We are using Ann Voskamp's Jesse Tree Advent Family Devotional series (info on how to download it is here on her site) for our family's Advent celebration and worship this year. And a couple of days ago, the title to one of the daily devotional readings was "Laugh!". The reading focused upon God's promise to Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child, even in their old age, after Sarah had been barren for years. Sarah declared after Isaac was born that "God has made me laugh" (Genesis 21:6, NCV) and that all those who heard would laugh with her. And don't we today have even more reason to laugh and be filled with joy at the coming of the Jesus, the beautiful babe whose life brought joy and hope to all the world?
If you read my last post, we focused on worshipping in our sorrow and crying out to God with expectant hope for His coming again even as we grieve our losses and pain in this life. And at our house, we have shed some tears already this Christmas season - tears of loss and hurt, tears for friends and family in real pain, tears for the suffering of so many others we see. But we laugh and love around here, too! And it seems so strange that moment by moment, sorrow over sin and hurt can walk hand in hand with joy in the knowing we have the love of a Father who sent Jesus. A Father who gives us the gift of Himself and His love over and over each day in the smallest and largest moments of grace. Sorrow and joy do walk hand in hand. And even as we ache for what has been, what will not be, or what is lost, we reach for Who is to come, and we are a people filled with joy because we know the love of a Savior who came and the care of a Father who is with us. So, I wanted to share some reasons we have laughed this Advent season, and to let you know that I pray for joy and laughter to find you every day of Advent, even if your sorrow looms great or your loss still wounds deeply.
Our laughter moments over the last few days:
Little girl doing an impression of Rudolph by getting down on all fours and lifting her head slightly, saying "Blink, Blink"!
The sunshine laughing hysterically (and so making us all laugh with him) as his big brother pretends to fall down in slow motion with a big "OOOOOOhhhhhhh".
Daddy reading aloud chapters from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - too many laughing moments to list. This one is second on my list of must reads this year if you have young children (the first, of course, is the Christmas story - as told in many places in scripture, and is especially beautiful in the Gospel of Luke).
My laughter and joy at hearing Little Girl and Superhero make a list of gifts to give away from the Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog. It was difficult for them to narrow it down to 10 items! Oh, how God speaks to me through my children.
May you find you find the laughter and music of joy this Advent!
Loving, Longing, and Laughing,
- I love Jesus Christ, am a seeker of beauty, and am a grateful child of God who would be lost and hopeless were it not for His grace. I am learning to walk in love, see interruptions as divine appointments, and value people and relationships above agendas and results. I pray my life is grace-filled, and brings joy and encouragement to everyone I know and meet. We are a family of 6, built by God through love, birth, and adoption, living in the beauty and the struggle that accompanies parenting kids from hard places. Got questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|This digital scrapbook made with Smilebox|