He’s doing a new thing
See, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
In the wilderness I make a way,
in the wasteland, rivers.
With God’s grace, all things are possible.
Our God is creative, He is generous, He is thoughtful, and He is always with us. These truths are never more evident than in this Christmas season. Our God, the creator of the universe, sent His Son to be with us, to bring us hope, and to renew our lives.
Every year at this time, when Mariah Carey comes back on the radio and Christmas movies are queued up again, we experience a profound nostalgia for Christmases past. We have favorite traditions, events, and parties. There are expectations, fears of disappointment, and missing people who might no longer be with us. We look back with shining eyes and longing hearts.
But God is doing a new thing.
Each Advent, we reflect on our sufferings, we dig into our endurance, we ponder our character, and we lean into hope. In these next four days leading up to Christmas, let’s bring this deeper intimacy we have cultivated through this month of intentional prayer to continue to grow closer to Him. God came to us so that we could come to Him. God is with us, and we are with Him. That’s the spirit and the joy and the grace of Christmas.
Let God do a new thing in your life this week, this season, and this year. As things speed up, protect the first 15 minutes of the day for him. Read the Gospel, offer a Rosary, or just close your eyes and invite Him in to speak to your heart. Give Him the gift of your time. Reveal to Him your sufferings. Ask Him for grace. And live in joyful expectation that He will do a new thing in and for you.
Pray with me…
Lord, thank you for this season of Advent. As we enter into Christmas, help me to make time to get quiet with you. Increase my desire for intimacy with you. Please help me be a light to my family and friends, to encourage them with the truth of Your goodness, and to live in joyful expectation of your promises. Jesus, I give you permission to surprise me. I give you permission to love me. And I give you permission to do a new thing in and through me. Amen.
Episode 64: Home for the Holidays, Hospitality, and Etiquette with Alison Chepardek – listen here
- One of my very favorite people is on this week and I’m SO excited to share her and her wisdom with you! Alison is the founder of Elevate Etiquette, and she loves sharing tips and tricks to help everyone feel more confident, polished, and gracious. In this episode, we talk about the common pitfalls of heading home for the holidays, how to be gracious and kind while maintaining boundaries, how to answer those tricky (sometimes painful!) questions about our state in life, and so much more! She also offers fabulous advice about becoming a better host (and she’s the best party planner I know!) I’m so excited for you to hear from her today.
- You can learn more about Alison and Elevate Etiquette on their website here and through Instagram here.
Prayer for the Holidays
- It can be SO hard to make time for prayer during this busy time, and it can be even harder to know where to start. I recommend trying Jesus Calling, which offers daily reflections for prayer as well as scripture to deepen the prayer. Just google “Jesus Calling December XX” with the date and you can find all of the reflections online for free! Here is a link to today’s reflection.
- Another great way to enter into prayer is to go to your local church and sit in front of the nativity scene. Imagine that you are there, on that night. Which one of the people would you be? What would your life be like? How would you have received the news that the savior of the world is being born in this stable, this place which is so ordinary and dirty and simple? Allow the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer here.
- For a friend’s father recently diagnosed with cancer, for his complete healing
- For all those who are away from family this Christmas
- For our families
- For our own virtue, that we might be loving and generous to those we encounter this season
If you or a loved one need prayers, just reply to this email or reach out and I’ll include them in next week’s newsletter!
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Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.