Sarah Francis Martin is a wife, mother, friend, mentor, author and wanna be artist. Shehas a passion to encourage women to make Jesus famous in every part of life. She is the author of Just RISE UP!: A Call To Make Jesus Famous (Thomas Nelson 2012). Sarah's relevant and conversational style will invigorate readers to live rise up off the couch of complacency live with faith-filled purpose for the renown of Jesus . When Sarah is not typing away at her laptop you can usually find her getting her hands messy with craft paint. Check out more at www.liveitoutblog.com.
This candy cane tastes divine. I'm twisting it in my mouth and savoring this last taste of Christmas. Yes... I stashed away one last candy cane for January 6 -- Epiphany. I want to do everthing I can to hang on to the sweetness I feel in my heart coming out of the Advent season. This is my way of memorializing what God planted in my heart along the journey of seeking the Awe and Wonder...looking past the familiar of the season to see His goodness...His greatness. A candy cane is familiar. We pass around many of them through out the month of December. As I allow ever last centimeter of this little cane to melt in my mouth I'm looking past the familiar and capturing this moment in my mind. I'm trying to put to words what I want to take forth after Advent and the best I can come up with is...
Celebrate our Savior who fills every space in our heart––the empty––to overflow with His unconditional love.
Celebrate His creation oh so glorious if we choose to open our eyes to the sparkle...daily.
Celebrate daily the ever so good news of the Gospel that stands as TRUTH for all.
I'm celebrating Epiphany today because of just this...Jesus came first for the Jews (His chosen people) and also for the Gentiles––anyone who was not a Jew in the day. BUT>>>because of the cross...we are ALL God's chosen. You are the one He died for. We are the ones He came down from Heaven to give us His Word to live by. You are the one He gifts His Spirit to for comfort and direction. You are chosen...
Will we choose today to choose to CELEBRATE Jesus?
Every year the traditions of many cultures celebrate on January 6th––the day that commemorates the arrival of the Wise Men--The Maji--(gentiles) to worship the newborn King. Epiphany celebrates the arrival and announcement of our Savior to the rest of the world...to US.
Where is this newborn, who is the King of the Jews? When we were far away in the East we saw His star, and we have followed its glisten and gleam all this way to worship Him. (Matthew 2:2 THE VOICE)
My candy cane tastes extra sweet with this in mind. I also can't help but continue to nurture and grow my one humble poinsettia perched in my kitchen. Last year I kept mine outside for I'm no green thumb. Poinsettias are to be coddled and cared for inside as they are delicate flowers needing protection from the winter elements. I want to see the bright red and be reminded of Christmas though the rest of my decor is taken down and stowed away for next year. My son always cries a bit when I break the news that the Christmas tree must come down. (We traditionally take down the decorations on New Years day...not a moment before!) My best explanation for my 5 year old:
Honey, if we had the decorations up all year long you would loose interest. It would not be as special when Advent comes back around. We want it to be extra special each year, right?
Oh how the celebration is extra special. But this year I'm hanging on just a bit longer. Savoring the peppermint. Beholding the beauty of the poinsettia. Mexican folklore tells of a sweet young girl who had not a gift to bring to church for Christmas. She picked weeds along the way to the church as a humble attempt to gift her King. As she presented the weeds on the alter, the weeds miraculously bloomed into fiery red blossoms.
Don't you love that symbolism? When we bring Jesus even our meek and humble gifts and offerings (our LIFE!) He does His thing. His thing is to make all things beautiful and renewed.
Won't you CELEBRATE that with me?
I sat quiet over the past several days since December 24 taking it all in and ever so grateful for you to join me in the Awe and Wonder series. I had no more words to write past Christmas morning though my emotions overflowed in reflection. Maybe that's ok. Maybe I just needed to sit still. In fact sitting still and filling up on Jesus and less of myself is my theme for the upcoming year. This is where Jesus has me and I've promised Him that I will only move, only go forward when He says, "Go!" A tough thing to do for one who is action oriented and prides herself on brainstorming and planning.
Not much planning for me this New Year. I'm sitting still and grateful when He brings me opportunities to move forward on. Everything in me wants to make ministry events happen. Everything in me wants to jump up and just DO. But, I will obey. I will obey and sit. I will obey and sit and CELEBRATE today on this 2014 Epiphany.
Will you join me? Did you have an extra candy cane stashed away? Go grab something today that reminds you of what we captured in our hearts this Advent and CELEBRATE your King!
Oh...one more thing...Here's a bit of art I made as part of The Documented Life Project I'm taking part in. Thinking about how to capture Advent and carrying it into the new year.
Thoughts? Leave a comment...let's chat.