Christmas tree and mother sitting with daughter on sofa

Advent Series: Preparing a Way – Part 3

We are well into this season of Advent. Hopefully, you and your daughter have been able to pause momentarily during the frantic cadence of Christmas activities to prepare a way for the One who has prepared a way for you.   Even if you feel completely swept away by life during this busy season, have grace for yourself. There is no judgment from this mama. The struggle is real, friends, but there is hope.

Advent Series - catherine

During this third week of Advent, sit with me a moment and remember our father in faith, a man named Abram (who later became known to us as Abraham). You may recall his story from Genesis when God called him and his wife, Sarai (who later became Sarah), away from the only home they had ever known to another land promised to their descendants.

God promised to make Abraham into a great nation (Genesis 12:2), and God promised to bless all the nations of the world through him (Genesis 12:3, Galatians 3:7-12).

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. When they arrived in Canaan, Abram traveled through the land as far as Shechem. There he set up camp beside the oak of Moreh. At that time, the area was inhabited by Canaanites.

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.”

– Genesis 12:1- 7

Abraham is the man of faith and patriarch of Israel with whom God made a covenant. In this covenant, God promised land for Abraham’s many descendants, a great people for whom the Lord would be their God. Through Abraham, God formed the people to whom he would later give the law by revelation through Moses (Exodus 20:1-17). With the advent of Jesus Christ, the people of Israel would serve as the root to which the Gentiles would be grafted by their coming to believe in Him (Galatians 3:28-29).

“I will bless you…and you will be a blessing to others.” This is what God said to Abraham, an elderly man who lived a life of comfort in the bustling city of Ur. One day, Abraham may have woken up thinking it was going to be a regular day. Yet, that day the Lord told Abraham to leave his country and his family to the land that God had prepared, with the promise that God would make of him a great nation, he would be blessed, and his name would become so great that he would be a blessing to others. Abraham and his wife, along with their nephew, Lot, left all they knew for an unknown land they had never seen.

Abraham was tasked with following the call of God, to leave everything based on God’s Word.

The Bible tells us, “So Abram departed.”

He obeyed and began preparing a way for God to bless him.

Abraham may have been afraid. He may have fretted about what was to come, but he still obeyed. He lived by faith.

He gave an example of what it means to “prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight” (Matthew 3:1).

Listen to the quiet whisper of the King calling to you this Advent (1 Kings 19:12).  He is calling to you, friends.

Prepare a way for me.

I will not burden you.

I will not break you.

I want to bless you.

When we live by faith, we are preparing a way for the Lord. We are helping to make His paths straight. During this special season of the year when we celebrate Jesus’ birth and look forward to the day when he will come again, we need to make sure that we are preparing a way. We need to look into our hearts and ask God to make our crooked ways straight and smooth out the rough places.

Pause this Advent season and relish in the preparation of the One to come. Give thanks for the blessings in the simplicity of enjoying a holiday a meal with your family. Offer forgiveness and allow healing of a wound that may be festering within your heart. Anticipate the joy of laughter, the smell of Christmas pine and holiday baking. Lose yourself in the delicious melody of carols.

Linger in the grace of now as you continue to prepare a way for the Lord.

Leave the blur of Ur and slow to taste and see what the promised land of Advent, of Christmas, of His Coming—the blessing of gift upon gift. Only when you first unwrap the gift of blessings to you can you be unwrapped as a gift of blessings to others. Only when you are overwhelmed with the goodness of God can you overflow with goodness of God to others…The greatest gift God graces a soul with is His own presence.” ~Ann Voskamp

An Activity for Mom & Me

Quick note: Remember, as with all Girls of Grace Bible studies, this Advent series includes a weekly Mom & Me activity. These are fun activities meant to be enjoyable and inclusive for all family members, which are designed to help you dig a little deeper into the weekly devotion in a fun way. While this element of Bible study is completely optional, it is sure to be entertaining and memorable, so I encourage you to make time for these activities if at all possible.

Preparing a Way: Living by Giving

Continue to add to your Jesse Trees.   Remember you can always use the free ornament template.  jesse-tree-star-template


Be creative and have fun!

This week, we are focusing on living by faith. John the Baptist encouraged us to prepare a way for the Lord, to make his paths straight (Matthew 3:1).  John also encouraged us to share and care for others (Luke 3:11). Sharing is so basically fundamental to our faith in the Advent Season. When we see someone giving sacrificially, our hearts are warmed. We know we are in the presence of something sacred and wonderful.

In Advent, we are called to be a sharing people. Not just at one special season of the year, but to live a life of sharing.

Look for a way to serve someone else in need this week. Perhaps it is providing meals to a elderly neighbor or donating food to your local food pantry. Maybe volunteer your time to help prepare meals for homeless community members. Take a peek at the list below for some additional ways you can serve.

Family Ideas for Serving at Christmas -

My family adopted to two Christmas angels from our church’s tree, which is something we try to do annually. My girls take special care in selecting their angels and love shopping for these children. We also partnered with several other families this year to purchase/ship necessities and goodies for US soldiers serving on the frontlines this Christmas season. There are so many ways you can share of your time, talents and treasures. Ask God to reveal a special blessing to you and take joy this week in living by giving.

Please continue to share pictures during your Advent journey on Instagram and Facebook! A journey is more fun with friends, and I love to hear from you.

We will meet right here next Sunday to begin the last week of our mother and daughter Advent series. I fervently hope and pray this time you are committing to one another blesses not only your relationship as mother and daughter, but I pray this time draws you closer to our Lord as well.  Have a very blessed week!

The birth of the child into the darkness of the world made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it.” ~ Frederick Buechner

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Catherine Bird: A Four Week Advent Study
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