The Beautiful Ordinary

Making the Bed

I am a bed maker, it brings peace and order to my day. Sheets tucked tight, quilt even on each side, a soft stack of pillows. My bed has served me well, it has given me peaceful rest, served as a refuge, felt my tears, heard my laughter, known my dreams, my nightmares and has been witness to many prayers.

There are days I forget to make my bed, or simply run out of time in the morning. As evening comes around and sleep begins to call, I’m sad to find it messy and crumpled.
Call me crazy or OCD, but the truth is I take a few minutes to tuck those sheets tight, square up that quilt, then turn it down and slide in for the night. It is the place where I am still.

Father, I thank You for this small rectangle I call my bed. It is warm, clean safe and the one place where I can be still.

As I wake each morning, it is the pace where my first thoughts are forming. Help my first thoughts to set on the truth that You Are God.

You will be exalted over all the Earth and heavenly hosts are at Your command. You are my safe place and I need not fear as the sunrises on a new day.

Psalm 46

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An Advent Journey with Mary

Joy

Joy is this – the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.

This season is to be a joy-filled, but sadly it can become joy-less, when joy stealers like anxiety, stress, tension and sadness overwhelm us.  I’ll be honest there have been Christmas Days that I have been so tired, I just wanted to get through the day and crawl into bed.

How do we refocus?

How do we get our joy back and enjoy this Holy Season?

Here is how… we go back to the beginning.

Mary had every right to be filled with anxiety and stress.  She was carrying a baby that was not her husband’s and there could be many wrong turns in this journey.

By faith, She Chose Joy 

Let’s listen to her song and get a glimpse of the joy that filled her soul.

And Mary said,

I’m bursting with God-news;
    I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
    I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
    the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
    on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
    scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
    pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
    the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
    he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
    beginning with Abraham and right up to now.  Msg Luke 1: 46-55

Wow!  Instead of worry and fear, Mary was bursting with what the Lord was doing within her.  Looking at her through the world’s eyes no one would think Mary was fortunate to be in this situation.  She chose to look at her position through faith – trusting that the Lord would take care of her and her baby.

Her entire song declares the very character of God – the very character that would live in her son, her Savior, our Savior.

To Mary He is a God who is –

  • Holy
  • Set Apart
  • Full of Mercy
  • Strong
  • Rescuer
  • Provider
  • Honors His Promises

In the months that followed Mary’s song, she would watch as the Lord protected her and worked everything out between her and Joseph.

She would find herself giving birth in a stable full of hay and animals.  I must say, I would not be feeling the joy at that moment.

The moment Jesus took his first breath, let out his first cry the earth would be filled with joy.  Angles would appear in the sky singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest,And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’

After the angles made their grand announcement to the shepherds on the hill side, those very same Shepherds would be knocking on the stable door.  Once they laid eyes on the new born babe, they left declaring to all with joy filled voices all that they had seen and heard.

The joy in the air must have been tangible!

joy

If you find yourself loosing your joy this Christmas Season.  Take a moment, as we light our joy candle and remind yourself who God is to you.

Remember a young woman, who carried a precious gift.  Immanuel, God With Us.  The Christ,  who would honor the Promise of His Father and become the sacrifice for our sin.

He would come as a new born babe, who would grow to be a man, that would lay hands on the sick and they would be healed.  He would speak to the storm and it would calm.  He would stand for justice and lift up the oppressed.  He would take a journey to a cross, where He would take His final breath.  For you.  For me.  For all.

Then take a quiet minute and let joy seep into your soul.