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When I was little, I loved looking at the rain.

I’d watch the raindrops scoot their way down the side car window as I leaned in close, my breath warming the glass pane. If it was raining hard, I’d see the raindrops race each other down, and I’d trace their path with my finger to see who would win.

I liked sitting in the backseat. It was my quiet little corner in the big wide world.  And I was happy.

Sometimes, if Mom was driving us back home at night, I’d look out to try and find the moon. We lived in the city, so the moon was the best of what was left of nature’s skyline. There was too much city light pollution. We couldn’t see the stars.

But, back home, I’d look outside my bedroom curtains. And sometimes, if it was very, very late and I wasn’t asleep, I might find one or two stars. Twinkling.

Longing for Hope

Life is a journey. Sometimes night isn’t something we see with our eyes, but something we experience in our hearts when we wait too long . . . for something we hope for. A dream. A passion, a child, or a home.

Sometimes, we find our footsteps on an unexpected journey of silence . . . when we’re prayed and prayed . . . for someone we hope would be our friend. Our sister, mother, our father, or husband.

It is times like this, we may find it difficult to find hope alive, lit and new. Even though — like the moon and the stars we know God placed above us in the heavens — sometimes, we just can’t see it.

Jesus knows this longing for hope to be made new.

Jesus understands this journey to find the light — and our need for courage to move towards this light.

This light is hope.

A New Journey

It was with hope God sparked a special star one dark night. It was so bright that men from the opposite ends of the world — the East — could see it. Yet, this light was also placed somewhere no one else would notice it. Except by the wise men — the magi.

The star was a quiet, glimmering sparkle.

Is this real?  Should I go? I imagine the magi asking.

These are questions we may be asking ourselves. Yet at the time, only silence echoed back. Except one thing didn’t fade. This light kept shining. Inviting them to follow.

This star — this light — invited them to go on a new journey. Away from life as they knew it.

How about you?

Has God put a light on your journey this Christmas. Hope?

Dreams Not Forgotten

Even though we may have given up hope — in the most quiet ways — on the dreams and people that no one else would know about — God knows. God sees.

God has kept everything we’ve waited for in our lives and in our prayers — dreams maybe we let slip through our fingers.

God has not forgotten. God has heard your prayers.

God has heard your voice. Calling out to Him in the night.

Not one of us is left out of this invitation to hope. To follow the star of Christmas in our hearts. Every year, we are called to make this journey — to find Christmas reborn in us once more.

Advent Whispers to You

Hear God whisper lovingly to you —

I remember . . . .you’ve been waiting . . .

for love,

for kindness,

for provision,

for healing.  emotional. physical.

I remember . . . you’ve been praying . . .

for circumstances to change,

for a reversal of chaos of this world,

because things are not the way they’re supposed to be.

I remember . . . you.

Despite the way things appear, God is not silent in the silence.

Look. I’m here.

Listen. Let Me love you.

I am your Light.  I am your hope. I will carry you.

Though the journey is paved with sunrises and sunsets, dusk and dawning, trials and long days, God is faithful.

Hope is the first Advent theme for week one.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure . . . which Jesus has entered for us.”
{Hebrews 6:19-20}

How is God calling you on a new journey of hope this Christmas — taking shape in your heart — where you carry silent prayers?

Take some time this week to experience Advent with Jesus.

  • Pour out your heart to Him from pen to paper. Journal. Write a letter to Him.
  • Light a candle and simply let God whisper to you in the silence.
  • Sit and listen to your favorite Christmas carol after the house is quiet, and let that song be a prayer.
  • Pause right now and pray. Give yourself permission to note where you are in your story this year entering into Christmas.  May your desires, sorrows, or hopes become your unspoken prayer right now with Jesus.

“Now the magi from the east arrived saying, ‘We saw His star in the east and have come’. . . and the star went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.”
{Matthew 2:1,9,10}

by Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista and author of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.  Join Bonnie’s special One Word Advent Series on her blog this month.

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Bonnie,
    God is not silent in the silence. I know God hears the prayers that I pray in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. I know that He sees and hears the desires of my heart. Yet, often there is silence. Thank you for the reminder that hope is born anew this Christmas. If God can become God made man for our redemption…then nothing is impossible for Him. I’ll look at the stars and be reminded of this hope. Thank you…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • http://www.heartchoices.com Debbie

    Thank you Bonnie for the reminder that God knows the dreams in my heart. I haven’t blogged in a while on Heart Choices but I knew I had to link up with you today to write about HOPE. I loved reading your words of hope. You provided encouragement to me today and I thank you. Only He knows the intimate desires of my heart and I was able to write about my prayers.

  • Kristine Brown MTY

    Your words spoke directly to my heart today, Bonnie. Yes, we all have dreams we may have let slip away. It’s so good to be reminded that God hasn’t forgotten about us. That He sees us each and every moment. And even more than that, He is there with us. Thank you for this reminder today:)

  • http://dougspurling.blogspot.com/ Doug Spurling

    Oh how I know this all too well, “Sometimes night isn’t something we see with our eyes, but something we experience in our hearts” …yet, “In Christ alone my
    hope is found,

    He is my light, my
    strength, my song…”

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Thank you for this post, Bonnie. As I pondered the questions you offer at the end, I’m reminded of how much God has given each of us. And yet, it’s easy to let go of hope and grip discouragement.

    I loved these words: “God has kept everything we’ve waited for in our lives and in our prayers — dreams maybe we let slip through our fingers.

    God has not forgotten. God has heard your prayers.

    God has heard your voice. Calling out to Him in the night.”

    There is great comfort knowing God keeps everything, even those things we let slip through our fingers. Thanks for this, and for the call to embrace Jesus during the Advent season.

  • Julie

    So beautifully written! I love advent and the way it helps me focus on Christ. I did not grow up practicing advent, but my husband and I light a candle everyday and read an advent devotional. It is the most meaningful thing we do during the month of December. It was important to me to read your words of how God has not forgotten us or left us alone in our longings, our hopes, our disappointments and our prayers. It reminds me of an advent reading; the author wrote about how God answered Zechariah’s prayer in the midst of doing the work he was called to do. He always shows up.

  • http://www.straitjacketmama.wordpress.com Sarah Lee

    I’m so glad God knows the dreams we’ve had, even if we give up on them. Some of my dreams seem too far-fetched, reading your words today give me hope to not give up on them. Thank you.

  • http://freedtofly.me Trudy Den Hoed

    I especially love those Advent whispers from God, Bonnie. They grip the longings of my soul. He remembers us and longs for us to listen to Him. To open our hearts to let Him love us. He delights in giving us hope in Him. Thank you so much for these loving reminders. Praying God will fill you with hope and peace this Advent season!

  • http://www.welcomeheart.com Sue Donaldson

    Hmm. I didn’t expect to cry this morning. I don’t think it’s only bec our new puppy got me up four times in the night (altho maybe.) I think it’s because you said He understands our waiting and our hoping. And sees and knows and remembers all our prayers – even the ones we’ve forgotten we prayed. Thanks, bonnie. You’re a gem.

  • Lisa

    Great ideas, Bonnie. Thanks for emphasizing the Hope we have in Christ.

  • http://dougspurling.blogspot.com/ Doug Spurling

    “Is this real? Should I go? I imagine the magi asking.” I know have, still do. Yet the one thing remains. The star keeps shining through the dead of night…and gives hope

  • Beth Williams

    Bonnie,

    God isn’t silent in the silence. God has kept everything we’ve waited for in our lives and in our prayers. God has not forgotten. God has heard your prayers. It is easy to forget and lose hope in the waiting! I have felt this for too long now. Wondering, questioning, asking. My desire this Advent is to be near God and feel Him intimately! This year more than ever I need Him and His love! Been rough patch for few years!
    Blessings :)

  • Penny

    Bonnie,

    You are always inspiring to me. Thank-you for your beautiful flow of words.

    Blessings to you,,

    Penny

  • MelAnn

    Bonnie,
    “I remember” ! Think I will savor this whisper from my God. My whole Advent is being upturned (in a good and surprising way) this year. It all began as I wrestled with my cynicism of hope and asked God for a wee sign that He really did see me (my trying circumstances I’ve been waiting in for a long time) and then how beyond a shadow of doubt listened to HIs tailor-fit message to me through the pastor’s sermon on the first Sun. morning of advent. Yes, I needed courage to move toward the light of hope. This post continues the blessing & renewed hope for me this week.

  • Miriam

    This is beautiful and so true. He knows those silent and unspoken hopes I have in my heart that I’m desperately trying to hold onto. I know He is faithful and able and He has not forgotten me.

  • Nancy Ruegg

    “Though the journey is paved with sunrises and sunsets, dusk and dawning, trials and long days, God is faithful.” This statement of yours, Bonnie, reminded me that I have to face this reality: the hopes and dreams I hold dear may not be what God has in store for me. But my spirit says, that’s OK, because what HE has planned will serve a greater purpose. Now if my emotions will just stay lined up with my spirit!