I realized this morning that there are 100 days until Christmas. I am not typically interested in counting down the days until December 25. I really look forward to the days of Advent that lead up to Christmas Day. On the Christian church calendar, Advent officially begins Sunday, November 27 this year.
I enjoy Advent, but not for the presents, not for the parties, and not for the nativity set or tree we put in our home. Those are great, but not my happiest place during Advent and Christmas. No, I enjoy it because it gives me the “excuse” to be still. It is in the being still that I find space in my day to pray, read my Bible, and work through an advent devotional. I need the motivation to be intentional in being still even more during the holidays. Do you?
When it comes to a devotional, I may read the same one for several years or I may search for a new one. I enjoy the process of selecting a devotional that is solid in the gospel and doctrine without fluff of more things I need to do to make this Christmas my best yet.
You may not be thinking about an Advent devotional today, but I want to pass along an opportunity to purchase a beautiful Advent calendar and devotional at a discount between now and next Wednesday.
The ladies at Amen Paper Company and the artist from Lindsay Letters have collaborated to pull this bundle of Christmas joy together sooner than later so you can be intentional in preparing your heart for Christ again or maybe for the first time in your life. Jess and Helen of APC put out an APB to those who may be inclined to submit written pieces on specific topics within the theme of, “Let it Be,” which is another way of saying, “Amen”.
I submitted a piece and it was selected and I cannot wait to see it all together. Words and art creatively colliding and displaying the splendor of Christ and his magnificent So Be It when his atonement was accomplished is where I desire my focus today and all my days.
Christmas is 100 days away. Let us prepare our hearts and make him room today and everyday. Amen?
Summer has come and is lingering on the calendar even though school has begun here in my hometown. Even though summer weather is at its peak, I have had the yen to knit and crochet fun summer and winter projects with fabulous yarns.
I am a fan of shawlettes. I think you should be, too. I wear them year round and depending on the materials used, they afford those who wear them variety and light or heavy coverage. I often take one in my purse to church and restaurants to throw around my shoulders when the AC draft whispers around my neck.
I think that’s one reason I enjoyed making this linen piece from yarn I purchased on a recent trip to St. Simon’s Island, GA. After showing it to friends I decided I would list it in my Etsy shop, due to their enthusiasm over the weight, feel, and drape. Better than that, it can be washed and dried in the washing machine! Yep! Linen! I know! Buy it!
But before I began that one, I worked on a faux fur-trimmed number that had a knitted lace-edging on it. Again, this was yarn I purchased while at the beach last summer. My souvenir of choice on trips is yarn of late! The shop sample of this piece was in neutral colors, but they no longer had all the supplies in neutral so I got brave and bold and decided on the red and oh my! The faux fur feels real! The fabric of the knitted body of the piece has a lovely drape and can be worn a couple of ways. Wrapped, draped, free and loose. But, it’s sure to keep you warm and glamorous in winter. Will that ever happen? Winter, I mean. I’m sure you’re glamorous always. ; ) It, too, is now available in my Etsy shop due to my friends’ grand reception of it. I should have taken their pictures trying it on. It was dress up for grown ups and it was grand!
While traveling in Maine on our 30th anniversary trip in June, I took a project to knit while on the plane and riding in the car. This sock yarn scarf will look cute this fall with my olive green safari-like vest from Target. I’m not selling it…unless you want it. Then, I’ll sell it.
And before all of these, I whipped up a scarf in hand-painted yarn I bought at Stitches South in 2015. It’s the same pattern as that raspberry shawlette at the top, but because I bought a smaller amount of the yarn, the finished project is smaller. It’s not for sale. I wear it A. LOT. It goes well with every color in the rainbow and white as well as black. I wore it bunches in Maine.
This week I began crocheting a shawlette that makes me think of the Gulf of Mexico’s water when it’s at its most clear state and I swear, but I want to eat fresh fish when I am working on it. Here it is in process…
Those are the wonderful fibers I’ve had the privilege to work with this summer and make into wearable fabrics for more couture hand-made accessories.Read More
Today’s text from a younger woman in our church prompted me to consider again this recurring and blessed nudge from God, this commission as spoken by Jesus to his disciples at the end of Matthew, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”
What about you? Are you ever nudged by God about this?
Backing up a bit, I know the need for discipling from the perspective of this younger woman. Giving my heart to Christ as a young teenager was wonderful and memorable, but my growth was sporadic and unguided until I got out of college and became a mom two and a half years later.
Reflecting back to being a young newly married woman, I remember calling a wise woman in our church and asking her if she knew of a Bible study in which I could participate. This woman was someone whose faith I admired from afar. She seemed to have her life together when it came to her ability to share about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. At the least, I was hoping for an invitation to her Bible study. At the most, I was envisioning being discipled by her, one on one.
But I cannot forget her heartfelt response to me. She steered me to no one – not herself, and not her Bible study group because of my youthfulness and her group’s not-so-youthfulness. She steered me far away from pursuing discipling of any kind.
I hung up the phone dejected and ashamed to have made a cold call to this woman.
Fast forwarding now, I have been blessed in the years since that phone call being in the providential combo of right place and time of receiving from godly women – from group Bible studies, to one-on-one over steaming coffee, to authors who challenged me from afar unbeknownst to their discipling affect on my soul through the words in books.
The common denominator of all those life-giving and life changing encounters with godly women was the Word of God as central to nurturing younger women. Repeatedly pointing me back to truths found in Scripture was key to my growth.
Being a new mom challenged my faith and mentors pointed me to the solidity of the gospel in keeping Jesus at the center of my calling to parent. This sustained me through all the phases of parenting. I knew to whom I could drag my weary soul at the end of a hard day and it was to the Trinity. Women discipling me faithfully pointed me there.
Praying was never my strong suit, but through my discipling relationships, I learned how to pray alone and in community. I learned that God was to be the first ears to hear my heart’s burdens and not my husband’s, friends’, or mentors’. I saw confidentiality modeled and godly strength upheld. I saw repentance and seeking forgiveness displayed. I learned the value of communicating regularly with God.
And I learned the value of being invested in by godly (not perfect) women who gave of their time to come alongside me. For them, I am thankful.
I know the benefits of discipleship. Women discipling women are a breath of fresh air in the Church. To pour into another life (through the power of the Holy Spirit) as I’ve been blessed is a valuable benefit of being an active part of a church body.
I will talk with my younger friend and find out what God has laid on her heart. I will do my best to encourage and teach her as others have modeled for me. I will keep the gospel at the heart of our relationship. I will share my failures and flaws, my meager attempts and few successes, by God’s grace. I will ask her to disciple others, too, at the right time.
Is it time for you to do the same?Read More