Pay Attention

Hey there, it's Maeve. It's bittersweet to wrap up this Advent series. It's hard to express the deep, overwhelming sense of gratitude I have for every single woman who shared a piece of her heart. Each post inspired and encouraged me during this season, I hope they did the same for you friend. And even more, I hope this season has been peaceful and you've been able to hear Gods gentle whisper of love and hope amidst the noise.

It seems quite fitting to end this series with one of my dearest friends here in Winchester. Rachel is a Yoga Instructor, Health Coach, and incredible writer. She's a people gatherer, dynamite salad maker & adventurer. My life is so much more rich & meaningful with this gal in it.

And now, yours is too. 


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In the season of advent, we pay close attention to the arrival of God through the birth of Jesus. And this is a very significant arrival, certainly worthy of our recognition and celebration.

But I urge you, my friend, to pay attention to the arrival of God, not just in this season, but in the seemingly small moments in your day. God is always arriving. God is always coming to us. The pace and busyness of our lives makes it easy to miss this beautiful encounter.

But you don’t want to miss this.

So be alert. Pay attention. Recognize God in your partner, kids, parents, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.

Slow down. Listen. Notice.

Observe God in your work and in your play.

See God in the trees and the hills. Hear God in the wind and the rain. Feel God’s presence in the comfort of your home.

Beware, my friend. Things are going to get in your way as you do this.

Things are going to try to keep you from hearing an inner voice of wisdom, truth, beauty, and love. Acknowledge those things in the way, and then let them go. Come back to your quiet place of listening.

And then, my friend, let yourself receive this encounter. Soak it in. Gravitate toward it. Delight in it. Let your heart be hospitable as you welcome such an arrival.

Let yourself move and dance and sing as you greet this abundant joy, peace, and hope that is ever present.


rachel bio

Rachel Dollard, Yoga Instructor and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach // www.nepheshwellness.org

 

 

 

 


Maeve again. I love this sweet reminder to notice God in the every day - in the seemingly small, insignificant moments. How different my day could be if I saw Him in every single person I encountered. In every single walking trail and speckled leaf. In every single cup of coffee.

Leave Rachel some love.

 

I heard the Bells

Hey there, it's Maeve. I'm incredibly thankful for the people I get to do life with up close. Nothing beats face to face community. But the community we can create and foster from afar is sweet too. I came across Erin by way of instagram and her blog. One post in particular about restlessness and finding your way hit close to home, during a tender season. I continue to love her words and insight so when I reached out to her about this Advent series, I was overjoyed she said "YES". Come meet Erin. 


 

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“God is not dead nor does He asleep.”

I was driving to church early one morning when I heard those words, right in the middle of my Christmas playlist. From the song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” something about that phrase struck me. I don't think I've ever truly listened to that song and I had definitely never heard that line. And it moved me to tears.

I kept playing those words in my head.

God is not dead nor does He asleep.

When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem that inspired this song, he had just lost his wife, our country was in the middle of a civil war, and his son had enlisted against his father’s wishes.

You can feel the weight of his distraught in this line:

And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Am I the only one that feels that very same thing right now? Am I the only one afraid to look at the news or even browse the internet for fear of more bad news?

It’s hard to bear, the amount of tragedy wrecking our country and the world. Especially during a season that is all about light and hope and love.

I think of us now, evil and terror striking again and again. I think of Longfellow 150 years ago, drowning in loss and war and pain. I think of the people 2,000 years ago, awaiting a Savior in a time when God seemed silent.

The struggle is universal and transcends time. The longing for peace in the midst of chaos and fear and turmoil. The ache for rescue. The need for good.

That is why Advent is everything, now more than ever. In a tumultuous time, I pray we remember that there is a something that gives this life purpose, a Rescuer who has overcome the dark that causes shadow in our lives and hearts.

This season is dedicated to preparing our hearts for Christmas, a time to celebrate His coming. But it is also a time to remember that He is alive and He is coming again.

And I think that’s the hope we need to take hold of right now.

Beyond the shiny decorations and fancy gifts of the season, this is the truth that matters, the truth this world needs, especially at this very moment.

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor does He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

May that sink in this Advent season. May we believe that He came to bring peace on Earth, even when it feels lost. May we remember that He has brought light, even when the all feels dark. May He reign in our hearts so we may carry His hope into a world that so desperately needs it.

[Have a listen of the song here.]


erin_bioErin is a writer and photographer living in the heart of Illinois. She's a free spirit, has adventure in her bones, and believes in soulful living.  She writes at www.erinwestermeyer.com.

 

 

 


Maeve again.What a powerful reminder. It's so true how in times of turmoil, pain and distress God can seem silent. He can seem so far away. I've loved how despite the heartache, this season is a gentle reminder that He is not only close but lives out loud in our hearts. Can you feel it too?

Leave Erin some love below.