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About Jennifer Camp

Jennifer Camp, co-founder of  Gather Ministries, and author of  Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both  Facebook  and  Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.

YOUR ONE PRACTICAL STEP TOWARD JESUS THIS ADVENT (+ FREE GIFT FOR YOU)

Jennifer Camp
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Jennifer Camp, co-founder of  Gather Ministries, and author of  Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both  Facebook  and  Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.

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I tell them I’ve been running. Running and running and asking God to keep up. And it is tiring, depleting.

Of course.

Especially during this Advent season.

Jesus, help us prepare You room.

First, I confess it with friends as we pray–joining with community as I consecrate my heart. Then we seek wisdom. We ask God if we are more inclined to trust his plans for us or the plans we set for ourselves.

Yeah, we know the right answer– the answer we’re supposed to give. Trust God’s plans. Surrender our own. But we need to ask our Papa his take on our hearts. God’s wisdom brings clarity and depth we can never reach on our own.

words on mantel

And that’s when I see the picture of me running.

He shows me myself–the pace I set, the drive to go and go, the lie of productivity that tells me moreaccomplished is better than less.

My pace. My terms. My race.

Especially, ironically, this time of year.

Where are you, Papa?

Daughter, I am right here.

And I see him. He is close. But . . . he is on the side of me, then behind me. As I run and run and don’t look back.

Leading my own way. Running and just hoping God is with me.  But I am not checking to see whether or not he is.

Oh,  Jesus, forgive me. I make so little room for you.

I have so much more for you, my daughter. More, in abundance. More and more– the depth of which you can’t even imagine.

Christmas tree

For I’ve been setting the plans. And my plans, compared to God’s, are so small, so limited.My capacity–with this pace, this mindset–is more limited still.

I  need to hear it again:

I have so much more for you, my daughter. More, in abundance. More and more– the depth of which you can’t even imagine.

Advent invites opportunity for space, for pausing, for asking God what, for us, he has. But I struggle.  Yes, because of pride, surrendering our own agendas can be so hard.

So I make it practical. I tell my friends that at 9 pm each night, I will shut the computer, turn off the phone, put away work, and rest and turn to my God. That was two days ago. And sisters this has not been easy. And I have not been perfect. But it is so good. So nourishing. So vital and life-giving for my heart.

What does turning toward God, making room for Jesus, look like for you, in a practical way, this Advent?

How are you invited to worship him? What will you do to help yourself pause, and turn?

The temptation for busyness, so contrary to the invitation of preparing room in our hearts for our Savior, feels amplified tenfold during this season of Advent. Jesus invites us to not only slow, but make him room.  And we can choose convenience and comfort–the pace of running. Or we can choose waiting, surrendering, trusting.

Jesus, help us turn toward you.

I love his reminders of goodness, freedom, and hope:

Daughter, I don’t despise your running. But in your efforts to achieve your own plans, you are running your own race, you are missing Me. You are not running with Me.

Deck the Halls

Our busyness during this Advent and Christmas season can build in increments so it is difficult to recognize. Until we feel lonely. Lost. Hollow. Depleted. Afraid. Eventually, busyness becomes the routine.

Our consumption of his Word, and his voice in our heart, becomes squeezed. Short moments here and there. We forget what it feels like to settle into our Papa’s arms, remembering what Advent is. And I don’t want to miss it.

In Loop Advent, I ask God what He thinks of Advent. And this is what I hear him say:

Advent is the time of waiting for what is already here, who has already come. It is a time of turning–turning inward to study your heart. Turning inward to listen for my voice. Turning inward to heed what is true. Advent is for emptying oneself to receive joy in abundance. (from Loop Advent)

ornaments on counter

Turning. Emptying. Receiving. Yes, our Father continues to gives us good gifts to our hearts. Will you join me this Advent, turning toward the love of our Father? Asking him to empty us and fill us again, and again, with his more?

What does that look like for you, practically, this Advent season?

And as we turn toward Jesus this season, I wanted to be let you know about the special offer of Loop Advent being offered, for free, on Amazon, until December 10. And the audio version of Loop Advent, for free, right here.

 GET LOOP ADVENT

I can’t wait to hear from you, sisters.

Tell me your movement toward Jesus, and we can join together, praying for one another this season.

This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com

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