Lean into Joy…

Hello there, I hope you are taking some time out in this season of Advent to prepare Him room. I don’t know what your Advent looks like, but ours is often filled with church ministry, getting ready to welcome kids home from college, and connecting with friends and family.

Even though we’re supposed to be in a post pandemic world, we’re sure still very much coping with the fallout this time period has resulted in. Inflation, continued illnesses, worn out people, short staffing and delays across all demographics, and the like. It goes on and on. Yet, even in these challenges, I choose to lean into Joy.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13 NIV

I thought I was ahead of schedule this year, with plans to keep Christmas more simple and somewhat keep stress at bay to thoroughly enjoy this season. I am good at saying no to things and focusing on where yes should be. My own unexpected illness, and work demands and family needs didn’t necessarily keep me on track. A couple of events occurred that had me really needing to trust the Lord even more than usual that He has a greater plan for our family and not rely on what my expectations for this season would be.

And you know, it is well with my soul. I was able to share some of our struggles and setbacks from this year in seeking prayer, Godly counsel, and sharing testimony. It has been quite a sweet time of providing Christian witness to those around me and focusing on Jesus. Living out the faith we profess in challenging times is often the only way some people see God at work in a tangible way. I did not expect others to learn from what we were going through honestly or my choice to lean into Joy.

Then I basically dug into making a happy mess of some fun homemade gifts that we have already stared distributing to share joy early and it has been SO fun 🎁.

My hubby is amazingly flexible in that I started this project because it dominated our kitchen table and it had to stay there for about 2 weeks before I could finish due to all the setbacks. Even some of the project ideas backfired, and I just had to go with it.

I pray if you are facing an unexpected Advent season challenge or maybe a continued struggle, that you take some time out. Time out can be short but meaningful- to reflect on what God has brought you through this year and will do again. Jump into a seasonal devotional/scripture reading plan. Put on some Christmas worship music and tap into your creative side. Did I mention I don’t have it all together either? It is ok friend! Let’s continue to choose His peace and joy anyway.

Peace, Deb

Making a happy mess and sharing some joy!

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