advent

Exciting News!

Hello, Friends!

I have two pieces of exciting news to share! But before we get to that…

How is your heart? With all that 2020 has brought, I wonder how many of us are looking forward to the Christmas season more than usual. Some of my friends began putting up Christmas decorations in October. While I haven’t personally unboxed my holiday stuff just yet, if I am being completely honest, I’ve been binging Hallmark since March… so no judgment here on how you’ve been coping with ALL the things.

I’ve been silent for a while, spending much time in the Book of James since the global pandemic hit in March (more on that in posts to come). Much like I’m sure you have been doing, I have watched, waited, and prayed. I love my walks, y’all, and I’ve spent no small number of hours wandering the trails these last several months, praying for our world, our nation, our leaders, one another.

I watch, wait, and pray.

I have looked for God winks in the midst of COVID-19, a deeply-divided election season, cancelled event after event after event (including my own daughter’s high school graduation), friends’ job loss, and through all the pain of our blatantly broken world. You know what I’ve seen?

God is bigger than a pandemic. God is bigger than politics, and no matter how my neighbors voted in the election, our love for one another still matters more than which candidate we supported. Perhaps one of the biggest and brightest God winks has been through community. After hearing my entire life that God exists outside of a church building, never has this been clearer to me than through the last six months. No matter what you see on the news and this “sky is falling” mentality we keep hearing, there is still so much for which we should be thankful. God’s blessings abound in the midst of all this brokenness… and he you better believe God is watching and waiting, too.

All to say, much like many of you, I am ready to enter into the season of celebration. This brings me to two pieces of fun news:

  1. What better time to redecorate than when you’re stuck at home? My online home has gone through a complete redesign, and I am so excited to welcome each of you!  Pop online here and check out all the fun new features! In addition to a new look, I’ve also added new Bible study resources. Some come on over! I can’t wait to see you.
  1. You can’t leave a welcome party empty-handed, so as my early Christmas gift to you, I want to share a free four-week Advent study for families. This season, especially this Christmas season, I invite you and your families to press pause for a few moments each week during Advent. Join me in being more intentional about preparing a way for Jesus as we focus on how He prepared a way for us. Let’s turn our focus to the Source of our hope and help one another remember there is still much reason to rejoice.

I’ve missed you, friends. I pray God’s peace and joy for you and yours as we enter into this holiday season. I pray you see daily God winks no matter what your circumstances may be. If you are in a season of blessings, I pray God fills you with the spirit of thanksgiving and a reminder that all you have comes from God’s goodness and provision.

If you are facing a season of storms, I pray God calms those raging seas and winds around you so that you may hear that still, quiet voice and his tender assurance that you are never alone. I pray you find comfort that our good, good Father holds every tear in the palm of his hand. Our God wastes nothing, and every trial strengthens your faith. What the enemy would destroy, our God redeems and uses for awesome Kingdom work. Hang in there. You are not alone, and you are deeply loved. It would be my honor to pray for my friends, so please let me if you need another prayer warrior in your camp. We are stronger together.

Much love and great big Texas hugs to you, friends. I’m looking forward to visiting your inbox again soon.

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Catherine Bird: A Four Week Advent Study
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