A New Year, A New Word

Here we are again, on the cusp of yet another new year.

2018 is a year full of promise and opportunity, uncertainty and mystery. This year might bring the very best of moments into our lives…it may bring the very hardest of days…or it may bring both. This year could bring incredible joy, or it could bring deep pain…it will probably bring both. There’s so much we just don’t know about what the next 12 months might hold. But there’s one thing I do know, one truth that I can hold on to no matter what this next year may bring: God is with me, through it all.


Every year I choose one word. Not a list of goals and plans. Just one word. One word to dig deep into. One word to really lean into and intentionally practice.

This year I’ve chosen the word “surrender.”

As I made my list of words that have been on my heart lately, my short list included words like “brave” and “risk,” “trust” and “given.”

biggest risk.jpg

“What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?”

This was one of the questions our missionary, JJ Alderman, asked when we were on our mission trip in Togo back in October. It has been heavy on my heart and mind ever since. What is the greatest risk I’ve ever taken? What have I risked for Christ? Have I risked anything, really? I’m not naturally a risk-taker. I tend to do everything I can to play it safe and to maintain my secure little bubble of a life, guarded against risk and pain and failure. But more and more I can hear God calling me to take bigger risks, to step out of my comfort zone, to just trust Him and risk my comfort for His Kingdom. This year, I want to take bigger risks as I follow Jesus.

“The only way to abundant life is the broken way of risk.” – Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

2 Timothy 3-14-15.jpg

The Broken Way has been one of the books that I’ve gone back to over and over throughout this past year…so many of Ann’s words have made their way into my heart and shaped how I see my life in light of eternity and how I walk this broken journey along the way.

“Look at us all wandering around a spinning planet with these bucket lists, desperate to fill ourselves up with meaning, when meaning comes from emptying ourselves out….
…I wonder if that isn’t a better way to live than carrying around a bucket to fill up: live for something worth dying for. Let love break into you and mess with you and loosen you up and make you laugh and cry and give and hurt because this is the only way to really live. Bucket list or not, don’t waste a minute of your life on anything less. Don’t waste a minute on anything less than what lasts for all eternity.”
- Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

I don't want to waste a minute on anything less than what lasts for all eternity.

One thought that has stuck with me ever since our mission trip to Togo has been this: I want to live a life that outlives this life. I want to be a part of something that is bigger than my own lifetime. I want to invest in things that will outlive me, things that are eternal: the Kingdom of God, the Gospel of Jesus, the souls of people. I want to live in the light of eternity…to “think of eternity, and live backward from that.” (Ann Voskamp)

The way I will do that is by living fully surrendered to Christ, fully submitted to His will and His plan for my life, whatever that may be. The story He is writing is bigger and greater than anything I could write for myself. So this year, I surrender. I want to lay down my dreams and my desires and my very life at the foot of the cross and let God write my story…to say yes to what He asks me to do, to follow where He leads, to walk by His side and watch His story unfold in my life. What that will look like, or where He will lead, I’m not sure. But I’m sure of this:  “The Lord himself goes before [me] and will be with [me]; he will never leave [me] nor forsake [me].” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

Deut 31-8.jpg

So, this year, I surrender.

“I choose to surrender my story wholly, fully to you. Take the pen, Lord Jesus. And write.” – Mary DeMuth, Jesus Every Day

What’s your “one word” for this year? What’s the one thing you’re leaning into?

I’d love to do a custom lettering of your one word for you! Now available in the shop: Custom “One Word” Lettering.

I’ll custom hand-letter your one word, and send you a JPEG image you can save and share and print, and a PNG image you can place on your own photos or graphics. The option to order a foiled print of your one word is also available, for a limited time. For more details, hop over to the shop and check it out!

Whatever your goals or dreams or your “one word” for this next year, I pray that 2018 will be a year that God draws you nearer to His side, that you will experience His love and trust His plan and find joy in this crazy wonderful journey.

Happy New Year, friends!

The Waves and Wind Still Know His Name

There are storms that bear down like a hurricane, destroying the things we've held dear.

The work of our hands and the treasures we've collected can crumble beneath the weight of the wind and the waves.

There are inner storms that can rage and change the landscape of a soul.

So many of us on this broken planet are facing storms of one kind or another.

Harvey left a sea of devastation last week. Irma is bearing down on us this week.

Our little family is watching the weather closely and hunkering down this weekend. We live in central Georgia and could be in the direct path of the storm this time. Though we won't get the worst of it, we're still preparing for storms. School has already been canceled Monday. Evacuees, friends from our south, have flooded into our little town and filled every hotel room.

The needs are great. The fears are felt. But our God is still in control.

This song has been on replay in my heart the last couple of days...it is like a balm to my often-anxious heart: 

"It Is Well"

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see

And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

It is well it is well with my soul
ahhhhhhh (softly)

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.

It's hard to not be anxious and uncertain when so many are suffering and facing so much destruction in so many places around our beautiful broken world. But God is still good. I may not understand why there is so much suffering, why there are so many storms - on our land, in our souls. But I do know that He is calling to us...drawing us near to Himself. He loves us. HE is our peace, even in the middle of the storm...especially in the middle of the storms.

We don't have to be afraid.

Ann Voskamp wrote,
"In the midst of storms, all our storms, this is always true:
Sometimes God will calm the storm for you —  but sometimes God will calm you for the storm.
Sometimes God calms the storms — and sometimes the storm stills swirl and He calms our fears.
All storms only still to the sound of One Voice."


"The Wounded God does not say, “Do not fear, I will give you all the answers.”
He does not say, “Do not fear, I will take away all your pain.”
He does not say, “Do not fear, I will do whatever you all think.”
The Wounded God who is the one High, Almighty Wise God, who says it like a wide open embrace:
'Do not fear — for I am here.' "

He is here. He is right here. As the waves rise and the wind howls and the future is a thick cloud of uncertainty...God is right here, with us. And we can rest in Him and say with confidence, "It is well with my soul."

Praying for those facing the uncertainty of incoming storms, for those picking up the pieces from storms that have past, and for those being tossed to and fro by wind and waves in the middle of a storm that threatens to destroy the things you hold dear. Hold tight to the One who is holding you through it all...He is the unmovable, unshakable, unwavering God who loves you more than you can imagine.Trust Him. Rest in Him. He holds. 

Not just a lot of talk...

“For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20

 (click the image to download the free printable of 1 Corinthians 4:20)

(click the image to download the free printable of 1 Corinthians 4:20)

1 Corinthians 4:20 || Little House Studio

This verse has really been convicting me this week.

Because I can say what I believe and I can post words and thoughts on social media all day long, but it’s how I LIVE that reveals the truth of what I really believe, and reflects what is really actually important to me.

What I do says more about the condition of my heart than what I say.

You know a tree by its fruit.

God has really been working in my heart lately, convicting me to go beyond just saying what is important to me and what I care about and DOING something about it. I’ve been doing a lot of self-evaluating lately, a lot of introspection...asking a lot of hard questions and asking God to reveal the truth of my heart.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!" Psalm 139:23

First I've been asking, does my heart align with Christ’s? Not with that author I like or with that person I admire or with that article I read on Facebook or with some political agenda or some good-sounding idea or even my emotions or what “feels right”…but does my heart align with CHRIST? Is my soul in tune with His Spirit? Is my world view aligned with HIS Word, and are my beliefs aligned with HIS heart? (This requires some deep and dedicated time in His Word, and some fervent and intentional time in prayer…this is something I am still doing…I’m still asking, still seeking, still knocking.)

And then, do my actions line up with my words? What does the way I live reveal about my heart? Do my actions reflect Christ in me?

Am I just a lot of talk…or am I living by God’s power?

 (click for the free printable)

(click for the free printable)

That’s convicting, right there. Or at least, it has deeply convicted me.

Because the thing is, I’m not going to change your opinion about anything by yelling mine.

But...I might just make a difference in your life by setting mine aside and doing something to show you the love of Jesus.

I’m not going to be able to wipe out poverty or starvation in all of the world by simply writing a blog post or sharing an article on Facebook.

But...I can share a meal with a hungry neighbor or donate food to places that feed the homeless or volunteer to serve people in need.

I can’t mend all the brokenness in our culture and our world. I can’t stop all the fear and the fighting and all the hateful words.

But I can reach across the lines and choose to see the souls that Jesus died for and act in love anyway.

I can’t fix all the problems. I don’t honestly even fully understand all the problems.

But I can sit down beside someone who is different than me – who looks different than me, or believes different than me, or has a different opinion about something than me, or is passionate about something different than I am – and I can listen to their story. Because everyone has a story. Every single person on this entire planet has a story that brought them to this very moment. And every single person on this planet was created by God, in the image of God, and loved by God. Every single person. And not a single person is beyond the redeeming power of the blood of Jesus. Not a single person.

There is no person, no people group, no country that is fundamentally more worthy or more valuable or more loved by God than another. Jesus died for ALL. For everyone. His love is not conditional on your place of birth or color of your skin or economic status…so why should mine be?

1 Corinthians 4:20 || Little House Studio

I can’t help everyone, but I can help someone.

I can’t do everything, but I can do something.

And the something I’m called to do may not look exactly the same as the something that you are called to do. But that doesn’t mean we are against each other, or that what I’m doing is more important than what you are doing or vice versa. Now, there are some things that God calls all of us to do:

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.” Isaiah 1:17 NLT
“Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!” Jeremiah 22:3
“ Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:44
“…what does the
Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

We are all called to do these things. But just as the parts of the body have different functions, I believe God burdens each of our hearts in different specific ways to fulfill His Kingdom purposes.

There are so many ways to serve God…so many ways to share the love of Jesus…so many people in this world to love. If we are willing to open our eyes to the needs around us, it won’t take long for God to reveal someone we can serve and love and help.

So if God burdens my heart specifically for a family in my neighborhood, I should do all that I can to help them and serve them and show them the love of Jesus.

If God burdens my heart for the homeless man begging on the corner, I should do all that I can to help him and serve him and show him the love of Jesus.

If God burdens my heart for single moms, I should do all that I can to help them and serve them and show them the love of Jesus.

If God burdens my heart for foster kids, I should do all that I can to help them and serve them and show them the love of Jesus.

If God burdens my heart for prisoners, or for a local school, or for veterans or pastors or widows or military families or police officers or a minority group…or anyone…I should do all that I can to help them and serve them and show them the love of Jesus.

And if God burdens my heart for refugees, regardless of their country of origin or religion or what they wear or what language they speak…if God reveals a need and burdens my heart, I should do all that I can to help and serve and love them.

And none of these are mutually exclusive. It’s not either/or scenario…we are called to love ALL and serve ALL and help ALL. We are called to see the image of God in every. single. person. And to extend the love of Jesus and share the Good News with every. single. person.

Veterans and refugees, widows and orphans, prisoners and police officers, our neighbors and our enemies.

And we are especially called to stand in the gap for the oppressed and the poor and the widows and the orphans and the hungry and the least of these.

Jesus said, “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
Matthew 25:31-46 NLT

I don't know about you, but these verses deeply convict me.

If I see the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the prisoner…if I see a person who needs the love of Jesus, I should feed them and give them drink and invite them in and visit them.

But do I do that? Really?

If I see a need, I should do something, in the power of God, to meet that need.

Realistically, obviously, I personally can’t help everyone who needs help in this entire big beautiful broken world…but I can help someone. **AND I can cheer you on as you love and help the people God has called you to serve and help and love.**

The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, but it is also much bigger than the boxes we like to put around it, and the Body of Christ needs all of its parts to fully function and have maximum effect in this broken and hurting world.

“so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Ephesians 4:14-16 (ESV)

As followers of Jesus, we’re all in this thing together.

None of us can do everything…but we each can do something.

But our faith has to be more than just a lot of talk…we need to live by God’s power and DO what He has called us to do.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

If we all just did that…if *I* would just do that…

So, to that end…I’ve decided to not just talk about what I think we should do, and instead go and do something. I’m going to do what I can with what I have where I am.

God has been burdening my heart for refugees for over a year now. I’ve prayed for them, given to organizations that serve them, and I’ve shared my heart for them a few times. But God has really convicted me lately about being more than just a lot of talk…He is calling me to put hands and feet to my words and do something.

I know…right now in our country, the topic of refugees is a heated and polarizing debate. There is currently a ban on any new refugees entering our country. Many are speaking out against this. Many are speaking out in favor of it. Many are silent.

Please understand my heart…I am deeply aching, over all of this. I have been researching and listening and praying and reading God’s Word and seeking Him desperately.

Here’s the thing…this is not an either/or choice for me.

You see, I LOVE our military. My dad was in the Air Force, and I grew up all over the world as a military kid. I could not love our military more or be more thankful for their sacrifices and service. But I ALSO love refugees and immigrants. To say I love one is not saying I don’t love the other. Love is not mutually exclusive. As Shannan Martin says, “Love never divides, it always always multiplies.” I believe with all my heart that I can care for both, stand up for both, have compassion for both. It doesn’t have to be an either/or, us/them scenario. In the same way, I can care about our country’s security AND have compassion for those who seek refuge…they are not mutually exclusive. My heart breaks for the way some of our military have been treated when they return home from serving our country. It is wrong. It breaks my heart. My heart also breaks for the families from war-torn countries that have already been through the extreme horrors of a war that I can’t even imagine, who have already been through a rigorous, multi-year process to be vetted as refugees, who were already cleared to be resettled in America, but are now being turned away at the last minute with no home to return to. This is wrong. It breaks my heart. My heart breaks for a boy from Iraq named Samir, who was badly injured by ISIS fighters when they doused him in gasoline and lit him on fire (you can read his story here). He needs advanced medical treatment in order to fully recover and walk without pain, and his best hope was in America, but now that door, at least for now, is closed for him and his family. My heart breaks for him.

I’ve read stories on all sides. And my heart breaks on all sides. Because beneath all the layers of debate and heated dialogue, behind all the headlines and polarizing rhetoric, and under all the broad stokes that are so easy to paint over issues like this…under it all, are people. Behind every side of every issue are real people with living souls and with broken stories…human beings created by God, made in His image, loved immeasurably by Jesus who gave His life for them.

So whoever you see as the “enemy,” whoever you view as the “other” in all this…those people on the other side of the debate as you, those people on the other side of the world, those people on the other side of the screen…we have to remember that they are people, too. People with souls and stories….people who God loves so much that He gave His Son to rescue their souls and redeem their broken hearts.

And the truth is, there are people who are hurting today. There are people who are scared today. So I ask myself, how can I be light and love to them today? How can I break down the walls that divide and compartmentalize and categorize groups of people and instead see individuals and love them and help them and serve them today?

God has burdened my heart for refugees, and yet I don’t personally know a single one.

I want to change that.

Just because right now no new refugees are allowed into our country doesn’t mean that there aren’t already MANY here who I can help and serve and love.

So I’ve been doing some research. A lot of research.

And I’m going to start doing something…I’m going to put feet and hands to my words and my heart and start living like I’m more than just a lot of talk…I want to live by the power of God. Because 1000 years from now, it won’t really matter what I said I thought about an executive order or how many “likes” I got on a Facebook post…the only thing that will really matter for any of us 1000 years from now is our relationship with Jesus. The rest will burn away like chaff…the only thing that is eternal is the soul. The only things I do that will matter 1000 years from now are the things that I do to invest in eternity. So, how can I help others come to know Jesus? How can I be His hands and feet in this world? How can I take the burden that He’s put in my heart and make it more than just a lot of talk, but by His power reach out and make a difference for a soul who needs Jesus today?

If God has burdened my heart for refugees, I should be doing more than just saying we should care for refugees…I should go and care for refugees.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Jennie Allen compiled a great list if you are looking for ways to get involved too. (And I love what she says: “We don’t need permission or legislation to rally for refugees.” She is right…there are already so many ways we can help and serve them right now.)

It breaks my heart that our country is not accepting more refugees right now, but that doesn't mean I can't advocate for them, stand up for them, and serve the ones that are already here...

I can do what I can with what I have where I am.

There aren’t many organizations where I live that work specifically with refugees…the only ones that I have been able to find so far in my state of Georgia are about 2 hours away from my home, near Atlanta.

So….I’m going to start by looking into volunteering in Atlanta, even if it’s just for a few hours a month.

I want to put faces to this burden in my heart…I want to pull up a chair sit next to a refugee and hear their stories and hug their necks and tell them that they are loved. I want to break down the walls around my comfort zone and enter into the brokenness of another…I want to live cruciform and lay down my own plans and my own life for the sake of sharing the love of Jesus.

I don’t want my life to just be a lot of talk…I want to live by the power of God. I want to DO what He is calling me to do.

What is God calling you to do today? Who is He asking you to love? He might be burdening your heart for prisoners, or for police officers, or for the kids living in poverty in your community, or for a country halfway across the world…

Honestly, you don’t have to drive two hours away or fly halfway around the world to find someone who needs the love of Jesus...most of the time all it takes is opening your door and taking a few steps across the street.

What steps can you take today to live by God’s power and not just a lot of talk?

 “and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds” Hebrews 10:24 AMP

Let’s love one another and cheer for one another and encourage each other as we walk this cruciform way, the way of Jesus.

The Journey to Bethlehem

It’s getting close now. Mary’s long journey to Bethlehem is almost over. The whole long journey of all of history is about to pivot on the hinge of one tiny Baby’s birth…a light is coming to shatter the darkness…hope is dawning…everything is about to change.

The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio

As we’ve been counting down the days and lighting our candles around our Advent wreath, slowly moving the carved Mary around the wooden circle and adding our ornaments to our Jesse tree, I’ve been thinking about Mary’s journey to Bethlehem—her 90-mile trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, very pregnant on the back of a donkey, moving probably no faster than a casual walking speed. A slow journey through and around and near cities that were rooted deep in history, cities full of centuries of stories…all of them, every story, leading up to this.

She probably travelled near the Valley of Jezreel, where Mount Carmel could be seen from the distance – the place where Elijah called down fire from heaven, where Jehovah won a signal victory over the false god Baal and proved He really was the One True God. (1 Kings 18)

Past Dothan, where Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers – where years later we see that what others intended for evil, God intended for good. (Genesis 37:16-28, 50:20)

She may have gone right past Shechem, where Abram built an altar after the Lord appeared to him and told him, “I will give this land to your descendants” (Gen. 12:7) – and where, years later, Jacob too built an altar and named it "El-Elohe-Israel” (Gen. 33:18-20)

And though Sychar, the home of Jacob’s Well – where Jesus would one day meet a Samaritan woman and offer her “living water.” (John 4)

Maybe even through Bethel, Mary perhaps even resting her head on the same rocks where Jacob dreamed of angels ascending and descending from heaven on a ladder (Genesis 28)…Mary, now with baby Jesus—the One who would become our Ladder to heaven, who descended from heaven to be near to us, to make a way for us to get to heaven—resting and waiting in the darkness of her womb.

Past Mizpah, the city where Jacob made a treaty with Laban, a city whose name means "watchtower" because Laban said, "May the Lord watch between us to make sure that we keep this covenant when we are out of each other's sight" (Genesis 31:43-55)...the same place where Saul was crowned the first King of Israel (1 Samuel 10:17-24).

And then on through Jerusalem--a city deep with history, where King David had even once made his home--before finally reaching the little town of Bethlehem, the place long foretold as the birthplace of the Messiah…the same place where all of Jesse's sons once stood before Samuel and the smallest and youngest and least-likely-to-be-king son, David, was anointed as the next King (1 Samuel 16)...the town where Mary’s long journey ended in a lowly stable…where all of history hinged in a humble manger.

The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio

I’ve been thinking about the whole of this Story—all of history—this great love story of God.  This story of God coming for us…for all of us…since the beginning of all things and through all things...His love still coming for us today, relentlessly pursuing our wandering hearts.

Every Old Testament story was pointing to the Messiah…and every story ever since has been pointing to our Savior.

But the story did not unfold as everyone expected…and it is still unfolding in unexpected ways. There were centuries of waiting, countless years of silence. Many lost hope, many turned to other gods, many grew disillusioned and lost their way and forgot to remember the promise God had made.

And then…slowly and quietly…Hope came. But not as anyone expected…Hope came small, as a tiny infant surrounded by the stink and dust of a stable…and salvation came on a cross, through a death that brought life, through blood shed that washed away sins…and then victory came an impossible way, through an open grave, when Jesus rose from the dead and crushed the curse of death and hell. 

And now we wait again, for our soon returning King. And things are not unfolding the way we might have imagined…many have lost hope, many have turned to other gods, many have grown disillusioned and have lost their way and have forgotten to remember the promise that God has made.

I’ll be honest, this year I’ve grown a bit weary. I’ve seen the world through slightly new lenses—lenses that have slowed to really look into the face of others, with ears that have slowed to really hear the stories of others…others that are outside my little circle, outside my comfortable walls, outside the little box that I’ve created for myself—and what I’ve seen is disheartening and heart-breaking. I’ve been aching a bit this Advent…aching for our Savior to come and make all the bad things good and all the broken things new and all the sad things untrue. I’ve been aching for those who don’t know Jesus…and wondering, when they see those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ - when they see me - what do they really see? Do they see Him? Do they see His hope? Do they experience His love?

I ache for our world. For the warring and the fighting and all the brokenness.

I ache for my own heart, a heart that is so prone to wander…that is so apt to forget…that is so bent on self-preservation and self-protection that it grows hard to the hurts of others and builds walls as a feeble attempt to prevent brokenness.

I’ve been aching a bit this Advent.

But in the aching, I hear the Spirit gently reminding me to remember…to remember the Story…to remember His Story.

The journey to Bethlehem is on the road of remembering.

Remember what God has promised.

And remember that He always always keeps His promises.

Remember that Christmas is not so much about the presents as it is about His presence.

Remember that Jesus came.

The journey may have been long, and the coming may have been slow, and it may not have happened the way anyone had expected. But that doesn’t mean God wasn’t working or that it didn’t unfold just the way He had planned.

Jesus came!

The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio
The Journey to Bethlehem || Little House Studio

So even in the middle of aching and wondering and waiting, we can trust and we can rest and we can have peace, because the God of the universe has never ever changed and He will always do what He said He will do, and He is still working and loving and calling souls to Himself.

Remember that Jesus is coming.

So this Christmas, as I walk the remembering road to Bethlehem and remember the amazing birth of my Savior, I am also remembering all that He has done, and I am trusting in all that He said He will do, and I am opening my hands to receive whatever He gives and opening my hands to give all that He asks me to give.

Because Jesus is coming!