Advent Breathing Spaces

Inspired by Linda Stoll’s blog and timandolive.com, I’ve been posting at my Instagram account a daily photo for Advent. I’ve compiled the first 11 days here for you as well as Advent scriptures. I hope these bring you peace in this season that can seem so crazy at times!

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   HOME: The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.  Romans 13:12-14
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HOPE: God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Cor 1:9

 

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WAIT: Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.Watch therefore–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning– lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.” Mark 13:33-37

I

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VISION:In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

 

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PREPARE:There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. John 1:6-9
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RENEW: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ Jeremiah 13: 14-16
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JUSTICE: The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land for ever, the shoot of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified. The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it. Isaiah 16:19-20
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PEACE: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
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SILENCE: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. Psalms 43:5
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PRESENCE :A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27:4
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BELONG: Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe thy righteous ordinances. Psalms 119: 105-106

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For a limited time I have FREE SHIPPING on my journals (maximum two). Ready for a daily practice to create a healthy mindset and breathe in a Breathing Space? Each order includes a free Breathing Space notebook (value $10) that fits great in purses and book bags. You can purchase at The Marketplace.

 

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A welcome inconvenience

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I step to open my bedroom closet doors and trip, again, over the television cable cord that runs across the carpet. A cord that was never there until just a week or two ago when life got interrupted. A cord that has made peace and strife simultaneously.

Peace in having the television not in my living room, even it meant running a long cord from the only cable outlet in the upper level of my home, across a hallway and into a bedroom my son is occupying. Strife in having to deal with a long cable cord running from my bedroom, through a hallway and into a bedroom that turned into a grandchildren’s playroom years ago, but now occupied by my adult son.

I feel the inner turmoil of resentment rising up through clenched stomach muscles and then finally released in hands scrambling to get the cord unscrewed from it’s house in the wall.

And then I march a few steps into the hallway and chuck it, the cord landing in the dark room where my adult son is currently still sleeping. A room he only recently began to occupy when his last  roommate situation dissolved.

I turn away from the clothes covered floor, and from the television mounted on a bureau that once was with pictures and grandchildren’s toys. And slam the door.

Hard.

Not one of my finer moments.

Seconds later standing in front of my open bedroom closet, free now of any obstacles to trip over, I take a deep breath. Blow it out. Feel the guilt sink in over losing my patience over something so small.

Life has been interrupted. And I’m tripping over the inconvenience.

But he is safe.  Continue reading “A welcome inconvenience”

A Promise

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Psalm 147:3

 He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.

We walk through the arid pavilion, cobble stones under our feet and sun rays from the glass windows soaking warmth over us. Various species of flowers and shrubs line our path, splashes of chrysanthemum  pink, cactus green, and purple lily touching our eyes. The air is sweet, still and fragrant, but I am not sure what it is I smell. I do know that even though it is a chaos of many scents, I am at peace.

He has led me again, to a place of healing.

Just hours before, anxious and frustrated, I’d followed my friend to the restaurant table. As our waitress layed menus in front of us, I shrugged my heavy coat off, hung it on the back of the chair, and then sat down, thoughts spinning of unread emails, unheard voice-mails, and disappointment of another promise gone.

I force a smile to my friend. “How are you?”

He lifts his water glass, takes a sip, his blue bell eyes searching, locked with mine in care, in friendship, in kindness.

And I want to look away from this display of gentleness.

Resist this friendship.

Not surrender to this kindness.

My mind flickers to a memory. A time of tears, in my car, on a rural highway, alone. In a hurtful time, in a situation I needed to let go of. A situation that brought moment gratification, filled my need for human comfort, but left me broken, ashamed, and soul wounded.

How could I have slipped so far? Continue reading “A Promise”

You are loved

 

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Christian-Coaching-Week-Official-Participant-Logo-2016-smIn celebration of Christian Coaching Week (February 14-20, 2016) I thought I’d share one of my favourite activities I like to do during my Soul Formation Retreats.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is latin for divine or sacred reading. It is an approach to scripture to let go of our agenda, enter into an intimate space with His word, and open ourselves up to what God wants to say to us.

First we Prepare by coming present to our moment, paying attention through our senses of sight, smell, hearing, and feelings. And then we take a deep breath in and on our breath out we can show our willingness to hear from God with the prayer, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

Then we Read our passage of scripture three times. The first time out loud, if we can. And then silently. And we ask, “Is there a particular word or phrase God is directing me to?” We underline, circle or journal those words.

Then we Reflect, asking God “What is in my life right now that needs to hear this word, this phrase?” And stay still. Stay silent as we  explore our thoughts, perceptions, and feelings.

And lastly, we Respond by entering into a personal dialogue with God, letting our words and prayer flow freely from us. We may  write down these words or prayers, or continue in communion with Him, as we are. We ask, “Is there a word He wants me to know? A call to action He wants me to take?”

Have you ever had an idea, a goal, a dream and then your mind fills with thoughts like:

  1. I’m not smart enough.
  2. I can’t do that-I’m just a mom, or I don’t have my college degree, or no one likes me, or __________________ (you fill in the blank)
  3. I’ve made way too many mistakes in my past
  4. I tried it before and failed
  5. I’m just not good enough

Do you know that God frequently does not call those who know what they are doing? Instead, He equips those who are called. TWEET THIS

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

Our thoughts come from three places:

  1. God
  2. Ourselves
  3. Satan

We know when our thoughts reflect the truth of us when our words line up with God’s word. In this world we will always have struggle, including in our thought life. But we can OVERCOME.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:37

And even though we may have negative thoughts, we can overcome them with the truth of how God sees us, our identity in Christ, and take action from HIS truth. 

Today I invite you to Lectio Divina, to listen to our Father’s Love Letter. What word or phrase does God want you to know, want you to believe is the truth of you, and how He sees you?

I also have included a PDF file of The Father’s Love Letter you can download and print, and display someplace daily to read out loud, solidifying who you are in Christ.

(Download PDF of Father’s Love Letter by clicking My Child)

Whether you can spend this time now in Lectio Divina, or maybe just take a breathing moment and listen to The Father’s Love Letter to you, I am happy you are here knowing that God is leading, every step of your way.

 

Love, Lynn

PS. If you feel comfortable, please share what impacted you when listening, reading, reflecting and responding to His word today.  I’d love to encourage you in the phrase or one word God has brought to your mind and heart.