Advent: Season of Comfort & Hope

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Though winter is a beautiful season, there’s so much beneath the sparkly tinsel, the effortless table-gatherings, food, lights, Christmas carols, and traditions. But behind it all, there’s a lot of depression, pain, and sadness. Maybe because of negative memories, or just because of the grayness of the season. I mean, it’s dark all the time, and where there’s no light, there’s an evident lack of hope, & joy.

I endure my share of seasonal & non seasonal depression. You are not alone in what you’re facing. It seems hopeless, bland, and as if joy will never be felt again. It’s gloomy. And even though I’m all for a nice, gray day, chilly enough for me to curl up with peppermint hot chocolate & Christmas movies, I do miss the sun. The absence of light. I know God is the light of the world (John 8:12).  But it’s so dark during this season. So where is God?

The Beginning (Genesis 1:1-2)

“1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

Even though the world was dark, God was still there. He was there at the very beginning. Just because it feels like God isn’t around, doesn’t mean He’s not present, and that He isn’t getting ready to carry out His next step. The next verse says the following:

“3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

The darkness was still there. But now there was light. There was hope. The depression & dark times might not be entirely gone, but there’s now hope. When the world was at it’s darkest, God sent Jesus to be born. God could have chosen any time to send Jesus to earth as a baby; He knew what He was doing. Jesus was born for such a time as this. The world was hopeless, and suddenly a Light appeared in the world, and that Light was Jesus. He’s the Counselor, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He comforts those who hurt & feel weary. He restores hope to those who have none.

If you remember anything from this post, please remember that Jesus is ever present in your suffering. Rest in the comfort that He is here to change your life & provide you with a hope so strong, you will always feel Him nearby.

Know Us, Know You: A Prayer

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“Jesus loves you”, we say, but how often do we gloss over those three words? Let us remember those words like air, and study them thoroughly. Your love is not something to just skim over, like we do when we read books, so that we can get to the good part. Your love is the good part. You look on us with compassion, and care, and love. You really take the time to look at us, and you really want to spend time with us.

“Jesus loves you”, we say, but not out of routine. Don’t let us use those words out of routine. We really need to take the time to remember what those words mean, because they are powerful. Your name is powerful. Your precious name is life changing. Don’t let us become desensitized to those lovely three words. They are true. They are not to be taken lightly. These words demand to be reflected upon. Help us to deeply understand them.

There’s so much care, so much sweet softness in your character. Don’t let us forget this, because the moment we do, all light goes dim, and our lives becomes darker. Your name has the power to save. We don’t know how many minutes we have left in our lifetime to experience the love you have to give. Let us accept it, let us reflect, and think upon it every second. Please, give us the courage to share that lovely news to people who don’t yet know this:

“Jesus loves you.”

“Wherever You Go, I Will Go Too”

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My dream is to have a nice house to host my friends one day, whether it’s for Christmastime, thanksgiving, just stopping by, hanging out, you name it. I want to have a space where I can always have a pot of coffee brewing, ready for anyone who waltzes in. I want to learn to cook an actual meal so I can serve it to those who would step foot into my home one day. I want to be surrounded by people I love, and have a place where we can all be together happily. I want a place where I can hang up twinkly lights & candles year round & make it so normal that people don’t question why my house smells like cinnamon or peppermint even though it’s the middle of summertime. I want my future home to be so inviting to people. If my home isn’t a safe space full of grace to the people I care about, then it’s a place I don’t want to inhabit.

There’s some things that I learned about what home is over the last little while. Home is a place of comfort, rest, and acceptance- sometimes you find home in people. You should definitely keep those people around. Home is where those people are found.

I want to be a place of comfort and tenderness for people, because there’s so much unkindness in the world. In the wintertime, especially in Canada, it can get to lower than -7. It’s terrible. But with all this cold in the world, all the cruelty & pain, we can afford to be sweet to people. A smile, a hug, an act of love & kindness, can melt the ice cold barriers that someone had built around themselves. I really just want to be kind & welcoming to people. We could all use a break from the harshness of life.

I have a few places that I consider “home” for myself: my church, my friends, and the place where my friends and I gather. My church is where I grew up & learned all about Christ. I’ve grown so much in wisdom. You know, I feel like He was the first one to have an intentionally warm atmosphere around Him. He was basically homeless, and His friends went with Him wherever He went, so I feel like He must have been the first human example of what a home actually is. Whenever He went into someone’s house, I can imagine how much more homey it would have felt because Grace had stepped foot on its front step.

He’s such a sweet guest to have made His humble home in my heart, and I think I understand why I want to feel like home to others so much- it’s because I want to be like Him more than anything else. And I see all these photos of sweet, welcoming homes on Instagram, yet nothing inspires me to be as warm & inviting as He does.

About Me: Christmas Edition™

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I’ve been blogging for almost a year now! As I’ve written, you have gotten to know a lot about me, for instance: I write poetry, I’m obsessed & baffled by the concept of grace, I’m all about being together with people, I like to make playlists, and I love worshiping Jesus. But there are some things that you don’t know about me, so I wanted to do a Q&A type of post!

What do you want to look like? I want to look like the human embodiment of warmth. I want to look like a welcome mat, not in the sense where people walk over me, but in the sense where people can wipe their feet, and I can take on their burden for a little while. I want to look like someone who you’d think, “She looks welcoming & inviting…I’m going to feel right at home with her”. I want to look like Jesus, because He is both of those things to me & more.
Do you believe in magic? I believe in friends coming together in a twinkling house filled with food & singing carols, laughing because they can’t get it quite right. I believe in a house filled with the warmth of kind hugs & jokes & candy canes galore, with the Holy Spirit watching over everyone inside. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is.
Describe something, or someone, that comforts you. The person who is comforting to me is the person who affirms & encourages me, spends time with me, gives kind hugs, whispers kind things, goes out of their way to be kind, knows me so well, prays over me, is vulnerable with me, and I with them.
What would you change about the physical world? I would change how unkind people can be to one another. I’d go out of my way to be kind to them. Life if brutal, and I know it starts with us. Friends, just be kind.
What do you want to be when you “grow up”? I really just want to write. And speak about Jesus to those who will hear it. And grow little kids to be kind & selfless & hug-loving people.
Share a memory that shaped you. I remember a couple of years ago, a dear friend of mine had a tough financial situation. I gathered all the money I had, and gave it to him as a gift. This friend almost didn’t accept it, but I insisted. They promised they would pay me back, and they probably did pay me back in coffee, but that definitely shaped me. It taught me that friendship is being there, and helping them out when they’re in need. There I go again, being sentimental over my friends. I’m literally about to cry.
What winter movies do you return to? I’m obsessed with Elf, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, Trading Christmas, Frosty The Snowman, The Polar Express, and literally any Hallmark Christmas movie.
Tell your perfect, utterly perfect, December day. Waking up in Christmas pjs, to a snowy morning. A slow morning with strong coffee, maybe sticking a candy cane in there. Christmas music playing all day long, hot chocolate throughout the day, and making warm food for lunch. Playing a Christmas film in the afternoon, and getting all festive to meet friends in the evening for company & laughter! Best.

Merry Christmas, my friends!