Surviving the Stillness

Surviving_the_Stilln_Cover_for_KindleAs my first book went through final edits, there was a change in the title.  I wrestled with finding the right word to go with the theme of ‘stillness’. I wrestled to find something vivid that captured the healing nature of the series. But once I found the wording, it was as if it had always been.  From that very first idea of a boy falling down a flight of stairs, every scene in the book was about surviving that moment of stillness that follows a trial.

Now six months later, I find myself in a moment of stillness orchestrated by God.  I’m putting to use the lessons learned from writing the book.  I’m trusting in the knowledge that there is a sweetness in surrendering to God even when I’m not sure where He is leading me.  I’m leaning into Him instead of running from Him.  I’m holding fast to those He brings alongside for this season.

This season also happens to be Advent, the four weeks before Christmas where we come together to anticipate the birth of Christ. As I’ve prayed for how to bring my family together around this tradition, so instrumental in my own walk, I keep encountering the scripture, “Be still and know that I am God.”  As Hands Free Mama said so poignantly this morning.  We cannot enter relationship if we are a ‘moving target’. How can I expect to encounter God if I’m busy?  I don’t want to miss Him because I’m trying to ‘do’ Christmas.  I don’t want to miss seeing the gifts He has given me.  I want to see His joy in my children’s eyes as the snow falls.  I want to feel His love in the warm embrace of my husband.  I want to see His delight in the smile of a stranger He has called me to bless.

unwrapping-the-greatest-gift-cover-350hI’ve proclaimed this year’s Christmas theme to be stillness. Each day I hope to find one way to make our home a sanctuary of peace where everyone is expectantly waiting for Emmanuel to come. As we go through Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, I hope to instill in my children a beautiful appreciation for the amazing gift of God’s love for us. I hope they see that they are part of God’s story and that it isn’t enough to just know about the Nativity, we must live the story.

What does Christmas mean for your family?  Has God given you a Christmas theme?  How are you celebrating Advent?

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6 thoughts on “Surviving the Stillness”

    1. Susie,

      I know it will be a challenge, but I’m trying to remember that the moments I stop and smell the roses are often the ones I remember. I want to build memories for my children to tell their children. It seems like in the hustle and bustle those sometimes get lost, but sometimes they become the tradition (like the fact my dad loved to buy a tree a few days before Christmas so we could get a deal). God leads each of us differently at different times. I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas too.

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  1. A powerful idea. Sometimes we’re so busy as parents rushing around with taking care of life that we forget to live it. I can remember as a child how long a day, a week, gosh a month was… not it flies by. To me an afternoon on the computer or doing anything but spending time with her, is AGES. I think we should all take time to be still and remember the things that matter.

    Wishing you all the best in the coming year!

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    1. It is amazing how the perception of time seems to speed up as we get older. But I think that too adds something to how we celebrate Advent. For me it makes the urgency of anticipating the Lord more real, for my girls though it teaches patience and a suffering of sorts that comes with having to delay gratification. The sweetness of Christ is all the more sweet to them in their waiting and to me in that it comes quickly to renew my spirit.

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  2. Wow – a great reminder, not only for this season, but for life.

    How do we do advent? Well, I have two Advent wreaths, that I eventually remember to set out and we light each meal. But I also crafted an Advent calendar that we have used every year since. Each morning we gather around the calendar and place an ornament on the tree.

    We don’t have a theme, but we are working – in all areas of our lives – to make way for the blessings of God.

    Be blessed,

    Kathryn

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    1. Thanks for sharing your traditions. I had intentions of doing a wreath this year as my girls are old enough now to understand the dangers of open flames, but I didn’t get to it. We are doing the ornaments that go along with Ann’s beautiful book. I’m printing them on card stock and letting the girls color them. We made a tree out of Christmas lights them on the wall and the girls are hanging them on it. I hope to share pictures on Christmas when it is done.

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