Books, Come Lord Jesus, Guest posting

Refocusing

Refocusing

On October 18th, TOMORROW my 2nd book, Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting releases!! For the next few weeks I have invited the members of my “street team”  to share their stories and reflections on the book, the topic of waiting, and Advent. Tomorrow, I will share a FREE download of the first 5 days of Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight Of Waiting. 

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Growing up outside the church, the idea of Advent wasn’t something I was familiar with. Raised a (what I call) lapsed Catholic, I knew it was my duty to go to church on the high holidays but, really, only if it was convenient. I had experienced midnight mass and the occasional Easter celebration through my growing up but our family was more about well…more. Christmas was parties, decorations, food, presents, more presents and stress. The only thing we really waited on was presents and the very predictable family meltdown. I don’t remember a holiday celebration without the accompanying fight that would inevitably take place.

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I became a Christian in high school and had always felt different from my family since the beginning (adopted and a long story for another time) and I felt like I had really come home after accepting Christ. This didn’t make my life easier, it just made me long for something more. And not the ‘more’ I was use to. I knew that when I had my own family I was determined to make the holidays something to be celebrated-really celebrated-not just endured.

Years later, with my own family, I longed to create the kind of memories my children would cherish. I still didn’t know much about Advent but what I was learning was this: you got together with folks at church, made a wreath of some sort and then lit candles for consecutive Sundays until Christmas. It was a lovely sort of ceremonial marker but it really held no more meaning than the chocolate filled Advent calendar I got for the kids every year. And I usually ended up with pine needles all over my table which annoyed me more than inspired me.

Fast forward a few more years and I was beginning to long for something other than the inch deep ceremony of Advent. I am a constant searcher-I thirst for knowledge and understanding and it was only a matter of time before God tapped me on the shoulder and made me want a different, better experience.

Each year a new Advent book made its way into my library. Some were remarkably beautiful with fine art images and lofty words, some simplistic-almost childlike, even more were poetically lovely-but all, every last one of them, left me with a ‘less than’ sort of feeling. I wanted brokenness. I wanted power and conviction. I wanted real. Most of these books were like the advent wreaths-once I was finished with them all that was left was twigs-nothing I wanted to save for the next year.

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My children are grown now and I can only hope that all my feeble attempts at Advent will have given them enough of a taste that they too will be hungry for more, for better. Our holiday celebrations have evolved over the years yet I still feel my anxiety ramping up when I consider everything the holiday season brings. We try to keep our gifts simple and as our family grows, grand-babies tend to be the ones with packages under the tree now. I love to give gifts-it’s part of my love language-but what I want, almost more than anything, is to get it right with my grand children where I got it wrong with my own children. This means not getting lost in the craziness of the holidays but focusing on the real purpose behind the celebration. It means sharing the ‘old, old story’ again and again until it becomes a part of their story too.

When I read Come, Lord Jesus the first time through it was like breathing Colorado air. I know this sounds a little odd but I am a Colorado girl through and through and on those rare occasions when I am able to visit my home state there are two things that bring me to my knees every time: I can see for miles and miles and my heart expands to fill that space and I can breathe air that just feels right-I don’t have words to describe it, but the way it feels is right. This book felt right and my heart responded yes with every heartbeat. Kris has a way of delivering the most powerful story ever told with grace and edge. She doesn’t sugar coat the reality but each word is lovingly delivered and filled with truth.

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Over the years Advent has become more precious to me-it’s like homecoming to a story so familiar but never comfortable. Ultimately, we know what the birth of Christ leads to and the role we have to play in that. To bring the story back to the beginning we can see-year after year-the terrible beauty unfolding in the birth of a tiny child. We can revel in the story of redemption we are allowed to witness and be reminded of the timeless and limitless love of Christ. Kris has done an amazing job with this book. From the first page, Come Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting invites us to breathe deeply, refocusing our hearts on the reality of Christ in Christmas.

Kris Camealy’s voice offers a gentle, yet powerful message of the redemption we can find in Christ and the peace that comes with listening carefully to the message of Advent. Through careful, intentional exploration of scripture and insightful devotions Kris invites us to sit with the anticipation of Christmas and wait for more than just presents. Come Lord Jesus is a beautifully written Advent devotional that will linger in your heart long after the holiday season is over.

 

susan-mulderGuest post by

Susan Mulder: I am a visual artist who walked away from a teaching and speaking career in my field about three years ago. God had asked me to just wait, to learn rest and to be ready when he asked me to respond. I am doing my best to listen and say yes when He lays something across my path. In that period of waiting our family has grown with new grandbabies that I get to take care of! If this is all He ever has me do I am more than ok with that! I am a complete book nerd, love to cook, am a chronic maker, write a little here and there and am so grateful my battered, rambling heart is tethered to a soul deeply anchored in Christ.

 

 

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