Thursday, December 25, 2014

Jesus Is...Christmas

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: 
He is Christ The Lord." 
Luke 2:11

Sometimes you just need to talk a walk, listen to carols and build a cross to be reminded and thankful for a God who rebuilds

Last night night I tossed and turned like a little kid again
I looked at my alarm: 2:00am, 4:00am, then finally went off at 8:00am
It wasn't because the presents or the famous monkey bread my mom makes
(ok, maybe a little)
Christmas is a time to gather with family, share memories, and yes open gifts
It didn't snow, but the second best weather is cold and crisp

But my excitement was different this year because this year was different
Not because my older brother was home for the first time in 15 years
Or that my sister now has TWO adorable nephews
Or I live in Arizona now 
It was more than the physical presence of family that made Christmas different

Today we celebrate the most important part of God's ultimate Love Story to save the world!
I dont know about you, but to me thats worth being excited about!

"He comes vulnerable because He knows the only way to intimacy with you is through vulnerability with you. You cant get to intimacy except through the door of vulnerability. So God throws open the door of this world- and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants the unimaginable intimacy with you."
- Ann Voskamp 

It is almost midnight on Christmas day
The presents have all been opened, the candles have blown out
The last of the dessert is put away and the last Hallmark movie has been watched
I sit here with a nostalgic heart as I think about the past month leading up to Christmas and the excitement that builds during this magical, holiday season
I am listening to the last of the Christmas carols on the radio
It just seems like only yesterday I started listening to Christmas music
(Some people say October might be too early, but I say a month is to short)

But those nostalgic feelings and memories turn to feelings of Hope and Joy 
 I realized this past year I don't actually have to wait until Christmas to receive the gift of Christmas
We celebrate the birth of Jesus today but the gift that He brings is received all year

This past year I have opened myself up to letting Jesus take over
He has taken me on an adventure that excites me more everyday
The gift of Christmas

The past year Jesus has romanced my soul into an intimacy I have never known
The Gift of Christmas

The past year Jesus has placed dreams and passions that have set my heart on fire 
The Gift of Christmas

The past year Jesus has given me endless amounts of Grace from my mistakes
The Gift of Christmas

The past year Jesus has shown Mercy in situations I labeled impossible
The Gift of Christmas

The past year Jesus has given me friends and family that have blessed me more than I deserve 
The Gift of Christmas 

Jesus has given me Salvation
The Gift of Christmas 

Jesus is... 
The gift of salvation 
The gift of Grace 
The gift of Love 
The gift of Blessings 
The Gift of Peace 
We can receive them every single day of the year 

As you take down your last bit of christmas decorations
As you begin to reschedule your work and school schedule 
As you begin to write your resolutions and To Do lists.. 
Peace is not ultimately a place
Peace is the ultimate Person

The gift of Christmas
The gift of Jesus 
You don't have to wait until next christmas to receive 
Receive it today and everyday 
The magic of Christmas truly lives in our hearts 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Infuse Your Dreams With Life

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for 
and assurance about what we do not see"
Hebrews 11:1

My ultimate goal is to create a life that allows me to always say "YES" when God calls
Yes, I can serve. Yes, I will give. Yes, I will GO. 

This is my 2015 vision board
As I have said many times in this blog, the past three years have been one big dreamfest, if you will
Once I let the Lord take over my plans, He has placed me on a path I never imagine
Then came AdvoCare which has expanded my visions and I realized I need to dream bigger!

The best part is that through dreaming big and allowing the Lord to fill His purpose
He is also changing me in the process
Changing me for His glory 
Changing me or more of preparing me for those dreams...His plans

And when I really think about my dreams, like REALLY think about them
Would I be ready for them?
Am I ready for them?

You see, the Lord knows my dreams
He knows exactly which ones He will fulfill now 
There are some that I see Him gradually beginning the process
Then there are ones I have no idea how He will ever prepare me 
Those are the ones He knows I will need some more time to prepare

That is where faith comes in
Faith He knows
Faith that He is working on my behalf
Faith that spending time will increase my hope
Faith that He will infuse my dreams with life 

Faith is having confidence in what we hope for
Confidence the Him
Confidence in our dreams and visions
Assurance that even though we don't see the Lord,
"He is working things out for the good of those who live Him"

Faith is not thinking God can, but knowing He will

I am working on your behalf
Bring me all your concerns, including your dreams
Talk with Me about everything,
Letting the Light of My Presence shine on your hopes and plans
Spend time allowing My Light to infuse your dreams with life,
gradually transforming them into reality
-Jesus Calling 

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Much to be Thankful for

My brother Jon, (far right) is home for the first time in 15 years for Thanksgiving
The four Christensen siblings together again!
Chris, Beth, Me, Jon and Beth's kids Hudson & Jace 

This year I am changed
I feel different than years past 
I know I am different
And not because I live in Arizona, but because thankfulness floods my heart, daily
That has not always been the case

I have learned that happiness is not found in things, status or comfort ood
I have learned that the only true fulfillment is my relationship with Christ 
Because of Him, I have chosen to chase my dreams over complacency  
Because of Him, I have chosen to seek joy over self pity and doubt 
Because of Him, I have so much HOPE about my future I get giddy
Because of Him, I have found more peace 
I am Thankful 

The only explanation is the fact that I have chosen to seek the Lord in my life more intentionally 
I have chosen Him to lead, to guide and move in my life than ever before
I chose Him and He has provided 
I am thankful 

I have been so overwhelmed where my life has gone, I catch myself saying "that is just crazy" 
When really it is just our God being who He is 

Loving my time with my sister! 

My life brings new challenges, blessings and adventures daily  
Sometimes I wonder how I deserved such a blessed life
Then I remember that we don't deserve anything in this life
He graciously sacrificed for us on the cross so we can receive Him 
I am thankful 

God graciously gives us His Grace daily
He deeply loves and always forgives us 
He wants a relationship with us still 
We don't deserve, but He gives
Because that is who He is
He is worth all our praise and thankfulness

The whole Christensen family 2014

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