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The Enneagram & Motherhood Series
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I don’t know about you but the one Christmas item I used to keep up all year round was Christmas cards. I would hate to take down all the beautiful faces of friends and family and so my fridge would become obnoxiously overwhelmed with cards and I was always picking up knocked off Christmas cards from the fridge and then at some point around July I would get on a cleaning/decluttering kick and decide I couldn’t handle all the visual chaos and throw them all away.
Have you ever noticed that all great things start small?
A mighty oak stands strong, a shield against the elements, a welcomed source of shade from scorching heat.
It grew from a seed.
A house is built by a concrete slab being poured, simple, plain (certainly not the dream home, image pinned on our pinterest boards.) The humble beginnings of a home.
A multi billion dollar corporation, employing thousands, began because someone had an idea, and that small idea, was tested and tried and became a source of profit and income for many.
Look at the people standing next to you at the grocery store. They all began as a sperm and embryo meeting, which grew into a baby. After birth, midnight feedings, long school days, and even longer work days… tiny little humans grew into Presidents, Architects, CEO’s, Mothers, Fathers, Teachers, Lawyers, Doctors, Computer programmers, Artists, & Chefs.
Read: Isaiah 11:1, 10
“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot- Yes, a new branch bearing fruit from the old root. In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation. To all the world. The nations will rally to Him, and the land where He lives will be a glorious place.”
It’s a time of year we all long for a break, a reprise – many people get a few days off work and school is out. The calendar year is coming to an end and the world take a collective sigh of relief, that maybe all the bad, all the hard, all the tears from 2018, can be turned into laughter, success, love and hope. So often we find ourselves facing Christmas and we end the day or days of celebration and feel more frazzled, stressed, hopeless than before we entered them.
Why is this?
Maybe it’s a hard travel schedule you endured, maybe it was an unpleasant interaction with a family member, maybe this year’s festivities remind you that someone very special to you is not there. Maybe you’re grieving, a loss, a break up, a dream you expected to be fulfilled by now, but its not.
Maybe we’re looking for the wrong things.
Wherever you’re at this Christmas Eve morning, lets turn our eyes towards the Christ Child…
I was reflecting this past week before Christmas about a friend of mine who just had a baby boy. I have only had my kids in spring, summer and fall so I have never experienced Christmas with a newborn.
This Christmas she won’t make a perfectly brined turkey. She’ll probably spend most of Christmas eve night awake nursing and rocking a fussy baby. She’ll inevitably be peed on and deal with an explosive diaper or two. Yet in the sleep deprived, chaos of those first days with a baby, she will experience closely what it was like when Jesus was born.
There will be tears from exhaustion, hormonal fluctuations and overwhelming joy.
The collision of sacrifice, stretching and euphoric joy that can make Christmas feel complicated or even hard.
Yet if we will just look at the Christ Child we realize Christmas wasn’t ever intended to be this perfect Hallmark movie mini series of moments.
After all Christmas is just a seed, a small beginning…a messy, loud, difficult and beautiful beginning.
Today you may have been wanting a Christmas miracle, and I hope with my whole heart you receive one. I have been praying everyday, that every person who reads this devotional would receive a breakthrough.
But today the breakthrough may look like a small seed, an unromantic beginning…and if it does, don’t despair…remember that all great things start small…even the Savior of the World, Jesus, began His life on earth as a helpless baby.
PRAY: Jesus, Prepare my heart as I celebrate Christmas to look for the small seed of what you are beginning to grow!
ASK GOD: What is the small seed I should look for?
ACTION STEP: Look for the small seeds today. When you encounter a situation that feels difficult, overwhelming or hopeless ask God in that moment to reveal to you what the small seed is.
ASK GOD: How can I be a seed of hope, joy or encouragement to someone that I am going to see at my Christmas celebrations?
As we end I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who have read the blog, followed along on social media, and taken the time to comment and also encourage me. I am overwhelmingly thankful for each one of you, and I love you more than you know.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours. Rejoice with hope today Friends! Jesus is alive! He is moving and working even in ways we can’t see or understand.
I will see you back on the blog at the beginning of January, as I will be on a blogging break until then.
I hope this finds you pulling fuzzy socks out, warming the oven for some Christmas baking, and staying up a little too late watching a predictably cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie.
If you’re feeling a little holiday overwhelm, see this as your excuse to nibble a sugar cookie with your coffee for breakfast this morning and commit to taking the next 5 minutes to focus on the celebration of Jesus’ birth!
If you missed the first 2 weeks of the advent series: Hope is Here! You can find,
I earned a new badge on my Mom vest this past weekend. Right next to patches named “I potty trained” and “I’m still alive after not sleeping for a year” is my newest award, “survived road trip with toddler who had diarrhea.” It’s a level of elite parenthood, I never hoped to reach.
The longer you’re a parent the more likely you are to find yourself doing really gross things with barely a flinch. Clean up diarrhea covering a 4 year old screaming child and their car seat?…no biggie, nothing a pack of wipes, bottle of hand sanitizer and grocery sack can’t handle.
Reminds me of these unlikely members of the Christmas story.
Read: Luke 2:8-15
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
If there was ever a profession to rival the ewww factor of parenthood it would have to be those of shepherds…there job had a lot of “ewww factor” (see what I did there?).
As caretakers of sheep they had to lead and protect a very dumb group of animals (not being a name caller here, but sheep aren’t known for being the brightest species).
Their job was stinky, dirty, long and required constant vigilance even during the nighttime hours.
To protect their flock from predators they had to have at least one shepherd up in the night. They had their own set up night feeding duties to do and I am sure it felt as monotonous and boring as a nighttime feed with a newborn baby, pulling an all – nighter to finish your term paper or waking up early to train for a half marathon.
Yet one night…right in the middle of their mundane duties…the miraculous illuminated their ordinary, murky life.
I would imagine after a host of angels appeared there were fights over who would get the night shift!
Once you experience the miraculous meeting you in the mundane middle, you can’t help but long for more, look for more.
There was another shepherd who found the miraculous presence and intimacy of God in his undesirable, boring job of shepherding, David
READ: Psalm 25:14-15
“The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.”
Out of the place of intimacy in the secret places with God, David would go on to defeat a giant, write the book of Psalms, become a King and even be called, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)
REFLECT: Where in my life feels mundane and boring?
ASK GOD: How do you want to bring the miraculous into my mundane middle? Into the ordinary areas of my life?
ACTION STEP:Read: 1 Corinthians 2:16 “ For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
When you are in a situation that feels mundane, ordinary, or even frustrating and overwhelming. Remind yourself”: I have the mind of Christ! Start looking for God. Ask Him: What are you doing today, God? What are you thinking today, God? How do you want me to think about this situation?
I will see you on Christmas Eve morn, for the last Advent Devotional! Other than that, things will be quiet on the blog and social media front (except for maybe a quick pic of Christmas festivities), until the beginning of January – to make room for Jesus to speak and move in my heart. Will you make room for him these last days before Christmas too?
I am sharing over at Fiercely His today, here’s a sneak peak..
“The voices from our childhood and who we listen to now have a powerful impact over what we believe about ourselves and the world around us. Maybe a father ignored you. Maybe a coach degraded you. Maybe a friend betrayed you. We have all been told lies about who we are and who we were made to be.”
If you missed Week 1: The Prophets, of this Advent Devotional Series, you can READ IT HERE.
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Ever felt like you have nothing left to give? That feeling always tends to wash over me when I see the subject line “meal train.” You’ve probably gotten those texts and emails before…”so and so and such and such just had a baby or are recovering from surgery let’s bless them with meals” and do you know what I think everytime….”not another one!” #embarressingconfession…
This week is about the Prophets. It’s a week to remember that the birth of Jesus and later his death and resurrection was proclaimed thousands of years prior by prophets. When we start this Advent season, by remembering all that God has done and recounting His faithfulness we will begin this season with joy and expectation for what He still wants to do in the future.
Well… it happened, my first child gave up their nap… I went through all the stages of grief… denial, anger, sadness… the sting of what I’ve lost still feels painful everyday around 1 pm. Fortunately I have these amazing Mommas I know who are a few years ahead of me in their Momma roles that I frequently send SOS texts too… such as “my potty training isn’t going so well… because my “trainee” keeps throwing the Elmo potty at my head! HELP!!!!”
Can I be honest, I didn’t really want to write this post… mostly because it is hard to remember something you would rather forget, like my struggle with Post partum Depression and Anxiety. But I am writing it because I read yesterday that another precious Momma has ended her life because of PPD. And it truly breaks my heart. I am writing, because my prayer is for one person to read this and know they are not alone, and find the courage and strength to tell someone they need help and to keep telling someone they need help until you get the help you need.
Happy Wednesday!!!!! I missed connecting with y’all last week. I was “out of the office” and by Out I mean at my house with seven kids, seven and under. Six of them being boys. My brother and sis in law and their crew came to visit from out of state. It was such a treat to have them here and have them meet baby Zeke! I also have a new nephew that I hadn’t met yet – so it was a crazy, beautiful and loud time. But honestly there I wouldn’t have had it any other way!!! I miss them so so much already. I’ll be sharing some pics of our time together, mostly on Instagram, if we aren’t connected their yet would love to have you, you can find me HERE at @claritywithcharity.