King, and my eyes fixed on Him so that I can SEE God in the big and small moments this season.

How do you keep your focus on Jesus during the busy Christmas season? I would love to hear your tips and ideas if you want to comment below! Thanks and is it too early to say: Merry Christmas??? 🙂

May we SEE You when You catch us

*In honor of my sweet little girl who has been sick with pneumonia for the past several days, and because my brain is somewhat fried from taking care of said sweet girl, I dove into my drafts to find one that focuses on her for today’s post. This happened over the summer, but was a good reminder for me, especially in light of the past 10 days of sickness. Thank you to those who prayed for my girl. I am sure I will soon be writing a post about seeing God through the precious prayers of others 😉

Deuteronomy 33:27a “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

“He caught me!” What precious words, spoken from a heart full of child-like faith. My seven year old daughter had just fallen off her scooter. I had been several feet behind her and watched in fear as she wobbled and then fell to the hard road below. I ran to her with one thought in my mind, “please don’t let there be blood”. I handed the dog’s leash to my son and scooped up my baby girl, preparing myself for a bloody knee and scraped up hands. As I took a steadying breath to make myself look, I found nothing. Not a scratch, not a poke…nothing. My daughter looked a little surprised too, but then she said, “He caught me”. The He she was referring to was Jesus. In her mind Jesus caught her, and maybe He did.

As we continued our walk, I wondered, “why, if you could catch her, didn’t you catch her brother when he fell off his bike and had to have 14 stitches?” But then I remembered that although we were four miles from our home with no cell phone when that happened, a stranger gave us a ride to the hospital. And the doctor was worried that my sweet boy broke his jaw but He hadn’t. So in a way, Jesus did catch him. With one hand He comforted and protected my son, and with the other hand, He provided for us in our need.

“OK”, I thought, “but why didn’t you catch my uncle when he was diagnosed with cancer?” My uncle was only 54. He had lived a hard life, but had recently given his life to the Lord, however, lung cancer ravished his body and ended his life far too soon. But again, a still small voice reminded me that my uncle had come to know Jesus as his Savior. He had made things right with his family, and was surrounded by those he loved most as he drew his last breath. The moment he was gone from this world he was in the arms of his newly found Savior. So Jesus definitely caught him.

I realized that what looks like falling to us, may really be us landing in the Savior’s arms. We, as Christians, will fall and get hurt. We will bleed, we will hurt, we will fail, and one day our bodies will die. But never will we fall from our Savior’s arms. The One who can use “all things for the good of those who serve Him”, can use our pain, our illness, our failures for His glory.

Sometimes falling is a good thing. May Jesus catch each one of us today.

“Lord, please open my eyes to see you in the hard times as well as the good. Please help me to trust You to catch me no matter how hard I fall.”