Trek to the Manger (DQ10)

Trek to the Manger Ch 10I think we forget that we are children of God.

We grow up and grow into titles and relationships and seats at the table, and we just forget that inside these adult-shaped frames are kids-at-heart.

What childlike quality is missing in your life right now? How might you get some of it back?

I challenge you to uncover the whimsy and wonder that you’ve buried under grown-up responsibilities. Take the Daily Giveaway for a ride and experience life through the eyes of a child (yours or borrowed) in the week ahead, or create some Christmas memories by wrapping packages in ways that foster curiosity and awe.

Then… share some photos with us! Email your gift wrap ideas or kid-focused outing pics to me, with your permission to share (no names will be used – photos only):

brita@pinkshoesministries.me

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Trek to the Manger (DQ9)

Trek to the Manger Ch 9I’m having a moment right now.

Re-reading Trek chapter 9, and realizing just how long it’s been since I sat in the parking lot, waiting for my little kiddos to finish the school day… No words.

Have you ever been emotionally derailed? How is your story like mine? How is it different? Ultimately, how did you decide to get over it and move on?

I suspect that there are many of us on the Trek who would love to know how you did it – how you found a way through. And if you’re still in the wondering-stage, wrestling with the options you may have, well – now is the time when you ask for your faith-family to pray for you.

We are here.

We are ready.

And we – like you – believe that nothing is impossible with God!

Happy Monday! Trek week two has begun.

Trek to the Manger (DQ8)

Trek to the Manger Ch 8One of the things I love most about how God made the world is the way He embedded deep truths inside of the human experience, so that we might discover Him simply by living our lives.

Chapter 8 proposes that there is a parallel between physical and spiritual self-defense, and that this should not surprise us. After all, God gives us armor to wear, which ought to be a sign that there is an enemy is on the prowl!

The tools we need to fight against a spiritual enemy are ours through the Word and the Spirit of God. Today, I’m wondering how being present and alert to your surroundings might serve as a means of spiritual self-defense?

And if you’ve ever taken a self-defense class, are there things you learned there that might benefit others – physically or spiritually?

Do tell!

Trek to the Manger (DQ7)

Trek to the Manger Ch 7I was talking with a new friend over coffee the other day, and she shared with me a dream she has for ministry. It started with a picture in her head, and she can actually “see” herself in a very particular place, doing a very specific type of ministry, and it’s so cool! Especially because her vision has absolutely nothing to do with her “real life” as it is today. She’s not trained for it. She doesn’t live in that geographical area. She basically has no idea how to get from point A (today) to point B (the dream). Even still, it’s crystal-clear in her heart and compelling as heck – she can’t shake it.

Sometimes God gives us a glimpse of Heaven and we mistake it for something we can have/do/be on earth. Now, don’t get me wrong! I have no doubt God can equip us to bridge any gap between where we are and where He compels us to go. But some dreams are bigger than this world – our human minds and bodies just can’t handle them in full. So, God gives us a sneak-peek. A taste. Just a sliver of what He has in store. And we’re hooked! Ruined for life-as-we-know-it, but oh-so-hopeful that what we can see with our hearts may one day be revealed to our world-weary eyes.

Tell me this: How has God whet your appetite for Heaven? And where do you see glimpses of what He has in store for you, and for all of His kids?

By the way – if you’re trekking with us and haven’t weighed in on a DQ yet, we would love to hear from you! Just to know you’re there. Don’t be shy! The “reply” option is located below this post when you click on today’s post title and scroll down. If you’re posting for the first time, there’s a delay before you can see what you’ve written. And you can reply to others’ responses, too!

Trek to the Manger (DQ6)

Trek to the Manger Ch. 6 2017It’s a beautiful thing, when God uses something ordinary to reveal something holy. 

He did it with the star that heralded Jesus’ birth.

He did it with Jesus’ stories about farmers and dirt.

And he does it with you, when you live the way you’re made!

Pointing to Jesus with our lives is what being a citizen of heaven is all about. Who do you know who does this well? What makes their impact so powerful?

Today’s Star Sighting challenges us to leak the Light wherever we go. Think of one ordinary, routine part of your day and start to pray that God will illuminate it! May He use you to reveal something holy to the light-starved people in that place.

 

 

Trek to the Manger (DQ5)

Trek to the Manger Ch 5Our traveling buddies can make or break the trip. Seriously.

Today’s challenge may be an unwelcome gift, yet it’s one we just have to unwrap.

Consider who you’re traveling with these days. Who are your comfortable, familiar friends? Who are the unpredictable newbies? Do you have the balance right between them, or is there some calibrating to do?

You don’t have to name names, but do share!

Click on the post title, above, then scroll down to the “Reply” area to weigh in on today’s discussion question, or to share your thoughts about chapter 5 in Trek to the Manger.

Trek to the Manger (DQ4)

Trek to the Manger Ch 4Today, let’s do an experiment. Before you read the words below, make a mental note to pay attention to how you feel when the words wash over you, okay? Here goes…

What is God’s will for your life?

(deliberate pause)

 

 

How does that question make you feel? What comes to mind when you wrestle with it? On a scale from shiny-happy to shakin-in-yer-boots, where do you land?

I’m here to propose that sometimes our problem is that we ask the wrong questions. Don’t believe me? Try these words on for size…

What is God’s will for your life today?

Feel different? Is your response quicker or slower? Heavier or lighter? More active or passive? Do you see where this is going?

What questions are you asking of yourself these days? And do they bring your soul to life, or are they crushing your spirit in the very worst way?

Maybe if we choose better questions to ask, we can break those infernal holding patterns and experience life as the adventure it was surely intended to be!

What do you think?

 

Trek to the Manger (DQ3)

Trek to the Manger Ch 3Today’s chapter has two themes, really.

The imbalance of our stuff, and our tendency to keep the curtains closed. 

I’ve learned about the first theme first-hand over the past month, having downsized from 2,000 square feet to 600. There is an insane amount of stuff from my previous house, my previous life, that just isn’t going to fit in my space anymore! Not if I want to breathe air, anyways.

This chapter – this day – is about acknowledging the need for some fluidity when it comes to our possessions. Not everything we own has equal weight – equal value. And just as good flows into our lives, good must flow out. Otherwise we’re no better than the Dead Sea, choking on our own salt.

At church last Sunday, we were asked to bring our most valuable (inanimate) possession to the altar and leave it there! Until the end of the service, that is. But it was sobering, even for those twenty minutes or so, to realize that our stuff is just stuff.

So, I’ve got to ask… What “stuff” of yours would make it into the deserted island scenario? Are there three things that would bring you comfort or hope if you were all alone? This reminds me of a very recent experience with wildfires in Arizona. You can read about it here, if you have time.

As far as curtains go, I get that they have a purpose. In Arizona, they help to keep our homes cool in the heat of the day. That, and they make it possible for us to watch movies before dark without the interference of the sun’s glare on the screen. They’re great for privacy, too. Very functional, curtains.

But they also keep out the light.

Comfort, leisure activities and private spaces are great, but I have a feeling that God is more interested in turning up the heat! Getting us up off of our couches! Opening our homes and hearts to our neighbors!

Letting the Light pour in!

I challenge you to write in the margins of your Trek to the Manger book over the next few weeks, taking note of those people and activities and things that lighten your load and shine light in your life. Whenever you want to share one of these moments or people with us – right here – use the Reply option (best to click on the title, above, then scroll down and look for the Reply section).

By the way – you can also Reply to the comments of others, building community online as we take this devotional journey together!

Trek to the Manger (DQ2)

Trek to the Manger Ch 2You wouldn’t leave home with laces dangling from your kicks, would you? But how many times have you hit the ground running without having tied your spiritual laces in prayer?

Tying your shoes is a matter of practicality. If a shoe is made to be tied, it won’t function properly without tightening the laces.

Tying your shoes is also a matter of safety; the referee will even blow his whistle and stop the game for a soccer cleat in need of a good, strong double-knot.

It’s the same with prayer! Prayer is practical, because our design as human beings requires intentionality to insure that life functions as it should. Prayer is also a safety feature, keeping us from the avoidable hazards created by rushing into life without concern for how prepared we actually are (or aren’t).

Two questions for today, then.

If prayer is the act of tying your spiritual shoes, how might you add this important step to your daily routine during Advent? (Keep in mind that shoe-tying isn’t a time-intensive investment, but it is a critical step in preparing for the day.)

What prayer(s) are particularly special to you? Are there words that you use to draw close to God that you might be willing to share with us? 

To reply, make sure you have opened the actual post for today. To do this, click on the post title (above), then scroll down to the area below the post. There will be a delay the first time you post, so don’t worry if you don’t see it right away!

Trek to the Manger (DQ1)

Trek to the Manger Ch. 1 2017You didn’t sign up for a season of CrossFit, but here we are – at the foot of the Cross and fit-to-be-tied.

For my friends who are committed to taking a Trek to the Manger this Advent season, my first question for you is this:

What challenges do you anticipate this season will bring? 

I’m going to be honest, and I hope you will be, too. The past couple of months have been… rough. As much as I want to celebrate this Christmas, I’m mourning a little bit, too. (Wait. I told you I’d be honest. There’s a whole lot of mourning going on!)

I miss my house.

I miss my friends.

I miss my church family.

I miss the “me” I used to be.

And at the end of the day, it’s going to be a challenge for me to celebrate the Light because all I really want to do is wallow in my loss. Does this make sense? Can I get an Amen? Anyone else there with me?

How about you? What’s YOUR biggest challenge going to be as we move into this holiday season?

Post your comments and thoughts below (and remember – if it’s your first time posting at Pink Shoes Ministries, there will be a delay before your post is approved).