Jen & Jane’s Impossible Path to Christmas
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
How can I possibly survive the holidays with my faith and family intact?
I believe that. I know I can make choices this month that will enable me to savor precious moments during this holy season. To give and wrap and sing and bake and write and worship and clean and welcome and visit and receive and listen and shine and rest and wait and celebrate…
But sometimes our Advent days seem impossible, don’t they? Everyone needs us and we need a break. Our lists are endless and our finances limited. Emotions and expectations rule the day when extended families gather. And somehow in the midst of all this clatter and chaos and celebration, too often we forget the Child!
Friends, we can do this thing! The next days can be our best and brightest and most blessed moments where the impossible becomes possible!
But I need some help, and perhaps you do too. That’s where my good friends Jen and Jane come in – both have absolutely fabulous Advent books that keep my soul calm and my heart focused on the true reason for the season.
Don’t worry about the calendar
And don’t worry about the clock.
Your forgiveness lists,
And your unforgiveness lists.
You try so hard,
Only one thing
I have a story
To tell you
About a time
And a place
And a people
To be found in the dark.
I have a light.
I am the light.
I am sending the Light
Of the world. (Jane Rubietta)
Mary never asked for the Gift she received, yet she accepted God’s plan, even though it seemed impossible. What is happening in your life right now that seems impossible? Impossible to handle? Impossible to solve? Impossible to believe?
I agree with Jane that “Maybe Christmas isn’t about getting what we think we want. Maybe it’s about getting what we need, and then realizing, once we open the gift, that what we need is actually what we wanted all along.”
My other friend Jennifer Kennedy Dean’s Advent Prayer book – “Pursuing the Christ” — is now well-underlined from 5 years of use. She elaborates on the Magnificat: “Mary could not help but wonder how such a thing – a virgin bearing a son – could be accomplished. Where the world has no way and no process, God has a way. God is the way.”
Friend, we need to stop listening to the world. Stop believing all those commercials (and even some of those well-meaning blogs). We must draw close to the manger and be still and silent with the Child. Open our hands to receive whatever He is bringing to us this year.
Mostly, pray to the One who promises the impossible:
“Dear God, You never speak a word that does not carry Your guarantee in it. You never speak a word that is not fully backed up by your power. You are the same God who spoke through Gabriel to Mary. When you speak to me, Your words have the same guarantee. Whatever You promise, You perform. Why do I think I have to be able to see a way? You do not call me to believe based merely on evidence; You call me to believe things that are impossible. By the exercise of Your power and the experience of Your presence, nothing will be impossible. Amen.” (Jennifer Kennedy Dean)
Feel better already? More focused? More peaceful? Whatever you choose to use (one of these books, an online devotional, app, etc), may I encourage a daily spiritual focus for these days of waiting – Advent. Your soul will thank you and those around you will perhaps see something impossible this year – a bright light from within!
Let’s SHINE….. under the mercy, Cindy