I’ve been trying to incorporate silence & solitude into my daily spiritual practice. To be completely honest, I find it really difficult to sit alone in the stillness of the morning, warm coffee in hand, and wait on Jesus. It’s challenging to stop the flood of thoughts, ideas and tasks of the day from completely taking over. Despite the distractions, I do my best to recenter myself and repeat a simple prayer – “Jesus I’m here and I’m listening”. Some days are better than others, but I am committed to continue.

One thing I’ve discovered about this quiet time with Jesus is that once I let go of my need to achieve and perform, I discover that God’s love for me is unconditional. It’s not about what I do, it’s simply about who I am. I’ve been learning to rest in this place of love and it’s changing me. This may seem simple to you, but I’ve found it difficult at times to find my identity solely in being a child of God. It’s much easier to gauge my value on what I can accomplish, produce and what others say about me. In order to take this posture with Jesus, you need to stare down your internal world- the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s way easier to just stay busy and ignore the internal work that needs to be done. It’s difficult to invite Jesus into the tough stuff that we’d rather not acknowledge lurks beneath the surface. The crazy thing is that as we face our true selves, invite Jesus to meet us there and bring healing, we end up finding a true sense of peace and joy. We discover the depth of the love of God for us, and are able to gain a new perspective of who we are and the work of God around us. This is the soil for real JOY to grow and take root in our lives. Joy not as a reaction to external circumstances, but originating in our acceptance and experience of God’s Love.

This Christmas, I pray that you’re able to experience the true JOY of Jesus. The kind of joy that comes from deep inside you, as you recognize the unconditional love of God and the beautiful gift of Jesus many years ago! This is where true identity is found and Joy blossoms, that God loves us so much he sent Jesus to save us, establish his kingdom, and invite us to join him in his work! I think that’s great news – worth celebrating. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have delivered.
Psalm 71:23