God Rest {and Tidings of Joy}

Dayspring Redeemed Christmas

My heart skips with each flip of the Advent Calendar and I wonder when it switched. When the act of waiting turned into scurrying. When the anxiousness of getting there transformed into wanting more time before it arrives.

As I’m lost in my thoughts, my son asks me what they’re singing on the radio…

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember, Christ, our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from satan’s power
When we were gone astray…

How have I missed it? The archaic verbage doesn’t help, but why have I thought this struggle of rushing was a new thing when they’ve been singing about it for more than 200 years?

If you research it, there are many discussions on what the first line really means. The word ‘rest’ is said to translate more literally into ‘keep’ or ‘make’. But it was the comma I’ve never paid attention to before.

It’s not God , Rest…we’re not pleading for it.
It’s God Rest…no comma — it’s given freely.

Friends, we’re not merry without the first part –rest– being given directly from God.

God rest. Yes, that’s what I need.

Clearly I’m no English savant, but no one will be able to talk me out of this invitation to take His yolk and discover joy.

Thank You, Father, for offering Your shoulder this Season to soak in the love You poured down long ago. I can’t think of a better way to display it than a birth of a child.

And may I never get over Your grace as You offer time and time again to save us from the enemy’s grip. Yes, Jesus, please…pull me in closer this Advent… 

Friends, I’m tired of excuses. No more “too busy” for me.

We get so caught up with life we forget to live.

We get so wrapped up in giving
we neglect the greatest gift of all.

Dayspring Christmas Cards

So as I sit amid the gift paper, tinsel fragments, and tape residue, I’ll slow down and write it all out. I’ll be thankful I forgot to order photo cards so I can personalize each one. And I’ll share with family and friends what this season means to me and what I’m hoping they savor all year-long.

Friends, let’s make praise our priority this Season as we declare the final stanzas:

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;

This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface:

Oh tidings of comfort and joy….
Comfort and Joy.
Oh tidings of Comfort and Joy.

And how can we send tidings of comfort and joy when we haven’t filled up ourselves?

Let’s take more time with Him this Season. Let’s rest in Him. He’s offering…

How about you, friend? How are you finding rest in Him this Season? How are you sharing tidings of comfort and joy? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

NOTE: This is a part of my Advent Series where I take portions of Christmas Hymn Classics and share what they mean to me. You may find others HERE.

Please know I was gifted with cards, an advent calendar, coasters and a mug this Christmas Season by Dayspring. I love each one but know this gift hasn’t altered my post in any way. All ideas expressed here are my own.

Love Within Our Grasp

The news feed sucks me dry. My heart hits the floor as I utter what is becoming my most common prayer: “Jesus, come quickly.”

It takes all I have to respond some days. For it is so much easier to ignore another’s pain than to jump in and volunteer my heart to bleed.

Friends, God has laid it on my heart to pray this prayer lately. I’m striving to claim it as my own:

May God break my heart completely
so that the whole world falls in.

~ Mother Teresa

And He’s been reminding me to not walk away. I need to know when another heart has been battered. When someone I love has found themselves on the front lines. They’re so close to the action, victory does not shine bright on the horizon.

My soul longs to reach out to them. Because if there’s something I’ve learned through it all, there’s nothing quite like love.

Love is salve for the soul.
The gorilla glue of the heart.
It heals. Protects. Brings hope. Always. *

Social media has helped spread news like no other. Within minutes I can learn of a friend who is traveling on a road so rocky they need others to help renew their weary bones. And I can reach out by a simple press of a button.

Friends, it can give but can also take away. It connects us and yet offers the scapegoat of disconnect. And I’m starting to realize the sea of the internet is too vast. Words wash away as quick as a keystroke. I can extend my arm in love, but it gets swiped away with a simple scroll down.

And yet many of us still fear reaching out at all. We freeze at the thought because the words of encouragement we think of seem so minuscule.

Having been through enough pain personally, let me tell you honestly:

  • It’s not your job to fix it.
  • You don’t need the right words that magically make it all better.
  • They want you to see them. See the ugly they are walking through. And love them through it.

My mind keeps going back to that prayer He’s laid on my heart. Because I want to mean it. Put it into action as far and as deep as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom can. And I catch a glimpse of a letter exchanged with our Compassion child and wonder…perhaps my world is larger than I thought.

Regardless, one thing is certain:
Love can be sprawled out across a page.

I shared with you the other day one of the greatest gifts I received from my great-grandmother: Her love letters to me while I was off at college. And it got me thinking…

What if I were to extend my heart in a tangible way? Maybe I can show love through a lost art form…Can I let others know I see them and love them relentlessly even if we’re miles apart?

Let me tell you, friends, He is faithful. Slowly and surely (because He knows that’s the way I need it), He’s revealing the way to achieve it. And as of now? He’s showing me that the world He wants to fall into my heart is right here…within my very grasp.

They arrived in the mail a few days ago. I didn’t even have to stand in a crowded store aisle and peruse them.

As I looked through them, I could see faces of friends I haven’t seen in years. Sure I see them on the cold screen. I can tell you what their children wore their first day of school. But it’s been too long since I’ve hugged their neck. Touched them. Too long since we’ve exchanged our hearts in raw form.

What if I dropped them a card and told them what I see when I think of them? What if I wrote down the prayer I’ve promised to offer up on their behalf? I could send it off as a gift they could hold in their hands.

  • Could I extend my heart that way?
  • Could I show His love in something that simple?
  • Would it expand His love in me?

Friends, I’m going to take this step. It’s a start. These cards are being sent…and I know this is such a small step. Only He knows where the next step will lead…

Father, break my heart completely so I can fit my whole world in…

How about you, friend? How do you manage to extend your heart to another? Especially one you might not share a time zone with. I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

* To read more of what love does, I Corinthians 13

PLEASE NOTE: Dayspring provided these cards for my review but did not tell me what to say. All opinions shared here are my own and were ones I just had to share with you. What can I say…I love Dayspring!