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I am so grateful for the opportunity to be on the street team for Come, Lord Jesus.  It has been a true blessing to have previewed the book and to have met so many incredible women.  I had no real idea what Father God was allowing me to step into last August, but I know it was immeasurably more than I could have asked for or imagined.

Today’s guest post is written by Leah Everson.  This quote captured my heart as I read her words.

In her Advent Devotional, Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting, Kris Camealy helped me realize that the ache I feel is a longing for Jesus. For Christ’s return. I needed to be told it was ok to hope for Christ’s second coming. That it is good and right to desire for the time when wrongs will be righted. Tears will be wiped away. Death will be defeated.

I pray you are also blessed by her words.

How to Hope When We’re Far from Home

This quote from Come, Lord Jesus: the Weight of Waiting seeps right into my heart this Tuesday morning.  It often, sometimes daily, FEELS as if I’m still captive to my sin and brokenness.  It does today if I may be so transparent.  I scrolled through the quotes from this beautiful Advent book, and Jesus had me rest on this one.  Regardless of my feelings, I am not imprisoned by my sin or my brokenness.  I am captivated by the HOPE of Jesus – of His first coming as a babe in a crèche, of His promised return, and the reality that He walks this present day with me.  Not only does His hope seep deep in the brokenness of my physical body and heart, HE Himself penetrates and surrounds and goes before and brings up the rear.  And I am left to praise Him.

Everything about this guest post from Terri Conlin made my heart smile and sweet tears form. 

“That struggle to rearrange continues in us today. We may make room for Christ, but then so many things rush in to fill the space – shopping, wrapping, decorating, visiting, card writing and cooking. Not one of them is bad unless Jesus is never home.”

You can find the entire post at http://kriscamealy.com/well-babushka-ill-home-christmas/

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I began celebrating Advent. Parker & I were given an Advent wreath by a dear friend of ours when we began asking questions about the traditions of Advent. She also gave us paper placemats with several Christmas carols on them. And those placemats still come out each Sunday of Advent and we each choose a carol to sing as a family and take turns lighting our Advent candles. My heart could completely relate with Karen Sipp’s guest post on Kris Camealy’s blog today. I am ever so thankful that Jesus has taught us how to celebrate the “waiting” of Advent and given us beautiful traditions to share with our three loves including this lovely new book Come, Lord Jesus: the Weight of Waiting. 

I think you will enjoy Karen Sipp’s guest post. http://kriscamealy.com/baptist-girls-guide-advent-guest-post/

So very well said.

Teacups in the Jungle

Last month, while Danny was gone for a few weeks on a ministry related trip, Izzy, Judah and I spent the time at the mission’s guesthouse in town. We continued on with homeschool and our regular daily routines, while Danny was traveling, by helicopter, all over the Philippines, visiting various villages in the jungle and witnessing first hand the work of the Lord in different languages as God raises a church to honour and worship Him. Our lives could not have been more different for those few weeks as he was out there on the front lines, while I was quietly putting in our days and waiting for him to come home.

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After we were all reunited at the guesthouse in town, we headed out together for dinner one evening. I walked ahead in the cool of the evening to open the gate and enjoy a little fresh air. There…

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As I said in an earlier post, I will be sharing the guest posts on Kris Camealy’s blog. Today Emily Conrad shares her beautiful words. 

I entitled this post ‘Chosen’ because as I read Emily’s words, Father God impressed heavily on my heart (again) how very chosen I am by Him! He chose to create me, give me to my parents, and place me on this planet in October of 1969. One would think at 47 years old, this truth would not overwhelm me as it did this morning. I was reminded of these pictures that my husband copied from one of my mom’s albums years ago, so I found them to share with you. I’ve shared my favorites, and even these are difficult for me to put out here for all to see. You see, I was not happy with this gift from Parker. He knew I would not be, but he also knew that Father God was teaching me how very valuable I was to Him, for no other reason than simply existing. He made me, and He gave me His beauty. This is a hard truth to live when you have not believed it for a long time. I hated pictures of myself, and I’m still not super crazy about them. I am trying. I really am.  I was encouraged by these words this morning, and I’m going to guess that I am not the only one that has struggled with this. This is why I’m sharing this. I truly am not looking for affirmation from anyone. I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt the value I hold. And it is because Jesus has taught me this and keeps teaching and reminding me in so many ways each day. Of course, His word is enough, but He also uses the words of others such as Kris & Emily to reinforce all He is speaking over me. So please accept His words of truth over you and let them completely drown out the lies of the enemy if this is something you also struggle with. 

Here is an excerpt of Emily’s words:

“Into the dangerous or unconventional and into seasons of waiting, as Kris points out, and also, for many of us much of the time, into the ordinary. Because whatever else he has chosen us for, the Creator of this beautiful earth, of each person we love, of each detail we can taste or touch or hear or see or smell—and many we can’t—this Creator and Savior has chosen us for an everlasting relationship with Himself.”

http://kriscamealy.com/extraordinary-ordinary-life/

Enjoy Shelly Richardson’s guest post on Kris Camealy’s blog.

“She reminds me that God does not work within our time, that my waiting is not wasted. The man-made calendar? It is not chronological, it is God’s timing and His timing is always a gift.”

“The time God gives us in the waiting is a gift, whether or not it feels that way in the moment. He is not late in His coming. Come Lord Jesus: the Weight of Waiting p. 34”

You can find the entire post at http://kriscamealy.com/keep-believing/

Below is the beginning of Jennie Woelpern’s guest post on Kris Camealy’s blog. Enjoy her beautiful words. 

” I know I can get wrapped up in the to do’s, become easily distracted, and loose sight of the importance of the meaning of the Christmas season. Instead, I want to keep the main thing-the main thing, and not feel the waiting down of the to do’s. Instead enjoy the season, in its true holiness. One way for me to do that is to partake in participating in Advent.”

Read the rest at kriscamealy.com

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, especially all the preparations. My mother created a most festive atmosphere which heightened our anticipation of Christmas. The house was decorated beautifully, new Christmas crafts were often introduced, the baking began early, and hearing my mom’s memories of her childhood Christmases were cherished stories. I always knew that Christmas was because of Jesus and ultimately we celebrated Him. However I did not grow up in a church that acknowledged Advent. I had heard of it, along with Lent, and knew it had something to do with Jesus, but it was not  celebrated in any way. After I was married and before we had kids, Father began introducing us to Advent. My heart thrilled to learn of its actual meaning, and I finally celebrated it. I will admit that we have integrated several Advent traditions into our family’s Christmas including the lighting of candles each Sunday along with singing Christmas carols and daily and weekly readings.  Some things have changed throughout the years as our family has grown, and we remain open to whatever God wants to bless our family with. This past year I happened upon a woman named Kris Camealy on Instagram and began following her journey in those little squares. In August I had volunteered to be on her street team for her new Advent book, Come, Lord Jesus the Weight of Waiting, that would be released October 18. I am excited to add this delightful book to our Advent celebration and look forward to rereading it starting December 1st!  Kris had invited us to write guest posts for her blog which I will be sharing here as well. I highly recommend this lovely book to help usher you into the most wonderful time of the year.

http://kriscamealy.com/as-we-wait/

My dear friend, Angela Shupe, is an amazing writer. This is one of her short stories. Her story is on page 15 of the journal.

Angela M. Shupe

“The Scent of Maple” is now available to read online in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s literary journal, Westview.

“The Scent of Maple” is a story about the unlikely friendship of a woman named Annie and a curious five-year-old named Ben. You can read it here.

Hope you enjoy the story.

Westview Spring-Summer 2015

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