As 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.
I’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?