How are you feeling this week? It's been a week since Thanksgiving, and a lot has changed, at least in my neck of the woods. On Thanksgiving I looked forward to seeing the kiddos on Monday, then Saturday came. Our school is doing virtual instruction for two weeks because the COVID numbers are high. I am bummed. My heart breaks for the kids, their parents, and all the educators. If I focus on the loss then I'm overcome with grief. I can't even imagine how our parents and students are feeling.
It's in these moments when it's the most challenging to remain joyful and hopeful yet this is the most joy-filled and hope-filled time of year, it's Advent. The days and weeks leading up to Christmas. We shouldn't be have heightened stress, unknowns, and darkness. This is a season of Light, the Light of Jesus Christ. Yet, in this season of light, the darkness wants to swallow us whole. I won't let the darkness win and neither should you. A verse came to mind, John 8:12, says "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." This is truth, a truth I need to pray each day.
As we move forward in this Advent season, with COVID dictating how we can live and celebrate, remember: the "experts", scientists, and politicians have our health and best interest at the forefront of their decision making. We can't change COVID. We can't change the decisions they make pertaining to our ability to go to work, the store, or congregate BUT we do have the ability and choice to FOCUS ON GOD and ALL THE GOOD and BLESSINGS IN OUR LIVES! It may be more difficult to celebrate and be joyful yet this is exactly what we all need to be doing.
We aren't called to let the darkness win, we are Christ's ambassadors. Let us each shine brightly and share joy and happiness with everyone we meet. Let joy be contagious. Let hope spread. Let the love and light of Jesus illuminate the darkness.
How are you sharing JOY this holiday season?
In January 2020 I started to outline my first devotional. In February 2020, God made changes to "my" idea and inspired me. I spent weeks changing the outline and focus. The next few months I researched, prayed, wrote, and repeated until I sent it to my proofreader and editor. The days waiting to hear from her were long yet I started my next writing project while I waited.
The summer was spent making revisions, sharing with the proofreader and editor again, until the final draft was finished. Next, it was time to format the book. Multiple proofs reviewed online and sent to the house. These steps are tedious and, often, more important than the writing. If your book doesn't look good, it may never leave the shelf to go home with a reader. As the new school year started, final revisions and formatting reached completion and then it was time to wait.
This is the time to plan and organize the book release and book promotion tour. Prior to COVID, this would consist of reaching out to book stores, libraries, and other organizations for opportunities to speak and hold book signings. Due to COVID, most, if not all of these things can't happen right now. It's time to get creative.
My first devotional is an Easter devotional, set to release in January so readers can have it in their hands for the start of Lent in February. I have a few ideas running through my head and need to firm them up. If you think of it while doing your prayers, could you pray for clarity and direction in how to organize a fun and successful book launch for my first devotional? Thank you in advance.
As you move into this first week of Advent, remember to take time to pray and reflect on Jesus' coming - first as a baby and then again when He returns to bring us all to our Eternal home. Have a wonderful week and may God bless you abundantly!
COVID can't stop us, we need to be more creative!
If you are readinig this then you survived Thanksgiving and a virtual Black Friday! I heard "I can't do this one more day." and "I'll never survive this Thanksgiving." or statements similar to this too many times prior to Thanksgiving. There were moments I felt defeated too yet I know Who holds my tomorrows in His hands and have hope to see each one of them.
We have a choice to make. We can trust God or we can trust the scientists and politicians. Who will you trust today? I choose to trust God. In this moment we are faced with a surplus of negatives and closed doors. You weren't sure you could survive a COVID Thanksgiving, yet you did. You weren't sure you could teach, parent & teach, or work remotely BUT you have! You have the ability, determination, and strength to be and do whatever you are called, gifted, and blessed to do.
I encourage you to TRUST GOD each day and let Him LEAD, GUIDE, AND INSPIRE you. Today is a new day and it's the day you need to turn a page into the positive outlooks of how you can bless others and encourage them despite COVID. Share love, happiness, and joy with everyone you meet - whether it's in the grocery store, check out line, driving, pumping gas, or dropping off the garbage. You have the power of the Holy Spirit to be the catalyst of hope the people in your circle of influence need.
Let go and let GOD LEAD! TRUST GOD and the direction He leads you.
What does trusting God "look" like to you?
As I searched for today's graphic I saw this one and knew it was perfect. Some may find it a reminder of all we are missing yet it speaks to me differently. Instead of trying to forget all you are missing, focus on all you still have.
We may not be able to have an overcrowded home BUT we can still connect with our family and friends via phone, text, social media, hangouts, and video conferencing. It's new way and experience. COVID is here and won't be gone any time soon. Let's talk about it, voice our concern, and choose to find the opportunities that celebrate family, friends, life, and change.
Next year when the house is full, the to do-lists are long, and travel expense are high - may we remember not to complain but to be thankful after a year of missing these very things.
Thank you for following the blog, listening to my podcast, reading my books, inviting me to speak at your events, and shopping through my Epicure website. I look forward to hearing how you embraced and celebrated the opportunities this year!
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323