The Christmas Music (#jammed daily devo, day 335.)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 335: Tune in.

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
    You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” Psalm 30:11-12

Nature’s peaceful change of color and crisp Northern breeze indicate the peaceful hush DECJAM1of winter snow is near. Though winter days are shorter and colder, the sound that celebrates our Savior’s arrival on earth warms the heart. I start listening to Christmas carols the day after Halloween …if I can’t wait that long.

“I have to make sure I have enough time to rotate through all of my favorites!” I justify.

In Psalm 30, David proclaims that he will never stop singing praise to God. He will dance joyfully all of his days, for the way God has healed and rescued him. Over the course of David’s scarred life, time had worn a path of gratitude for the God who never gave up on him, despite his fallen humanity and tendency towards sin. Theres so much to be encouraged by when we step back and look at David’s war-torn life. David, “a man after God’s own heart,” who started as a shepherd overlooked by his own father …was chosen by God to defeat a giant and lead a land.

Christmas carols sing of Jesus’ birth …and Santa …and reindeer …and decking the halls … No amount of commercialism has the power to drown-out the sound of Joy. 

Do we still say “Merry Christmas?”Don’t be deterred. David wasn’t. I’m not.

Turn up the carols and jump into the season with joy and gladness. Everyday we arise, we wake up to another day gifted to us. Jesus’ arrival on earth was the biggest gift of all time. He didn’t have to, and He doesn’t make us. But, oh, do we have the opportunity to walk through each day and this life with the Savior of the world by our side.

carol- an old round dance with singing. (Merriam-Webster)

Round. It’s no surprise that the very tag we label seasonal songs with brings us full circle and face to face singing and dancing with our Savior.

I feel David.

Christmas is not just a “Happy Holiday,” it’s the day the world was given a chance to walk with God, side by side. And when He died …He left the legacy of His Spirit to abide in us for all time.

God with us.

Emmanuel.

Break out the Happy Birthday Jesus cake, and deck all of the halls. It’s Christmastime. I will dance with joy, and never stop singing, of the miracle Jesus is to me.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for Christmas Carols. Thank You for holiday traditions that surround us with all things that remind and cover us in Your love. Forgive us for living small at Christmastime, and help us to shelve “Happy Holidays,” for “Merry Christmas,” from now on. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Caroling,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

Stay encouraged!

The Dream-work. (#jammed daily devo, day

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 92: Constant Rehearsal.

“Those who practice the law and teach others how to live the law will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19b

She began to beg for ballet when she was two, not once straying from her “pointe shoe” image-92dreams. Dance moves her, and her little sister, out of the house in active pursuance of something other than small-town life and small-screen apps. She believes in a dream too big …even for her …to fully imagine yet.

In today’s verse Jesus’ is addresses legalism. We know it well by the name of hypocrisy. It’s one thing to have a dream, but quite another to work towards it. We’re called, not just to believe in God’s Word, but to live it. That’s hard work.

Legalism-strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code. Merriam-Webster

“Following the letter of the Law while ignoring its spirit. ” NIV Notes

My daughter’s dream to dance is hard work. It’s sacrifice away from friends and after school activities …and all the criticism that comes on account of that from people that don’t understand.  It’s Saturdays and pieces of summertime spent in air conditioning. None of which she’d trade for a minute. Someday she’ll find out why God put this dream in her heart, but for now she just keeps chasing it. All dreams within God’s will bring us closer to Him.

jammed-click-to-tweetI don’t want to be a legalistic parent. I want to be transparent, and I want Jesus to shine through me so brightly that she can see Him and hear Him over me. He is the dream. To walk with Him is surreal. It’s hard …but it makes life, life.

Father, Praise You for Jesus. Thank You for His perfect honesty and transparency. Forgive us for dishonest moments bred of insecurity and fear. Strengthen and bless us to raise our kids in kindness and love, but with a firmly secure hand on Your Word and it’s discipline. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Practicing,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

Stay encouraged!

The Dance Shoes (#jammed daily devo, day 91)

April #jammed: Grace Studies.

Day 91: Always the right fit.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:14-15

The mailman ditched an over-stuffed white envelope into my mailbox, and onto my image-91ballerina’s feet the shoes went …for about two seconds. Too big …again.

“But I ordered a half size bigger than the ones that were too small!” I shared with a mom in the studio waiting room, “I am so confused!” 

Trying to find the right shoes for a decent price is very “holy grail-ish.”Guiding my daughters in a competitive sport has been a great lesson in faith. “Am I pushing too hard?” “Are they learning how to honor commitment?” “How do I teach them the importance of hard work without being too hard on them?” …and that’s just the pressure I put on myself.

Parents face many voices that attempt to convince, pressure, size-up, and compare them …and their children. It’s important to let God’s voice drown them all out. He created each of us differently, but lent the same Truth to guide us. In His living Word, we find His guidance, direction, and assurance. 

Today’s verses assure us that when we are walking in faith, our heals will not slip. Jesus walks with us, not someone we’re supposed to be or will become. The way to protect ourselves, and our children, from the comparative pressure of competition is to follow the instructions in Ephesians 6:14-15. Stand firm in the Word. He will defend us, and prepare us.

“Fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,” ensures us that when we chase after Him, it’s a perfect fit every time …and we feel peace. Not just relief, but the peace that Jesus when to the cross to grace us with.

 My job as a mom is to make sure that I prayerfully consider whether the path my daughters’ are on will lead to His feet. Throughout all of the doubt that I’ve dealt with over the years, our dance family has been His evidence that we are on that “right path.” In a sea of pressure and drama, we somehow walked into a family. My girls glide across the stage to the tune of genuine support. Not just of their dance, but for who they are.

jammed-click-to-tweetI’m still trying to figure out how to order dance shoes for my daughters without ending up with a pile of shoes no one can use, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re on the right path.

Father, Praise You for fitting us perfectly in our shoes …in our lives. Thank You for placing people around us to encourage us for who we truly are …not who they want us or wish us to be. Forgive us for pushing others to be who they are not, and casting judgement on those who simply don’t know any better. Bless us to love those put close to us, and encourage them to stay in their lane as we hold tight to Your hand. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Shoe-fitting,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

Stay encouraged!