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YOUR ONE PRACTICAL STEP TOWARD JESUS THIS ADVENT (+ FREE GIFT FOR YOU)

I

tell them I’ve been running. Running and running and asking God to keep up. And it is tiring, depleting.

Of course.

Especially during this Advent season.

Jesus, help us prepare You room.

First, I confess it with friends as we pray–joining with community as I consecrate my heart. Then we seek wisdom. We ask God if we are more inclined to trust his plans for us or the plans we set for ourselves.

Yeah, we know the right answer– the answer we’re supposed to give. Trust God’s plans. Surrender our own. But we need to ask our Papa his take on our hearts. God’s wisdom brings clarity and depth we can never reach on our own.

And that’s when I see the picture of me running.

He shows me myself–the pace I set, the drive to go and go, the lie of productivity that tells me more accomplished is better than less.

My pace. My terms. My race.

Especially, ironically, this time of year.

Where are you, Papa?

Daughter, I am right here.

And I see him. He is close. But . . . he is on the side of me, then behind me. As I run and run and don’t look back.

Leading my own way. Running and just hoping God is with me.  But I am not checking to see whether or not he is.

Oh,  Jesus, forgive me. I make so little room for you.

I have so much more for you, my daughter. More, in abundance. More and more– the depth of which you can’t even imagine.

For I’ve been setting the plans. And my plans, compared to God’s, are so small, so limited. My capacity–with this pace, this mindset–is more limited still.

I  need to hear it again:

I have so much more for you, my daughter. More, in abundance. More and more– the depth of which you can’t even imagine.

Advent invites opportunity for space, for pausing, for asking God what, for us, he has. But I struggle.  Yes, because of pride, surrendering our own agendas can be so hard.

So I make it practical. I tell my friends that at 9 pm each night, I will shut the computer, turn off the phone, put away work, and rest and turn to my God. That was two days ago. And sisters this has not been easy. And I have not been perfect. But it is so good. So nourishing. So vital and life-giving for my heart.

What does turning toward God, making room for Jesus, look like for you, in a practical way, this Advent?

How are you invited to worship him? What will you do to help yourself pause, and turn?

The temptation for busyness, so contrary to the invitation of preparing room in our hearts for our Savior, feels amplified tenfold during this season of Advent. Jesus invites us to not only slow, but make him room.  And we can choose convenience and comfort–the pace of running. Or we can choose waiting, surrendering, trusting.

Jesus, help us turn toward you.

I love his reminders of goodness, freedom, and hope:

Daughter, I don’t despise your running. But in your efforts to achieve your own plans, you are running your own race, you are missing Me. You are not running with Me.

Our busyness during this Advent and Christmas season can build in increments so it is difficult to recognize. Until we feel lonely. Lost. Hollow. Depleted. Afraid. Eventually, busyness becomes the routine.

Our consumption of his Word, and his voice in our heart, becomes squeezed. Short moments here and there. We forget what it feels like to settle into our Papa’s arms, remembering what Advent is. And I don’t want to miss it.

In Loop Advent, I ask God what He thinks of Advent. And this is what I hear him say:

Advent is the time of waiting for what is already here, who has already come. It is a time of turning–turning inward to study your heart. Turning inward to listen for my voice. Turning inward to heed what is true. Advent is for emptying oneself to receive joy in abundance. (from Loop Advent)

Turning. Emptying. Receiving. Yes, our Father continues to gives us good gifts to our hearts. Will you join me this Advent, turning toward the love of our Father? Asking him to empty us and fill us again, and again, with his more?

What does that look like for you, practically, this Advent season?

And as we turn toward Jesus this season, I wanted to be let you know about the special offer of Loop Advent being offered, for free, on Amazon, until December 10. And the audio version of Loop Advent, for free, right here.

I can’t wait to hear from you, sisters.

Tell me your movement toward Jesus, and we can join together, praying for one another this season.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Cathy Huff
    Reply

    Jennifer, I agree! This year, I’m not letting the busyness overshadow the celebration of his birth! I got laid off before Thanksgiving and I’m using this time to learn more about Him. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a Bible study at the nursing home. I had been there before. This time was different. The ladies were chatty and we were all so grateful for Him. It was all about Him. He showed me a lot and my cup was overflowing. The Joy was palpable and went from person to person. JOY at His coming, JOY to be together, and JOY for His sake! His love was there in it’s completeness! Wonderful experience!

  • Michelle O
    Reply

    Jennifer … Y♡U! ….. I, too, have disciplined myself with technology and have made it a Sabbath Practice for years – to completely turn my cell phone off on Sundays after church. I stay off email & social media as well. This practice rewards me into the rest of my week, ordering ‘naturally’ my tech priorities because I believe God alleviates the appetite for it. I also try to tidy up extra the day before. and aim to have a meal already prepared for the Sabbath – as to invoke the rest …. COME, LORD, JESUS …. Always …… ♡

  • April
    Reply

    Hi Jennifer! Waking earlier , trying to stay off my phone first thing and through the day trying to be aware of the incredible vastness and beauty around me, and how it’s a reminder of Him, and to chat to Him through the day as He’s with me doin whatever I’m doing too.. I don’t do this perfectly either but I’m trying. I take to heart that God said He does not to despise your running 💜.
    Merry Christmas! 💚
    Blessings and love

  • Kristen Leigh Kludt
    Reply

    I love your practice of turning off tech at 9! I did that for a while and have gotten away from it more than I like. I’ve been setting aside time in the afternoons (while my kids nap) to read, journal, listen and watercolor, using an Advent coloring page I made a few weeks ago (it’s on my website if you want to take a peek.) 🙂 It’s been so good to wind down as the world around me amps up. But it takes intention, for sure. Thank you for your words and reminders! I’m grateful!

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