Christmas, Five Minute Friday scribblings, Trusting God

Near: Drawing Near

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—NEAR. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

NEAR

The boy cuddled so close to my side I think he would have curled inside my skin, if it was possible. His warmth heated my arm, my waist. My arm swung around his small frame, scooting him in close. And my heart melted all over the place.

There is something about the nearness of a child that undoes me every single time. Knowing one of my guys, or even another child, wants to be that close to me.

For one person to stay that near someone there must be a level of trust. My boys considered me (probably still do, judging from the testiness some days) their safe place. Mama was the place you went when feelings got hurt. When you got scared. When you just needed the reminder that, yes, you are loved, no matter what you do.

That nearness is a trust-place.

I wonder if that’s how God feels about us? He longs for us to draw near to Him. To cuddle right up next to Him, knowing He will keep the world at bay for a little while.

I believe He longs to comfort us when life goes sideways. He longs for us to trust Him like a child trusts his parents. He yearns for the intimacy that only comes when we draw near.

He’ll never force Himself upon us. But He’s there the very second we want to draw close to Him.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I can’t hep but think of the way Mary’s heart must have dissolved into pure love as she held her swaddled son near her. As she cuddled him close to her, and planted soft kisses on His downy head.

Maybe we can draw close to Jesus even as we prepare to celebrate His birth, and hence the amazing work He did on the cross. Maybe we can remember how much He loves us and take moments to draw near to Him in the days leading up to Christmas.

What about you? What is your favorite memory of drawing near to someone you love(d)? How have you seen God draw near to you?

***I may not be able to comment and visit blogs tomorrow (Friday), but I am looking forward to visiting blogs over the weekend.***

Click to Tweet: He longs to comfort us when life goes sideways.

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Near

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26 thoughts on “Near: Drawing Near”

  1. I LOVE this, Jeanne! My favorite memory from this time of year involves all of our Christmas tree hunting expeditions (forest service permit, four-wheel drive vehicle, getting stuck, hot chocolate, finding the perfect tree). God definintely draws near to me when I draw near to him :)–just like with my adult kids, I have to let them initiate nearness–after all, they ARE adults! But I cherish every hug and cuddle!

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    1. Anita, that sounds fun! I can imagine your family tromping through forests in search of the perfect tree. And hot chocolate at the end of the day is the best thing to end with. My dad used to go get us a tree from the woods …a LONG time ago.

      Thanks for sharing this memory!

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  2. Beautiful post, Jeanne.

    Drawing near to anyone is hard for me, for the people that raised me did not recommend themselves, through word and deed, to trust.

    I do feel the spirit of what I’m missing, but one does what one can with that which one has. And one must be content with that.

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    1. Andrew, I know not everyone’s childhood held the comfort and security that is good for children. I’m guessing posts like this one can be hard if there isn’t a frame of reference to draw from. I think one of the advantages of the internet is it’s allowed people to connect who otherwise may have never met in “real” life. I am thankful you have been generous in reaching out to me and others in our shared online communities.

      I’m continuing to pray you sense God’s presence near you in these days, my friend. Praying for you!

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  3. Jeanne,
    Jesus has never left me hanging when I have called out for Him to draw near. I think those are words He longs to hear. He won’t force himself on us, but is there beside us the moment we utter His name. I want to settle myself so that He can draw near to me this Advent season!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, you’recright. Jesus promises to never leave or forsake us. It’s reassuring to know He’s got us. I like your reminder that He’s always walking beside us. May we bottom be intentional about settling ourselves before Him so we can hear His words for us during the Advent season and throughout the year.

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  4. Love this! Sometimes I wish my girls weren’t quite as comfortable with me… 😉 (I wonder if God feels the same with our freedom to gripe?!) But I’m so thankful for a God who desires nearness and relationship!

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    1. Annie, I have those days with my boys too. I’m thankful I’m their safe place, but the complaining… 😉 I’m thankful God always hears and has the perfect ways of redirecting our hearts when we need it. I’m so thankful God hears us and keeps us close.

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  5. I like the falling snowflakes here! Having my grandchildren come near to me is always awesome. There is no hesitation. And I can see how God is that way too. Never any hesitation to draw us near even when were not feeling very worthy of love.

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    1. Lynn, aren’t those snowflakes fun?! I like that WordPress does that. I’m so thankful God never hesitates to draw us near. There are days when I NEED that. And it’s usually on those days when I feel least worthy. Have a treat week, friend!

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  6. Jeanne, the snowflakes are beautiful!
    “Maybe we can remember how much He loves us and take moments to draw near to Him in the days leading up to Christmas.” Yes, yes, yes!
    I enjoyed your post and the tenderness you wove throughout!
    Love,
    Tammy
    (#34 this week)

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    1. Tammy, those snowflakes make me HAPPY. We have to be intentional about drawing near to God, especially in this season, don’t we? I hope you have many moments of quiet with Him, that you hear His words of love for you!

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  7. You and Lesley wrote along the same lines this week. I’m feeling so very tired and I needed these reminders to climb up into God’s lap, rest my head against His chest and rest. It is safe there.

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    1. Awwww, friend. I’m right there with you today. I’m in desperate need of some time nestled into my Father’s lap. I’m so glad it’s a safe place. I hope you get some rest and refreshing with Jesus.

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  8. So wonderful to remember – and to meditate on – the fact that the very Lord of this universe wants us to draw near to Him…and to rest close by His side – as His child!! A precious thought for today, to be sure!!

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    1. Jennifer, it seems like I need lots of reminders that God wants me to draw near to Him, to choose Him over busy-ness. It seems like there are days when the choice comes harder. Sigh. I guess I need to pray He is always who I choose first. Have a wonderful week!

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  9. Love this. I feel such joy when kids want to be near me. A few weeks ago a sweet little one grabbed onto my leg at church and wouldn’t let go. What love! I’m in the 45 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, there’s something so special about a child choosing to be with us, isn’t there? I am thankful God is always available for us to latch onto Him when we want to, and when we need to. Have a great week, friend!

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  10. Great thoughts here Jeanne. It reminds me of how I felt when my kids and grandkids were infants and I would lay on the couch with them sleeping soundly against my chest. They felt so close, so much a part of me. That’s the visual I sometimes get when thinking about drawing near and giving my whole self to God.

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    1. Gene, I wrote a response. Really, I did. 😉 Somehow, it never went live. I love the image of your kids and grandkids laying on your chest. My hubs did that with our boys when they were small too. There’s such a level of unfettered trust in that image. And our God really is there for us, trustworthy, so we can give our whole selves to Him. Thanks for your words here!

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  11. My husband’s grandmother was such a significant part of our family’s holidays (and throughout the year). Her house was a refuge. She passed away three years ago. Ironically, my mother-in-law continues to send us “granny money” for Christmas. In that sense, she is near to us at Christmas.

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    1. Awww, friend. I’m sorry for your loss. There are people in our lives who add to and deepen us. It’s really sweet that your mother-in-law sends you “granny money.” It sounds like your family has very special memories of your husband’s grandmother. 🙂 I hope this Christmas season will hold some special rememberings as well as the making of new memories, my friend!

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