Christmas, Hope

Christmas: Hope in Waiting

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

As I read this verse this morning. It stopped me. No, Micah isn’t a book in the Bible that most people flip to when they think of Christmas. Here’s what stopped me:

In this season of Advent, we wait for the Lord’s appearing. For Jesus’ birth. Many of us still watch for Him in our daily lives.

During Micah’s day, the people waited for God to show up . . . when they weren’t distracted by idols. Micah waited for God to fulfill His word. He spoke with confidence, declaring that God heard him. I love that confidence!

In our busy, modern day society, we still hold that longing to be filled, to be heard.

Today, we wait to see Him act in our lives. We yearn to know we are heard by Someone greater than ourselves.

We hold onto hope that God will hear us. That He will answer us. 

In his time of waiting, Micah clung to the hope that God heard him. That God would answer in His perfect timing.

As we watch in anticipation of Christmas, may we watch for God’s fingerprints upon our lives, and in our world. May we keep our hope steadfastly set on Him and Him alone.

Please know that you, my readers are a great gift to me. Thank you for your encouraging words and insightful comments this year. I pray you will know the hope and anticipation of Jesus’ coming, and the gift He gave us on the cross. May your time be spent with loved ones and in knowing that you are loved by One who is crazy about you.

I’ll see you back here on January 2, 2018!

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Being Still, Christmas, Five Minute Friday scribblings

Only: What Was It Like?

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—ONLY. 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!

ONLY

What must it have been like for Joseph and Mary that first night of Jesus’ life? Before even the shepherds came? Before townspeople began to whisper? Before the wise men visited?

When they were the only two beholding the Savior of the world wrapped in dirty cloths, nestled in their arms?

Did awe overwhelm them as they gazed into His perfect, tiny face? As they watched his lips twitch and pucker for sustenance?

What must it have been like? 

To be the first to see hints of what this baby boy would look like?

The chilly night breezes . . . the earthy scent of animals nearby.

How was it to be the only ones with Jesus, before angels announced His birth?

In the quiet of the stable, Joseph and Mary must have adored their baby. Perhaps gazed in wonder that the essence of God who created everything could be captured into the body of one wee babe.

What must it have been like to sense God’s presence hovering over them in the stillness of the night?

When I think about the chaos that now accompanies “Christmas,” I wonder if we’ve lost that sense of awe, the beauty of stillness.

What if we were able to focus only on Jesus? If we let the cacophony of the malls slip away, even for a little while, and sat in His presence . . . could we know His presence?

I have not been great about being still and giving my heart only to Him. I have let the busy-ness of preparations creep in and distract my mind and spirit.

But maybe, in the days that remain, I can spend some time only with Jesus.  Sitting in awe of this God-man who shed heavenly robes to put on rags and walk among mankind.

Maybe I can worship Him as I listen to Christmas songs and sing them.

He is the only one worthy of our worship. When we set our hearts on worshiping Him—on acknowledging the gift He gave—maybe we can re-discover the joy-overflowing that comes when we’ve been with Him.

What about you? How do you worship Jesus in the middle of the busy Christmas season? What is one of your family’s favorite Christmas traditions?

This will be my final post until the new year. I want to take time to bed fully present with my family and simplify my schedule for the next few weeks. Know that I cherish each of you, my readers, and I will pray God meets you wherever you are and reminds you that He is truly “God with us.”

Click to Tweet: How was it to be the only ones with Jesus, before angels announced His birth?

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Only

Christmas, Community, Trusting God

Provide: How God Provides

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

It has been said there’s nothing new under the sun. Things people dream up, actions carried out, sins committed, heroics undertaken—all have been done before

In all of history, one person faced something no one else would ever experience . . . Mary. She alone was gifted with the privilege and the heartache of being mother to the Son of God. And with unique opportunities to see God’s provision.

Continue reading “Provide: How God Provides”