Advent Week 3: Resist the Rush
This is an excerpt from "This Will Be a Sign to You" , December 15.
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:19, NIV
I know. I know. I know. It seems impossible during the holidays. But, resist the rush. If I can do it, you can do it.
As a recovering people pleaser, busy body, and control freak, “letting go and letting God” has been the absolute hardest thing for me. My tendency is to bust down doors instead of waiting for God to open them. It makes more sense to rush instead of rest.
Really, this is a sin- gluttony. This is desiring it all more than longing for God. This is wanting Christmas to be on our terms rather than the way Jesus designed it.
So, what is the true intent behind this season?
This is an excerpt from "This Will Be a Sign to You" , December 2.
“And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”
-Luke 2:7, NIV
There are several people mentioned in the Bible who completely missed out on the miracle of Jesus’ birth.
Let’s start with the owner of the home Mary and Joseph stopped by while she was in labor. Jesus literally could have been born in his house and, because it was presumably already full, Mr. Homeowner sent them to the barn instead. Then there’s King Herod who, upon hearing a religious king was born, felt jealous instead of joyous and wiped out every boy baby in order to eliminate any perceived threat to his throne. This last one is the real shocker. The high priests and religious experts even missed God coming to earth. Despite knowing all the scriptures, prophecies, and exactly where Christ was to be born, they never even went to see if He had arrived.
Who didn’t miss Jesus?
This is an excerpt from "This Will Be a Sign to You" , December 9.
"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, NIV
Jesus was born into the business of defying the odds. His job description has always been performing miracles in the meek and mild, glorifying the humble, and bending history in favor of those whom He loves.
Present news headlines make us forget that we have a great God working in our ordinary lives. We dwell on seemingly impossible situations and lose our real hope. We see all the dark places in the world and become blind to the fact that we are the light.
Maybe we forget for a second what the present world is trying to tell us and remember what Jesus has been telling the world for over two millennia...
In preparing for a women’s retreat I taught a few weeks ago, the Lord led me into a deep dive on the concept of peace, sparked by John 14:27…
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
I am not an Enneagram zealot by any means, but I have found it an incredibly useful tool for self-awareness and growth. I am a hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool Enneagram 9 (with a strong and pesky perfectionist tendency thanks to my 1 wing). Peace is my currency…my idol of choice…my golden calf, if you will. I will beg, borrow, cheat, and steal for a moment of peace. I will abandon all good reason and afore acquired wisdom for a tiny and fleeting chance at the siren we call peace. “I am going to make this ALL JUST RIGHT and then,” I say to myself, “then I will enjoy the euphoria of (the illustrious yet always elusive) peace.”
But this is not how God offers peace, is it? What if I told you that He speaks a better word over us that brings us what we're actually longing for?
This week marks the two-year anniversary of the day that my home flooded. It was a typical Thursday in November. I was at work when I received a call from my HOA that the river behind my building was rising… rapidly. An hour later, I received the news that the water had surpassed the two feet mark in my first floor condo unit. The damage was irreversible and set in motion a 21-month-long process of repair and renovation— in both my condo and my heart.
While feeling stuck in this extended season of the unknown, God was gracious enough to remind me that He is El Olam, the God of Eternity.
If you find yourself in a season of:
Then I believe that this particular name and character trait of The Lord will speak directly to your heart and your situation...
I'll Say Yes by Amber olafsson
You want me to do what?
Standing in the jam-packed, sweaty New York City subway, hanging on to a pole for dear life—while simultaneously trying not to fall on anyone—God decides here of all places to ask me to do something uncomfortable.
“I said, tell her I love her.” The response was crystal clear.
I knew this was God and not my idea because everyone knows there are certain unspoken rules of the NY subway. And, I was about to break all of them...
Hell Hath No Fury
You've heard “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and it's true. A woman is a very dangerous creature. She is a supporter, encourager, nurturer, caretaker with a loyalty to where her investment lies. When something hurts her loyalty, emotions plus a longing for justice ignite the wick in her heart to launch a fireball aimed at the offender.
Do you remember your first break up? I do... The guy cheated on me and I was so angry all I could think about was payback (not recommended). Then there was the gossip. Girls not only beat me up with their words but they would do it to my friends too. There was a part of me that just wanted to scream back at them and I remember daily walking around high school with a burning feeling in my chest. In college, I had to defend my faith. It was one thing for someone to offend me but entirely another when my professor offended my God. I think that was the first time I felt rage. I didn’t quite know what to do with it and I still don’t. The most angry I've ever been though is when my husband and I were very hurt by a church we served on staff with. It has taken years of counseling to unravel what I believe at times was righteous anger (injustices that also hurt the heart of God).
I'm sure you can recall times where you've been angry, furious even. So, what do we do with our "fury" when we've been "scorned," wounded, and provoked by friends, family, our bosses, or maybe even our church?
Think About what you Think about
Do you ever think about what you think about?
Seriously. What’s going on in that head of yours? What do you believe?
You may be thinking of what Biblical knowledge you have. Like what you believe about Jesus. What you believe to be True. How you view the world around you in light of that.
Maybe you have doubts. You’re reading this blog thinking, “Kaley… I genuinely don’t really know what I believe.” That’s totally fine. You do not have to have this figured out. God’s not scared of your doubts and questions. He can handle it. Ask away. Wrestle with this.
You may not even care. That’s not important to you right now. That’s cool too.
BUT did you know that no matter where we’re at, we all have some kind of formal and functional belief system that we operate our life out of.
So, what do you believe?
We're packing up and headed out...
Our family loves to go camping. Does yours?
As our last "hurrah" of the summer, our family is ditching the heat for some cool mountain air and all of our devices for adventure. I'm so ready.
Packing for this camping trip reminded me of a writing I did from a time Gage and I did a cross-country adventure. I wanted to share it with you today because...
There are some simple things we can do to prevent or even reverse those chapters of our lives where we burn the candle at both ends for so long that we have become simply ashes. Check out this note I jotted down from our campsite in Monterey Bay, CA to find out three three questions that will take you from burnt out to back on fire.
“Do you want some ABC gum?”
As a kid, when someone asked you this question, you quickly learned to say, “NO!” Why?
ABC wasn’t a cute brand name; it stood for “Already Been Chewed.” If you said “yes,” your friend would spit out a saliva covered, flavorless wad into your open hand. It was hilarious as a ten-year-old… and disgusting.
The thing is, a lot of us are probably not willing to accept any ABC gum, but we’re totally ok with an ABC faith. Here's what I mean...
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, public speaker, and musician. She serves as the Director of Communications and Donor Relations for the student sports-centric nonprofit she and her husband, Gage, run called Twelve. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to two little girls, Lina and Lili. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.