14 In Faith

Advent 01 – Waiting

Advent01

*photo credit

My heart is heavy this morning as I purpose to press in, to be still, to wait. There are so many reasons why I could have gone on about my life, pushing aside all that waits for me here. My house is in complete disarray, I am weary from circumstances, and I wonder where He’s been in the midst of it all.

Does He really see me?  

Will He deliver me?

Can I really be filled with life and hope again?

Perhaps I can’t see Him here in the midst of my mess because I haven’t allowed myself to slow down enough to receive Him. I shudder to think of the missed moments that have slipped by, glimmers of hope offered but not taken. I long to slow down, to come, to wait with expectancy and to receive Him in His fullness.

Why is it that I think I have to clean myself up in order to come?

A friend reminded me last night that it’s not about perfection. This waiting…we tell ourselves that once the house is clean and the kids are off, we will wait. Or when the shopping is done and the gifts are all wrapped up neatly, we will wait. Or when the marriage is healed and relationships restored, we will wait.

[Tweet “Waiting starts with coming.”]

Advent = it comes from the Latin and means “coming”.  We must lay aside our busy lives and our cluttered hearts and come before Him, so that we can receive Him fully. This Advent, I am purposing to slow down, to lay aside perfectionism and busyness and simply come to Him. It may not be perfect, but when we offer our imperfections the Healer comes to bring healing.

Unless a broken heart is offered, the Mender cannot mend.

10542799_911500072195501_3599778676065495062_oThe beauty is, as I wait for Him, He waits for me. One heart, broken and weary, waiting for the beauty of the gift of Christ to be revealed in her heart. One gift, the Greatest Gift, comes again and again, desiring to be unwrapped by human hearts.

“Sometimes the heart waiting for the gift…is the art of the gift.” – Ann Voskamp

I am preparing to receive Him. In all of my weariness, in all of my striving for perfection and in my fight to stay full of faith and hope, I have purposed in my heart to not miss Him.

Every day in December I will be reading along with others The Greatest Gift. I will journal my thoughts here, once a week or more if God leads, and I will be posting thoughts and questions on my Facebook page. I would love for you to join me. Every week, my friend Heather will have a link up where you can share your posts.

I have a Jesse Tree, and it is nestled amongst cinnamon pinecones and faith and hope.

Advent 01 - Hope

If you are reading along in Ann’s book, you can use the “secret code” found in the book to download your own paper ornaments here.

Each day I will be hanging my ornaments on my little tree, as I reflect on the day’s reading and wait in expectation and anticipation for Him to come.

20141201_082634“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.” (Isaiah 11:1, 10).

“The heart that makes time and space for Him to come will be a glorious place, a place of sheer, radiant defiance in the face of a world careening mad and stressed.” – Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift

So let’s come together. Let’s come broken and weary, imperfect and slow. Let’s receive Him fully. As we wait, He waits for us to come. This gift that hung on a tree for you and me, this gift who was pierced for you, wounded for you, He is the Greatest Gift.

Linking up with Heather and others during this season of Advent.

Click the button below to read all of the posts in this series.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Beth
    December 1, 2014 at 10:16 am

    This is exactly what I hope to do too . . . “lay aside perfectionism and busyness and simply come to Him.”
    Hubs and I started reading Ann Voskamp’s book last night so I look forward to following along as you share your thoughts, Barbie. Thank you for your beautiful heart. Much love. xoxo
    Beth recently posted..Present over Perfect

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      So awesome that your husband is joining you in the reading. Have a blessed week my friend.

  • Reply
    Samantha
    December 1, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I love this post! I think a lot of times we think about how “Christmas is coming!” but we don’t think as often about coming to Christ…as you said, “We must lay aside our busy lives and our cluttered hearts and come before Him, so that we can receive Him fully”

    Thank you for writing this, I will definitely be thinking about what mindset is as we enter into the Christmas season. I want to be preparing to come closer to Him, not just preparing to check off my to-do list.
    Samantha recently posted..Countdown to Christmas: Our First Christmas

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you for stopping by Samantha. Thankful I found your lovely blog and hope to follow along in your journey.

  • Reply
    Lux Ganzon
    December 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    May we all continue to wait with faith. Happy December, Barbie!
    Lux Ganzon recently posted..Surf On And Ride The Waves Of Life

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      May you have a beautiful week Lux. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Debra Alexander
    December 1, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I love and yet am heartbroken to think of how he waits for me too.
    Debra Alexander recently posted..The Decree – God Orchestrated?

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 2, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      So true. I make Him wait too long most days. So thankful He is patient and continues to wait.

  • Reply
    Wanda
    December 2, 2014 at 4:56 am

    How easy it is to aim for perfection and miss out true beauty of the season found in waiting in and for Him. Loved reading your words.
    Wanda recently posted..Because He Listens

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 2, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you Wanda. I am too much of a perfectionist. I am hoping to slow down this month and really see. Blessings for a beautiful week.

  • Reply
    Heather Faria
    December 2, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Barbie, this was so refreshing for me to read this morning! I have to admit I’ve been totally struggling with burn out and I am realizing how it is due to my tendency to strive for perfection. I love how you said that we need to not wait to come until we are perfect but that it’s is broken hearts that need to be mended! Thank you for your honesty and this beautiful post!
    Heather Faria recently posted..Advent Week One – Hope, The Tender Shoot

    • Reply
      Barbie
      December 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      That was such a deep revelation to my heart Heather. My heart is broken most days but when I don’t freely offer it to Him, He can’t bring the healing. So I must come, and wait and then do it again and again. Oh how I need Him!

  • Reply
    Dolly@Soulstops
    December 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Barbie,
    You hit it right on the nail…just the coming…that is where it all begins…He sees you, my friend, and you are beautiful with His life …been praying for you…((hugs))…it’s funny but my post about the prodigal…it all begins with just coming to the Father, as we are….
    Dolly@Soulstops recently posted..When you are the prodigal

  • Reply
    charis
    December 5, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    we are doing the family advent book – unwrapping the greatest gift! so good so far.
    charis recently posted..how do you follow Jesus when you have a justice heart?

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