Celebrate to Wake Up!

Can you picture a Papa watching His little girl learn to walk. See His hands stretched out before her, beckoning her to “come!”. Can you feel the excitement in the air as she rises, holding onto the edge of the table for support. There’s a tinge of fear and trembling, but her longing to please her Papa and to see His smile of pride wins out. She takes her first step toward Him with a huge smile spreading across her face, as she sees His eyes glowing in pride.

Now imagine that little girl is you – taking your first step in obedience toward something new He has called you to do – and that the Papa is your Abba Father, your Heavenly Father. Imagine yourself awaking and arising to His love and pride in you in a new way.

And now imagine it’s not just you and your Abba Papa there. Imagine you are surrounded by other toddlers, who are longing to take that first step too, but who are chained to the ground in fear. Now watch them, watch you and your Abba Papa. And see them begin to awake and arise to their Papa’s “come!” also. It’s like they’ve just been waiting for you to go first. 

In watching you celebrate in your Papa’s arms, as He twirls you around, they begin to long for that too, suddenly realizing it’s a possibility for them too – that this Papa they’ve been much too afraid to trust will not let them fall either, but catch them and lift them up high too. That He will celebrate each one of His beloved children, as they wake up to celebrate Him in every step they take toward Him! 

Can you tell what my One Word (or two 😂) is for next year? Yep, you guessed it:

WAKE UP!

This year God commanded me to CELEBRATE Him. He commanded me to look back on my life and acknowledge His grace to me at every turn. He commanded me to rejoice in His ever present love threaded through my whole life story, and to open my eyes to see how He has been weaving my story into a much bigger tapestry and family.

And oh the JOY this has brought me and continues to bring me daily – to praise Him for His grace to me. Yes, my JOY (Jesus) is daily arising inside of me and surrounding me with His Body to give me fresh strength to face each new day and even my new chronic heart condition (that made its first appearance in February this year, with a definitive diagnosis in September) in hope and trust.

Now, He is inviting me to WAKE UP in this year to come. To listen for and heed His every call to me to “come!” that I might – again and again – run into the new to find His arms ready to catch me and lift me high, with His eyes sparkling in love and pride.

But He’s told me this Word is not just for me – but that He’s about to WAKE UP so many more through me, as I take those steps toward Him in fresh trust and surrender. 

So, here’s to a 2022 of WAKING UP to celebrate Jesus more and more. Not just through my and Bettie’s sharing with you here, but in every step I take toward my Abba Papa, into the new with Him – so that He might WAKE UP many more through me.

Oh how I love You, Papa! I am so excited to see all You have planned for this year to come. For Your Word tells me: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” Show us Your glory, oh LORD! Reveal Yourself in us, precious Jesus! Wake up! Prove Yourself in our hearts and in our midst. For it’s no longer we who live – it’s You! Arise and shine, Beloved Jesus – You are mine and I am Yours forevermore!

The sketch my teacher – a Catholic nun – gave me as a goodbye present in Germany on the eve of my departure from the only place I knew as home, as an almost 10 year-old. It turned up hidden in a box yesterday, as we tidied our office to make room for our youngest daughter to take it over as her new bedroom. That was the day I published Bettie’s piece – Carried On Eagle’s Wings – and her chosen song that was incidentally a song I sung tears streaming as a teenager walking through trauma – before/as I began my long Prodigal journey. You can read more about that precious teacher of mine and the Promise of God contained in this sketch of hers here: That We Might Acknowledge Christ Before Man.
Psalm 35: 27-28 CJB

But may those who delight in my righteousness
shout for joy and be glad!
Let them say always, “How great is Adonai,
who delights in the peace of his servant!”
Then my tongue will tell of your righteousness
and praise you all day long.

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