I didn’t think I’d end up where I am today.
I’m writing my first book.
And it’s harder than I thought. There are so many ways to tell a story, to make a point. Which way is best and what if I chose the wrong way?
How does a girl who was never given a voice think she could suddenly start writing anything beautiful or worthy of print?
These are voices from the past. But, still they buzz around me, as I tap-tap-tap my way forward.
My search for God’s guidance really isn’t about a book after all.
Because every year, the journey to find direction and guidance is always present in each of us.
We may be traveling through different journeys — maybe through joblessness and disappointments or maybe through the excitement of new relationships or opportunities ahead.
We face the same obstacles: which way should we go and what if this journey is too much for me?
The steps ahead aren’t clear, but we can’t stay put. We sense God calling us to go. We are compelled to move out and see.
We share one thing in common. It makes us sojourners: God keeps our hope alive.
When the Star Paused
I think of the wise men. How ecstatic they were to discover the star back home in the East! What joy there was in the anticipation, as they made preparations, checklists and geared up for the adventure ahead.
But, I wonder how they felt when the star stopped above Jerusalem — when they met King Herod and no one in town even had an inkling of the good news.
The star was actually on pause. But, they didn’t know it.
Are you finding yourself at a pause along the journey of faith — where you wonder too if where you are, is where God wants you?
Be assured. God has not forgotten your way. Just like the star stopped at Jerusalem, until the wise men received new information, they stayed and waited. They had questions and yes, I imagine perhaps they considered turning back too. But, they didn’t.
God was faithful.
“After [the wise men] heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.”Matthew 2:9-10
The grand finale of Christmas is the scene at the manger. When the star finally moved out again to lead them to Bethlehem, the wise men eventually found what they were looking for.
According to Ian Strachan of Today in a Manager, the journey to find baby Jesus took the wise men one month.
They walked that journey one day at a time.
They didn’t know how long or where it would lead them.
They only knew one thing: they had to follow.
And they followed in the dark.
We can only imagine what the everyday challenges and triumphs were.
As much as we’d prefer traveling by day when everything is crystal clear, we make our biggest strides in the walk of faith — at night.
No matter what, the wise men kept their gifts safe — and oh, this is my favorite part of the Christmas story this year. They presented their gifts to the new King and I can imagine what joy there was to finally lay it at Jesus cute little feet.
A Royal Baby’s Registry
There’s a baby registry echo’ing in the Christmas story. What gift are you keeping safe with you this year for Him?
Gold — a tribute of something you’ve received this year?
Frankincense — a special prayer to offer to Him? (Frankincense was an incense used for worship. In Revelations 8:4, God tells us our prayers rise as fragrant incense to Him.) “And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand.”
Myrrh — a loss or sorrow you can share with Jesus. This too is an offering to Him. It’s ultimately why Jesus became God-With-Us, taste pain so we can have hope beyond the dying.
As we walk these final days into Christmas, remember we have what it takes for the journey.
We have a beautiful star moving within us. Jesus.
Keep following. No matter where you find yourself on this journey. It might not look the way you expected. Faith still leads us. We can keep walking ahead, friends.
Smile. Jesus is our hope. And He is alive in us again this Christmas once again.
As I wrestled with words this month, I realized the gift I can offer Him this year is my voice, come what may. I may find myself waiting for guidance, but I have the final destination in mind: Jesus. Together, we can unwrap Jesus this Christmas and encourage each other in the days ahead. Merry Christmas, friend!
Where are you on the journey of faith this Christmas?
What gift will you offer to Him this year?
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*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Keep faith fresh with a faith prompt and add your voice to this community.
Today’s 12/22 topic: Which character in the Christmas story is speaking to you?
*Special Topic for January 6, 2012!*
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On second thought, if you take up the journey — I know you will.
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I am on a journey with God as well. All I have to offer him is what he gave me to begin with. Yet, when it mixes with my humanity, it feels so small, insignificant and inferior. Yet, I am willing, as the wisemen, to step out in faith, even if it means walking in the dark.
Have a Merry Christmas, Bonnie.
I never thought about how the Wise Men only traveled in the dark before. What faith, to follow a star. That truly inspires me when I feel like I’m searching. It would be so much easier to travel in the light all the time, but that’s not the way, is it? Lovely thought. Also, the gifts you suggest – a tribute, a special prayer, a sorrow or loss – I will be thinking about those today.
As always, thank you for your words and encouragement here, Bonnie. I hope you enjoy a very Merry Christmas!
I am up early this morning to work on my book and stopped a moment to read your post. Beautiful It brought tears to my eyes and thoughts to my heart. I bring loss to this Christmas. I had never thought of bringing it as a gift. Thank you.
Gold for a tribute. Frankincense for a prayer. Myrrh to share in comfort. So intimate.
My journey of faith has me realigning, offering my gift as He calls me to new adventure, and trusting in the chaos and order of all its newness.
“As we walk these final days into Christmas, remember we have what it takes for the journey.” Thank you.
Thanks Dayspring for the giveaway! Have a Merry Christmas!!! One word….surrender.
choose love, live in freedom, gratitude…my tribute to the king. thank you Jesus for leaving paradise to come helpless in a feeding trough to rescue me from myself and the depths of my sin. i pray i honor you and your sacrifices
I’ve been on a long (5yr) journey out of addiction….the consequences of my sin were at times seemingly insurmountable…& the price seemed unbearably high….and yet withPaul (2Cor 1:8-10), I can now say that as a result I have learned to stop relying on myself and rely on the one true God…Who raises the dead! He raised me from the dead! I got to spend all day yesterday with my wonderful children &I grandchildren! Restoration is my gift!
Yes, “keep following”–just what I need to remember.
Bless you, friend. As He leads your words…and as as He leads you to trust that there is no “right” or “wrong” choice with words.
Thanks Bonnie, for the encouragement to keep going, to not worry in the pause and just keep looking to Him for direction… I need these words in the season I’m in. Thank you!! God bless you and Merry Christmas, friend.
I subscribe to Faith Barista 😉
I also shared this on FB. Bonie, you shine such a beautiful Christ-light. Can’t wait to hear more about your book!! Praying for you as you write it!
Reading this post left me feeling like the warm sensation you get while drinking a cup of coffee. (Of course in my case it had chocolate and hazelnut flavoring added.) :o) I so enjoy your blog!
THANK YOU Faith B. It is such a joy to come here and hear you. Your voice is a beautiful gift – let it ring, let it sing!
I believe it was a couple of years that it took the wise men to get to the manger. That surprised me. http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/deeper-walk/features/23706-debunking-christmas and wiki said, “We don’t know the exact day, but it was around 2 years after the birth of Jesus. (Jesus, being born in April.) That’s why King Herod had every male in the area age 2 and under killed. Jesus would have been around 2 years old when they stopped by Herod’s flat for a visit.”
It was still one day a time though. Beautiful devotional.
I love reading your posts! The way you share your God-stories is so transparent and speaks straight to my heart! We all have a story and we all are on a journey. It is all about trusting God just as the wise men did. I think I will always remember this post when I find myself traveling in the dark and unsure of where God is leading, but remembering to trust His every leading just as the wise men.
Merry Christmas and I pray for God’s continued penning upon your keyboard as you write your book!
Merry Christmas! Thank you for your beautiful work
Bonnie-This is such a profound post. I love your insights and your depth. Thanks for sharing. Especially loved the Gold, Frankincense and Myrhh part 🙂
Blessings to you!
All that nighttime travel in the dark. Yikes.
Yet, though I don’t know where I’m headed, I do know the Way.
Today I’m thanking God that Jesus is worthy and trustworthy to be followed. And I’m thanking God for you. Merry Christmas, Bonnie.
“They presented their gifts to the new King and I can imagine what joy there was to finally lay it at Jesus cute little feet.” I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to offer their precious gifts to the sweet baby Jesus after such a long journey of anticipation. This post reminds me of Nicole C. Mullins’ song “Lamb of God”. It’s beautiful- I heard it for the first time on the way to work this morning. The chorus says,
“Oh Lamb of God
Oh Prince of Peace
What tribute shall I bring to worship thee?
I have no gold to lay at your feet
So Lamb of God I offer me”
Merry Christmas, Bonnie!
I follow 🙂
I’m suscribed 🙂
What give will I give Jesus this year? My awareness I think. I’ve read Ann Voskamp’s book and have tried to do a list of things each day that I can thank God for, but at the end of most days I’m hard pressed to find something to right down. Now I know God gives me reasons for gratitude everyday I just don’t take time to be aware of them, so that’s what I want to give Him this year.
I think it’s amazing that you are stepping out to write a book – and have the courage to find that still small voice – for his message.
As always this FOCUSED my thoughts on what was/is important.
Love Came Down
Surrendering daily is a difficult choice. Thanks for thegiveaway
Bonnie, thanks for these words, and all of your encouraging words that you share with us throughout the year! You are love and appreciated! Have a wonderful, and meaningful Christmas with those you love!
The wise men gave another gift, too, the gift of discretion and protection. They “went home another way” and avoided Herod.
Best of success with that book!
Beautiful post. I have been thinking a lot about Mary this time of year and the sacrifice she had to make as a mother. And yet she did so with a willing and servant heart. Such an example for me!!
Mary speaks to me. I think about how young she was and how she said yes to God, knowing the result of that choice. My pastor has made the point that Mary wasn’t forced to say yes; we don’t know if Gabriel had appeared to other girls before Mary who actually said no. I just think of her obedience and the faith she must’ve had to believe Gabriel and choose to say yes.
and I’ve subscribed via google reader!
Great thoughts. waiting and following. we need faith. God is faithful always!
I subscribe to Faith Barista
The journey NEVER ends with Jesus! I feel close to Mary this year. What a blessing was bestowed on her. How precious are our children, all children. Caroling this year, after a long absence, brought home the fact that we are all children of God, fragile, needing love and maybe even someone to touch your painful hand in Christian love. God Bless ALL the dear children, in Thy tender care!
I love the idea that they took the journey a day at a time. At some point they had to make the choice to start..and that’s where I get hung up. But once I’m walking, I’m not stopping till i get to Jesus
I’m so excited that you are writing your first book. I would love to read it as your writings are always so insightful. I already subscribe to Faith Barista and I shared this post on Facebook. I’m also excited that you will be speaking at next year’s Relevant Conference. I am praying that I might attend that one finally.
I am at a place of waiting right now. I’m at an in between stage of life and not even knowing where I will live come May. But I’m trusting the Lord for His guidance and perfect timing. If I have time today, I may write a post and link up.
Blessings and love,
Bonnie- I apologize- I linked up too quickly I think and didn’t follow your topic of which character I relate to! But, if a character can be the star, I think my post will work…..
“It’s ultimately why Jesus became God-With-Us, taste pain so we can have hope beyond the dying.”
Thank you for your words of truth, Bonnie! I’m so excited for you — stepping out to birth the message that God has placed inside of you. blessings on your book journey 🙂
I’m definitely on a journey of faith this Christmas. This whole year has been a journey of faith! I’ve been yearning to go deeper with God, but in order to go deeper, He must remove all hindrances, and the process is often painful. I’ve been learning to follow Him and trust Him regardless of the opinions of those around me. It’s been stretching, but I am hopeful for the fruit in the future 🙂
About a month ago, God started revealing some painful memories of the past that I had completely repressed. It’s been a fight of faith to run into His arms rather than wallow in the pain. Yesterday I found out that one of my close friends from the past was killed in a car crash.
I can only look to the future and trust that God will bring restoration and allow the gospel to run quickly and be glorified through our life experiences. He is good 🙂
Blessings and Merry Christmas!
Thanks for these beautiful thoughts. I’d never considered the wise men that way. There are two losses/sorrows I’m offering to God this season. I had already offered prayers for their reversal, but thanks to you I’m now offering the losses themselves.
May your Christmas be most blessed and full of joy!
Thank you for these words today…about listening, and having the faith to follow Him. This is so timely because me and my husband just bought a house yesterday in another state to be near our daughter, little granddaughter and son-in-law. I have felt for some time He was going to move us here…and He said “The time is now.”
Of course there’s more to the story…that our other daughter and 2 grandchildren (who live with us) will be able to move soon too. But for now we are all here together in a lovely climate to celebrate His birth, and His great love for us. And for this we are truly grateful!
Many blessings on you and your family and may you have a blessed Christmas!
Oh Bonnie – my gift I bring is what I talked about earlier this week. I submitted it to the jam session. Very much like last Christmas, keep bringing my whole self to God, hope, dreams, tears, and fears. Thank you friend.
I subscribe already.
I shared on FB your blog.
I am giving Him my emptiness, my brokeness, my willingness to surrender.
May His gifts continue to bless you and all you touch…
“…we make our biggest strides in the walk of faith — at night.”
Even when we’re smothered by the darkness of loss and regret and fear, there’s the light, showing us the way step by step. If we only open our eyes.
Thank you, Bonnie, for being living frankincense. You are a sweet fragrance. xoxo
I posted to Facebook and 1 friend commented already to say she really liked what you had to say.
What can I bring Him? The only gift I can, the gift of self. He’s been asking for so long. I think it’s about time that I responded to His love call.
The Magi have always played a strong role in the original Christmas story ever since I read “The Gift of the Magi” by Longfellow, and even after I learned they weren’t really present during the first Christmas. I have surmised that Daniel (Old Testament prophet and one-time leader of the magi) had a hand in the scrolls or studies that lead these first century magi on their journey to find the baby who is meant to be King.
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I never thought of sharing my loss as a gift to Jesus, WOW, what an encouragement!
Thanks again, Faith Barista!
This post really resonates for me…thanks for the reminder to keep moving forward in following Jesus, just one day at a time, one day at a time, over and over… We are living and working in a remote area of Navajoland and face many challenges—we KNOW God called us here, we just aren’t quite sure what we “should” be doing day to day…
(and by the way…for another drawing entry…I definitely reposted this on facebook—hopefully LOTS of my friends take time to read this!)
For me right now it’s learning to keep serving and giving thanks in spite of the hard and the hurt.
Life is certainly a journey! I never seem to know what is just around the corner, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter… Jesus is right here with me, wherever that happens to be, so I don’t have to be concerned with what might be next. Life hasn’t turned out the way that I had anticipated, but God has been and continues daily to be faithful. My next God sized assignment is also to write a book–I have absolutely no clue what it will be like, but God has a plan and I simply need to be still and wait and listen and write whatever He puts in my heart… an exciting and scary journey!
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bonnie i love your blogs and i love dayspring.i gave my husband for christmas 2 mugs and 2 serving bowls.i am to sick to cook so that is why i got it for him.i have ankylosing spondylitis,yes the same deseas that sweet sara had.she was correct we each deal differently.my lungs are not affected but my spine and joints are.i just found out i have low thyroid.i sleep alot and sincethe begining of dec i have been extreamely tired.i would love to win this but i know i wont.
bonnie when i found your site i liked you on facebook
i reposted on facebook and google plus.i don’t have a twitter acount.i don’t even have a cellphone.
i already subscribe,that is how i keep in the loop when you write.i don’t want to miss a single post.
merry christmas and happy new yr to you and your family bonnie!
Love reading your blog!
Love reading what you have to say.
subscribe to you by e mail.
My faith journey has been teaching me to trust Him, unconditionally, no matter what, and especially when I don’t understand.
I stopped over from My Freshly Brewed Life, and so glad I did. I really enjoyed your post.
Me. All of me. This is my gift to Jesus this year. No walls guarding those parts of my life that I don’t want to change or give up. Loosening my grip on things/people/situations. Saying a final goodbye to the fantasy that I am in control of anything. Choosing to simply enjoy the adventure of life with Him.
I’m hoping to hit “pause” for the rest of the weekend and just rest at the manger. This is a very good post for me to read this morning (and yes, I’m a day late linking up. ;-))
Thanks for your beautiful gift of words to us through this year, Bonnie. You are truly a treasure. May God bless you and your family with a wonderful Christmas. I’ll look forward to what He’s going to bring us all in 2012!
Thanks Bonnie, for another great reminder….
Grace and peace to you this Christmas…
May our hearts and minds have the same preparation for the celebration of His birth as we have given our trees, homes, tables…
I am a subscriber!!
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Thank you for all the articles that give us hope when we feel so lost and hopeless. I lost my husband of 34 years two months ago and I am feeling an emptiness only God can fill. These messages keep me focused on the positive side of life…people who care, lives changed, hope through faith. Thank you.
Last year I chose the word change although I’m still at the same place unfortunately. So this year, I am very reflective as I do believe change has to and will take place. This is the second of two very unhappy Christmases but it’s okay because it’s really shown me where my priorities are. Tomorrow will be a good Christmas even though a part of my heart is aching for something to change but you cannot force another person to change so I am working on myself with the Lord’s help. Hope you’re enjoying Christmas Eve and have a wonderful Christmas day!!!:)
Thanks, Bonnie! What a wonderful reminder, that we “take our biggest strides of faith at night,” when we’re in the dark in one form or another–I love your analogy with the shepherds being in the dark and needing to pause to watch the star–reminding us that even when we’re temporarily paused, God can still act within us–such a much-needed reminder! I so much needed to hear that this week–thank you so much! Merry Christmas and blessings!
I am finishing up a book now as well. Not sure if it is any good, but just getting it all out there and on page is so great. Good luck with your book! God works.
[…] Here are some more good meditations on Mary, Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother) and others, and the wise men. […]
Thank you so much for this, Bonnie–thank you! I so much needed to read this! I love your analogy with the star, reminding us that the Wise Men needed to pause–even though they didn’t realize they were simply on pause, they might have thought they had hit a huge obstacle and had “stopped”–but then they finally reached the manger, and it was all worth while! What a magnificent image that is! And it’s so true–thank you for the reminder that God knows where we and hasn’t forgotten about us even if we feel paused! What a much-needed message that is! Love this! Thank you so much! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I like what you said about the wiseman. They stayed on their course and had faith that
the Lord was sending them in the right direction. We too have to be as trusting. Whether its writing your book or anything else. If the Lord gave you the vision he will give you what you need to reach the destination. God Bless!