Hello Dear Friend,

I’m guessing you’re probably knee-deep in late Advent busyness, so I’ll try to be brief. Because there’s always just one more thing screaming out for our attention, isn’t there? 😱

How do we resist the clamour of consumerism, the temptation to spend, spend, spend, and getting sucked into a vortex of feeling exhausted, unappreciated, and overwhelmed? There is a way that is counter-cultural and can seem a bit antisocial.

Although they are limited and restricted a lot this year due to covid-19, invitations to get together still exist, and it’s hard to refuse those we love and want to please. It can feel like the whole world wants to party and all we want to do is go to bed early. Or is that just me?! 😏

How about celebrating Christmas with stillness and quiet? Could we seek to offer Christ house room in our being rather than by doing yet one more thing? What might that look like for you and me?

Jesus has taught us that only one thing is needful. Like Mary from Bethany, we can learn to have the better part by sitting at His feet and yielding up our hearts. Though our hearts are fractured and flawed, it is our hearts that Christ wants most of all. 💔

Not the brightly decorated house and tree, lovely as they might be. 🎄 Not the stars, candles and lamps, symbolic and beautiful as they seem. 🌟 Not the thoughtfully wrapped gifts, though we all love opening them. 🎁 Not the elaborate meals, cakes, chocolates, and snacks, enjoyable as they are to eat. 🍫🍪

Not the rush and hurry, strain and stress. Definitely not the states of exhaustion we often push ourselves into because it’s hard to cut back. 😟 While it’s good to promote joy, celebrate, and feast, we mustn’t neglect to stop and sit at Jesus’ feet.

God longs for relationship with us, for our heart’s devotion above all. He wants you, my friend, just as you are. Bring Him your worries and cares, your listening ear, your worship, your heart.

We can seek joy in stillness by slowing enough to receive the gracious gift of God’s presence filling our soul. It will help bring us peace, calm our fears, and lift us into a place of Hope, when life brings us loss, heartache, pain and despair. 🕊

Savouring the sweetness of God’s presence requires us to quieten in every way, as we factor in rest, bible reading and prayer to replenish our strength. 🙏📖 Time spent simply sitting in His presence will refuel and refresh us enormously.

We can actively resist the urge to consume, cram and collect, turning instead to the 3rs of Reduce, Rest and Reflect. Won’t you join me in refusing to be rushed? In wanting to wait on the Lord more because that’s what Advent is all about.

This year, I’m finding Advent pause for thought by dipping into ‘Lean Towards the Light this Advent and Christmas’ by Christine Aroney Sine and Lisa De Rosa, and slowly savouring ‘God’s Joyful Surprise: Finding Yourself Loved’ by Sue Monk Kidd, as well as joining my church in reading through ‘Fixated: Advent Meditations from the Book of Hebrews’ by Tim Chester.

PS: This is an edited version of a newsletter sent from Words of Joy a few years ago. I’m still in great need of rest and recovery so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthier, Happy New Year until I return here on January 11th. Do let me know how you are seeking to savour Advent and Christmas differently. I love to hear from you. 😊❤💜

stillness - Words of Joy Christmas greeting card - nativity (C) joylenton @joylenton.com