Browsing Tag


My Christmas Story

For with God nothing shall be impossible.*

My house is quiet today. Quieter than I’d like. Quieter than I’d hoped for.

But that’s my Christmas story this year. An echo of my Advent story for the past few years.

But just as the angel of the Lord told Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible,” so I have held onto this as a promise for me.

What was impossible, now is possible.

And sometimes I just have to wait. And let there be quiet.

Because that’s what the Advent season is, that time of expectant waiting, that preparing for the celebration of Jesus, that word which means “coming.”

Advent is a pause … a holy waiting … for what is coming. It’s also a time of great expectancy, filled with incredible hope. And in the quiet, the stillness, I see Him coming – just like He promised.

So in these winter days, these Advent days that are short and dark and darker….

That for me are also quiet, quieter.

The impossible is possible. Jesus comes. Love is born.

What was dark, now is Light.

What was quiet, now is a chorus, Hosanna on High.

I can’t escape the fact that I’m going to have times of unexpected unwanted quiet, even as I’m ready to celebrate the birth of my Lord. It’s too quiet!

But I remember those words: with God nothing shall be impossible.

It’s been said – in movies, in commercials, on cards – that Christmas is the best time of year to be united. That Christmas is about family, the gathering of loved ones. But what if that doesn’t happen?

What if things in life have gone more sideways from anything I could have imagined?

What if those I want to be in my house aren’t there; what if those I want to come, don’t enter?

What if there is too much quiet?

Here’s my plan.

I’m staying open to Advent, to the anticipation, to the belief that what is impossible will be possible, that what is quiet will be filled, that what is broken will be repaired, and that what is lost can always be found.

God fulfilled so many promises when Jesus came as a baby in Bethlehem. I’m daring to hope and trust that He will fulfill His promises to me as well.

No matter who visits my house, there will always be Jesus.

There is more room for Jesus than anything, anyone.

Perhaps I’m exactly where I need to be, even in the quiet, to experience the miracle of Advent after all.

And to always know that with God nothing is impossible.

As I enter this last day of Advent, may my heart be focused on the real story, the only story that really matters.  May His Light brighten my darkness, may the angels singing shatter my quiet, like it did on that first Christmas, so that I can see my place in this season.

And I have incredible hope. Because nothing is more powerful than God’s love.

*Luke 1:37

So Much Waiting

Christmas #41So much waiting. So much about Christmas, and about life, is waiting.

Many of us wait for Christmas all year. With expectancy. With hope.

But many of us also wait for Christmas to be over.

When the year has been full of hard places and the heart has been shredded like tissue, there is waiting. For brightness. For healing. For forgiveness. For love.

I have to say that so much of my life has been waiting.

And now as I wait some more, I reflect on how much of life everyone spends doing exactly that — waiting. Waiting for all kinds of things, from the commonplace to the glorious. We wait in traffic, we wait in grocery lines, we wait for coffee to brew, we wait for the doctor to call, we wait for paychecks, we wait for storms to pass, we wait for a baby to be born or an elderly, ailing loved one to die. We wait. We live in the middle of all kinds of waiting — small kinds of waiting and terribly large long ones.

We’ve all battled the seasons of waiting.

And the waiting can be tedious.

Waiting can hurt. It can be confusing.

When we’re waiting for communication, a positive word, a good diagnosis, an end to battles, a love that understands… waiting can feel empty and desperately lonely.

We think waiting can be a waste of time. We want to be doing.

For most of us, in our fast-pace, want-it-now, get-it-now world, we don’t like waiting.

And yet, in the moments when we get so exhausted and desperate in the waiting, God is right there to help us.

God wants us to benefit from our times of waiting with more desirable responses. Instead of becoming impatient, nervous, frustrated, or miserable, we can choose a better focus in our waiting:

With patience.

With quietness.

With trust.

With expectation.

With courage.

With hope.

In so many difficult seasons of waiting, I have learned this truth: God isn’t after my happiness but my highest good.

And waiting is part of that process.

So I keep leaning unto His understanding and not mine, to be stronger than I thought during this more and more waiting.

And for you, too, wherever this holy season finds you, even if you are in a season of waiting, I’m thinking of you. May you also be strong. May you have a sense of wonder, a heart of courage, and an abundance of grace to give and receive.

May you understand that Love came wrapped in swaddling clothes. That Hope came nestled in a manger.

May we all be victorious in our waiting.


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