A Birth-Day Celebration

A Christmas Exploration // Week 5

🕯️ Today we light the Christ candle. This white candle symbolizes purity and light. It reminds us of the reason we celebrate on Christmas Day—a baby, a Savior, the Light of the World!

“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬-‭14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

🕯️ Can you imagine the excitement that Bethlehem night?

Angels proclaim,
Stars light up the night,
Heavenly voices sing,
Praise God!

A birthday celebration from Heaven above to earth below—
Today we join the song the angels sing—worshiping Jesus, giving glory to the King of Kings!

🕯️ God we give you all the glory and praise!
Thank you for the greatest gift that has ever been given—the gift of your son, Jesus.

Love & Adoration

A Christmas Exploration // Week 4

🕯️This week we light the fourth Advent candle. This purple candle stands for the Gift of Love, given from a Holy God—Love sent to Earth, His Name is JESUS.

As we light this candle, we remember that because Jesus came and gave His life for each one of us, now we can receive the Love of God & we will live out that love every day of the year.

🕯️For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

🕯️Here we are, in what one of the most notorious Christmas songs describes as “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year “ & if we’re being honest, maybe instead of wonder-ful it feels a little weary-full.

We’re bone-tired from all the festivities and what we really need is rest.

The real kind —where your heart & soul find the strength to go on.

Let the words fall from your lips, “Jehovah Shalom—the Lord is Peace.”

Lean in and let the shepherd of your soul lift the weight off your shoulders and carry you.


Abba Father, we worship You because of who You are.

You are mighty in every situation, the loving Father we can run to, the Counselor we can trust with our every need.

You are our Prince of Peace—leading us to the peace our soul needs.

What a wonderful Savior! We love and adore you, Abba!

Joy & Expectation

A Christmas Exploration // Week 3

🕯️This week we light the third candle of Advent. This pink candle symbolizes the joy of our salvation and reminds us that as Christ came into this world as a baby, now we can experience the joy of His presence forever.

You have multiplied the nation
And increased its joy;
They rejoice before You
According to the joy of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For You have broken the yoke of his burden
And the staff of his shoulder,
The rod of his oppressor,
As in the day of Midian.

Isaiah 9:3&4

🕯️ Imagine what Mary must’ve experienced, so young & innocent, yet chosen. Chosen to do a thing so hard.

“How can this be?”

Nearly more than one could handle.

“May your word to me be fulfilled”.

& Joseph—the questions , the doubts, the fears…

Can I trust? God, are you there?

Yet, Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary as his wife.

Often times the battle within takes over & we forget


The Victory…Already Won!

So, let the weight of expectation turn to Holy Anticipation, let defeat turn to surrender & mourning to Joy unspeakable.

🕯️ Father God, we thank You that You are near to the lost, near to the broken-hearted, near to someone like me.

God, I pray that this season would redefine our joy—that we would each remember true joy is found, not in the “perfect” holiday season, not by everything going the way we expected, but may we find our joy in You, Jesus, the same way you take joy in each of us, your children, today.

We’re so grateful we can call You our Lord & Savior, and we worship You today with joy in Your presence, in belonging to You & that You call us a child of God.

Peace & Preparation

A Christmas Exploration // Week 2

🕯️This week we light the second candle of Advent & it reminds us that as we wait for Christmas day to arrive we can experience peace along the way. As the candle is lit —may our hearts burn with Hope & Expectation, Peace & Preparation.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:7 NKJV

🕯️The tree is prepared. The calendar is filled. The shopping lists are made. The cookies are baked. The gifts are…almost?

Ok, we’re preparing. We are in process of being prepared…now what?

Now we wait.

This year for Christmas, we have a time and it is defined. But what about the other pieces of our lives? Just like God’s people all those years ago, sometimes we have a promise to go on…& that is everything.

No time line.

No answers.

No explanation.

Just a Promise & a Savior—and that’s more than enough.

Today let’s believe together in faith and trust in—not what I can do, but in everything God can do—that it’s more than enough in your life and the lives of those we love. His Word is true.

Let’s prepare our hearts to receive His promise this season.

🕯️God, we wait. We wait for you.

With peace & and a promise we stretch our faith

& wait for you. Amen.

Hope & Expectation

A Christmas Exploration // Week 1

🕯️ This week we light the first candle of Advent. We set aside this time each year to prepare our hearts not only for celebrating and receiving, but for reflecting on what The Father has given—hope and faith, peace, love & joy.

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

Isaiah 9:2

🕯️ When we’re looking at the future of our family, we set our hope and expectation on Jesus. We are grafted into the family of God. Only He sees the end from the beginning & our hopes are filled in Christ alone. As we walk through this season, may we look with expectation on (not humans, not the perfect family, not expectations on others) God alone—Maker of Heaven and Earth. Know that He made you, He loves you, and He invites you to walk through this time and experience Hope in Him this season.

🕯️ Father, may we ever be reminded of your nearness as we walk through the dark shadows of unrealistic expectations & into your glorious light. For in that place—our souls will thrive, a space where Hope resides. Amen.

Lasting treasure takes time…

My husband & I love to walk in our neighborhood, the architecture of the older homes spark great conversation. He notices structure—I notice beauty.

Did their grandma always plant sunflowers in her garden? Was turquoise her favorite color as a child? Did he always dream of a home like this…

All the while he’s over there doing the math & taking mental measurements—wondering how long it took to build & if it has a slab foundation or block…

Is it built to last?

The material we use matters.

The attention to detail matters too.

Lasting treasure takes time…

one breath at a time.

one day at a time,

one brick at a time,

one seed at a time,

one grain of sand at a time,

There are no shortcuts.

This one’s for the sister who feels like the season you’re in will never end & everything feels like a lot & are we really going to make it through…

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

Understanding, you’re my closest friend…

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”‬‬

James‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭NIV

So many times, we hit a situation in our lives and feel like we need a person to come alongside us and sort it out.

We don’t know what to do so we call, text, and social media. (Help us, Jesus!)

Maybe we’re looking for affirmation in our decision-making, distraction from our difficulties, consolation for our pain.

But these patterns will always leave us empty.

Even our best friend can’t take His place in our lives.

So, let’s get the wisdom of God in every situation—

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

If you’re looking for an answer…

Look no further.

If you need a friend to confide…

The door is open.

Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.

She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.””

Proverbs‬ ‭4:5-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Wisdom you are my sister…

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”

and call insight your intimate friend…

Proverbs 7:4

I was delighted to find out the writer of Proverbs valued the character & essence of a woman. The father (Solomon) counsels his son to have a deeply connected relationship with the Word of God as one would with his sister.

What a beautiful description of the heart of God!

How He desires us to love & honor His Word—like we would an older, wiser sister.

There’s something very special about the women in our lives that are more seasoned. They offer a perspective that can only come from living & walking through real life.

Wisdom doesn’t come instantly, it’s a process.

We gain it as we go, as we grow.

Wisdom begins and ends with knowing Him.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:5

Wisdom gives.

Wisdom listens.

Wisdom encourages.

Wisdom heals.

Father, may our hearts be set on you—always asking for Your guidance, always looking for Your wisdom in every season of our lives.

Wisdom Is…

The Parable of the Wise Man & the Foolish Man {Matthew 7:24-29}

Hidden Treasures series ~ The Pearl Community

I’ve heard it said that wisdom is doing now what you’re going to be happy with later.

To me, wisdom is a tricky concept because we often associate it with words that come from other humans—a sage proverb, advice from an elder, words of king and court.

In this moment in history, the one thing I believe and stand by is that Truth and Wisdom can’t be rooted and grounded in any of those things. Eventually, they’ll all let us down. Here for us one day and gone the next.

So where can wisdom be found & what is it truly?

There’s only one place I can always go…

The Words in Red.

When Jesus spent time with people—talking to them, teaching them things, and healing the brokenness in their lives—it wasn’t long before they followed him everywhere.

One day He saw a crowd of those people and went to a mountainside to talk to them—everybody at one time. All of them…& all of us.

He talked about what “blessing” is and where it comes from,

Everyday things like salt in the kitchen and light from a lamp in our house,

He tackled big things like law-keeping and hearts that hold anger,

Things that we do with our love and our hate,

The words of our mouth, the actions of our hands,

The way we treat our enemies when they act hurtfully toward us,

The way we treat the poor & needy,

The way we pray & fast—and how we act while we’re doing it,

What treasure actually is & where to find it,

How to deal with worry,

What happens when we judge,

He gave us all—permission to ask

—invitation to enter through the gate

—clarity to see true things from false

…& then—He says this:

{THEREFORE} everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:24-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Maybe today your house feels blown and beaten. The storm is raging, murky flood waters swirl outside your door, and all you hear is wind, rain, and the voices of uncertainty and doubt.

Oh, love—

Today rest assured. Your house is still standing.

Your foundation is strong.

It’s nothing you built & nothing you can control.

Your foundation is the Rock—JESUS.

This week, if you’re feeling the storm, go back to these words in red. (All the ones mentioned can be found in the Sermon on the Mount starting in Matthew 5) I’ll be right there with you.

Let’s speak these words today—over our lives, our homes, our communities, our nation, our world—

“It is well.”

Treasures New & Old

Sitting here this morning on my veranda I’m surrounded by little treasures that remind me of my granny. The glider my grandpa bought her, the painted rocks that we all painted for her garden, fresh blackberries, ivy that covered the back of their stone house, flowers—always flowers…

She would’ve loved today, a cool summer morning —perfect for sitting outside. Sharing slow conversation about years past, lessons learned, disappointments, & treasured memories.

I’d give anything to have one more day with her.

I didn’t always recognize it then, but in this season of life it’s so clear to me that our experiences & the people we share it are what shape us.

Last week Nicki shared the disciples response to Jesus when He asked them if they understood what He was teaching them through The Parable of the Net Matthew 13:47-50 & how quickly they replied “Yes”!

They couldn’t possibly understand the fullness of what they were a part of! Just like we can’t always fully understand the impact we make on others lives in real time.

I think there’s purpose in that, a kind of grace. Perhaps if we knew the depth of it, we’d try to be too perfect.

& real, messy, beautiful treasure would be lost.

“…the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

Matthew 13:52b {Hidden Treasure series, The Pearl Community}

So sisters, we take along with us old treasure into the new—we gather memories like those stones we painted for Granny’s garden & pass them onto the next generation.

This past weekend marked two years since we said goodbye to Granny this side of Heaven. We’re still unpacking what she left behind. Just this morning my mama texted saying she was making banana pudding & cutting up watermelon, Granny’s summer go-to’s!

Nearly everyday I catch myself doing something that I know came from her—how I often find myself humming random hymns, the urgency I feel to share my faith with others, the way I pray for my children & grandchildren while falling asleep at night, naming them one by one—asking Jesus to hold them close & keep them safe.

All this—a reminder that discipleship happens in all kinds of ways.

In homes, at tables, on verandas…

This week I hope you’ll take time to remember the ways God uses your past—the people, the places, the things to prepare you for what He has in store!