Our family has been anticipating this week for months. We have an incredibly full ministry schedule with 7 events in 6 days (Tuesday through Sunday)! We knew it would be exhausting, but we have also been looking forward to spending the week just the four of us in our hotel room. We planned to do lots of swimming, hot tubbing, playing games, watching movies, and just enjoying some relaxing family time.
By Sunday evening, my voice was exhausted and I had lost my upper vocal range. Of course, considering my past vocal chord injury (you can hear me share about this here - click on "Sarah's Testimony) this was concerning to Josh and I. So I committed to resting my voice as much as possible over the next couple of days and we started praying diligently for healing and strengthening of my voice.
We decided to head to Eastern Washington a day early, on Monday, because there was supposed to be snow in the pass on Tuesday!
Tuesday morning I woke up still hoarse and with a stomach virus (or maybe food poisoning?)! I spent the day in bed in our hotel room with intense stomach pain. Needless to say, I did not sing or even attend our Tuesday evening concert. I was disappointed to not be able to serve with Josh. However, we have been to this church a few times and we knew they would be gracious and understanding about Josh coming without me.
My voice has continued to improve this week although it still is not back to normal. With that in mind, I've been resting it as much as possible, limiting my talking (not an easy task for me :) ) and completely avoiding singing. We decided I needed at least one more day of rest from singing, so once again I did not attend our concert tonight! I am trying not to be sad at missing out. I know that I can trust God with my voice, but I must also be responsible and wise in caring for it!
I am praying that God will allow me to be back "at it" tomorrow, but I'm also resting in His sovereignty! I know I can trust Him! :)
Three years ago, and the years preceding, Christmas looked very different for our family. When Josh was framing houses, his work schedule remained mostly the same throughout December although because of the weather he would take the occasional day off or come home early. As for me and the boys, I determined that the month of December would be different than the rest of the year. I intentionally planned holiday activities with my friends and family. We took a break from homeschooling for most of the month and baked cookies, looked at lights, played with friends, and read stories by the fireplace. I spent the entire month of December relaxing and overall just having fun!
December looks very different for our family now. This is the absolute busiest time of year for us. Whereas most of the year, we average approximately twelve ministry events per month. This month we have twenty-one! Also, because we do not have our trailer and are staying primarily at my parents' house, we are doing A LOT of driving! On average, we are traveling 1-2 hours each way to each event. That doesn't include the drive last weekend to and from Portland, OR and next week to and from Spokane, WA.
So, how do we "find Christmas" amidst the busyness?! How do we experience peace amidst the chaos? How do we keep from feeling stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, and irritable?
By going on a date to see my little sister sing!
And by building an awesome LEGO parking garage on our one day off this week!
By making creepy, melted snowman cookies!
And by going outside on the ferry to "get a better view"!
Then, on our drive to each ministry event, we pray thanking God for the privilege of serving Him! We rejoice at the thought of once again sharing the Gospel and encouraging the body of Christ to find Christ in their Christmas!
And every time I sing "O come let us adore Him!" I think about what an amazing, truly incomprehensible love it required for the God of the universe to leave His throne in heaven to come live with us in this dirty, broken world. And as a family, we "adore" Him!
Follow THIS LINK to read about last year's Living Room Paradise!
Already this year, I have led this song at six different church services. I love to sing the chorus! "Oh come let us adore Him!" I mean, isn't that what we are doing every time we gather as a church to sing songs of worship? We are gathering to adore Him!
This is the second Christmas carol I decided to do some research on. Of course, the meaning of this song is much clearer than The First Noel. However, even if the meaning is clear, it is still easy to sing this out of habit, without allowing it to really touch and come from my heart.
So what does it mean to "adore" Him?
According to www.blueletterbible.org (which by the way is an awesome resource for Bible study) to adore is to worship; to express reverence or homage.
I also loved what Blue Letter Bible had to say about the word "adoration"! I particularly appreciated the five outward postures of adoration that it describes. These are prostration (on your knees with forehead to the ground), kneeling, standing, lifted and/or outspread hands, and kissing the hand.
Now, while I can't say I've ever kissed my hands toward heaven in worship, I most certainly have found myself worshiping God in all of the other four ways. I am a very physically expressive person. If you know me, you know that I am a woman of many faces, I talk with my hands to the point of smacking myself or others accidentally at times, and sometimes when I'm leading worship it's all I can do to keep my feet on the ground. I have also found myself at times so overwhelmed by God's goodness that I could not keep my face from the floor! Our God is sooo worthy of our adoration! Let's never, NEVER let embarrassment or shyness keep us from outwardly expressing our adoration for our Great God!
. . . So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom
to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf.
Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might,
while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord
with shouts and the sound of trumpets. . .
David said to Michal, " . . .
I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this,
and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. . . "
2 Samuel 6:12b-15, 21-22a
This Christmas, I am determined to intentionally set my mind on the glorious character of God. I will think about His sovereignty, goodness, faithfulness, and love as I sing songs of adoration to my King!
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Jeremiah & 2 Timothy
(the Bible in a year)
by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
(family read aloud)
by Jamie C. Martin
Mother and Son:
The Respect Effect
by Emerson Eggerichs