Advent Dance – Joy

…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in clothes and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those whom his favour rests.’

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ Luke 2.7-15

December is whizzing by and we’re already on week three of the Advent Dance blog. How have you been getting on with the activities? This week is all about JOY!

Joy is such a big part of Christmas. A friend once shared that JOY can equal Jesus Over You. That no matter what else was going on Jesus was always first and he always covered us throughout the day.

At Christmas we can experience so much of what is ‘good’ in Gods creation: music and dancing, food, laughter, traditions, friends and family. It’s important to thank God for those blessings. This weekend, as a family we finally had the opportunity to open up our home at Christmas. Sounds like such a trivial thing, but it’s something that we have always spoken about, but due to location or house size it’s just not been practically possible. It was a lovely time of entering into the season of Joy and catching up with a whole host of people.

How are you going to show joy this season? The angels that came to tell the shepherds about Jesus being born were said to have ‘great joy’ ‘for all the people’. Who are you going to share some of that joy with?

Movement

Have you really started your celebrations?? Jesus is coming! A great way to celebrate joy is to have your own little dance party. This is a regular feature in our house because my daughter loves music and movement (yay!). Admittedly generally she asks for ‘troll music’ or ‘let it go’ but when she moves and sings, she does it with some gusto! To have that uninhibited passion to move and dance brings such freedom. So this is a simple one….

  • Clear some space – anywhere! Around the Christmas tree, in the kitchen, or even the garden.
  • Pick an album and ask God to let joy flow over you.
  • To speak to you about who you might need to welcome into the house, provide some light to, or where you might need to shine more light in your life.
  • Get the whole family involved!

Reflection

Music Suggestion >> Holy Night, Matt Redman

After your little dance party. Take some time to reflect on what God might have said to you as you moved. Did he bring a specific person to your mind? Write it down, pray and give it back to God and ask what you are to do with it.

Book another ‘dance party’ in over the Christmas period and remember as people choose to bless you, you can bless them and others back with the joy that you have for Jesus.

Father God,

Joy, seems such a big word to accept sometimes. There are many moments when we don’t feel or see joy. But you have given it to us, to keep us going and to share with others. Help us to bless others with the joy of Jesus, and not be caught up in what people think or say. Amen

Make Your Space

It’s the last day of 2016, lots of people spend this reflecting on what has been and start to look ahead to what may come in 2017. Many people count down till the year ends, start the new one with a long list of things they are going to do, saying ‘2017 will be the year…’

But is that really the case…. stating things that you want to get through in 2017, your dreams, hopes etc. does that help you achieve them? There has been lots that has gone on this year, good stuff and bad stuff, which I am sure is the same for a lot of people. However, when I look ahead, there is one thing that I want more than anything…. SPACE.

Space in my house, space in my life, space to be me, space to dance, space to just be! Some of you maybe mothers, and others not, but I am sure each other can resonate with the fact that we all feel at some point like there’s not enough time or space. To carve out some personal time for projects (including writing this blog) or just space to think is really hard. So one thing I am praying more than anything for is that I give God space, which will allow me to have space.

God catches us unawares, rallies us in our darkest moments, sends us buzzing in the crazy ones. He is always there and waiting, let’s allow him the space to have that relationship.

In December we had a Dance, Move, Pray session. This was simply just a space to gather and move, spend time to with God. Myself, Lizzie and Julia were there, for each of us, it was what we needed right then. The opportunity to just be in a space, be close to God, to pray and move however much or little we wanted. I want more of this! I crave more of this!

So lets be real. Decide ONE thing as you enter 2017. Where are you and God? Where do you want to be with God?

I’ll leave you with a little clip from our dance space in December.