{re}focus your eyes to the Light

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Celebrating Advent on {a shiny reflection} Together!

“Let every heart prepare Him room.”

Thanksgiving has officially passed. My kitchen has been tidied up, our refrigerator is full of wonderful left-overs, the dishes are put away, and my heart is gearing up for the joyous season of Christmas.  In my house, we pull out our decorations this weekend. The tree is trimmed, and our Christmas music is playing throughout the house. The smell of cider is warming on the stove and I have a spring in my step. I truly adore this time of year.

Christmastime is filled to the brim with all things wonderful. The gifts, the time spent with family, the parties, and the school programs. I get caught up in the red cups from Starbucks, the peppermint Jo-Jo’s  from Trader Joe’s, the wrapping of gifts, and watching my favorite holiday movies.  We love going ice skating, making ginger-bread houses, and making cookies to pass out to the neighbors. I love the traditions handed down from my family, and the new ones my husband and I have created for our little family. It’s all too much for me to contain my excitement! Let the festivities begin!

Just as we adorn our home with the sparkle of lights and tinsel, we need to make ready our hearts for the coming of our King. Celebrating advent is something I have grown to love over the years. Growing up as a child our dear church set out a beautiful advent wreath with five candles set in the middle. Each Sunday a family was chosen to read aloud verses from different passages in the Bible. I will never forget when our family was selected to share advent with the congregation. My mom and I read a portion of scripture, my brother lit the candle, and my dad prayed. That moment left an imprint on my heart.

When my husband and I celebrated our first Christmas as new parents, we knew we wanted to continue this tradition with our children. We were given a treasured book by my mother-in-law that first year of parenthood.  It is a book full of beautifully illustrated doors. The doors open to show a particular portion of the Christmas story in the Bible. Each day, a new door is opened and another portion of the story unfolds. Our kids love pulling out that well-worn book each year and open those precious little doors. They know the story by heart, but they still open each door with awe and wonder. It is a treasure to behold.

Advent is more than simply reading the Christmas story. It is reflecting upon the true purpose for Christ’s coming to earth in the form of an innocent little baby. Making room in our hearts through the reading of scripture reminds us of the journey Christ took from heaven with His father, to earth to be born in a manger, and then to the cross to die sacrificially for our sins. I would be so honored if you would join me (starting Monday, December 1st) each day until the 25th of December to set aside a quiet moment to prepare our hearts for the coming of that beautiful baby, God’s beloved Son. Every day I will post a portion of scripture, a thought or prayer, and a favorite Christmas song. It would be such a treat to work through this with you. If you are forgetful like me, you can subscribe to my blog and receive these daily verses directly into your inbox or you can follow me on Instagram @beckikcampbell.

Let’s refocus our eyes to the Light of the World. Let’s fix our gaze on our Savior, who for the joy set before him endured the cross. (Hebrews 12:2) He deserves our adoration during this glorious time of year…and everyday until we see him face-to-face in heaven.

Joy to the world- the Lord has come!!


{City On A Hill – It’s Christmas Time}

 

 

 

cultivate thankfulness

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives – words, actions, whatever – be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.     Colossians 3:15-17 MSG

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something new on the blog

 

I have just added a  newsletter {of sorts} that I will send out once in a while. I was thinking how fun it would be to share with you a bit of the “goings on” in my life behind the scenes. The newsletter will include recipes, stories, verses, and links to sites I love. It will also be a way I can get to know you. You can ask questions, share your story, or pass along verses that you find encouraging.

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I want you to know that I completely respect your privacy. I WILL NOT give away your email address to anyone. Cross my heart! I will be sending this newsletter out a few times a month. I promise not to flood your inbox.

The sign-up form is in the menu bar to the right. Feel free to join. I would love for you to be a part of it.

Blessings to you,

 beckisig

 

 

in the stillness

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It’s 2 am. The house is quiet, but I’m wake. It is dark all around except for the bluish glow of my computer screen. While my family sleeps peacefully, I find myself wrapped in a blanket in my little closet of an office. I feel the pull on my heart to be still, to soak in a moment to get into the Word. Not to let this moment go to waste….

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{re}purposed

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I’ve been really wrestling through the whole concept of who I am in Christ. Churning over scriptures, shifting through my heart, allowing God to bring me to a place of clarity.  This last week has been one where old fears and insecurities have resurfaced. The kind of fears that you thought you had finally worked through…only to have them seep back into the peripheral corners of your thoughts. When coming face to face with my struggles, especially in the area of fear, I have taught myself to try to locate the source. Just like a water leak that seeps through your ceiling after a rainstorm, I wanted to find out where these fears were flooding in from and how they were overtaking my heart. It was pretty easy to pin point where it started and when.  I just finally joined Facebook this last week. There have been many reasons why I procrastinated in jumping into the fray, but the biggest reason was due to a deep seeded weakness of mine that can really be amplified and fed in an arena like social media….

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having a crisis of identity

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 In the mirror all I see, is who I don’t want to be…

Remind me who I am…. 

If I’m Your beloved, can you help me believe it.”

~ Jason Gray REMIND ME WHO I AM

I’m having an identity crisis. Seriously. I truly struggle with my identity in Christ. How He sees me, how He loves me….not just knowing it, but  truly BELIEVING it. There is a big difference. I know what the word of God says about me. I have the verses taped around my house. It is taking that knowledge and letting it sink into my heart. The deep, deep place where conviction dwells. The “I know that I know, that I know, that I know…” place where I am certain beyond a reasonable doubt. I can wrap my finite little brain around God’s love, His grace, His mercy for OTHER people – but wrestle with how the same God who loves my neighbor actually sees ME. God’s infinite love is completely able to cover a multitude of sins for everyone else- but somewhere in me I struggle with how that also applies to myself. I know that is flawed theology. I know that is a flawed way of thinking about the Lord. It is a definite crisis of identity….

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is there room for one more?

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As I look outside, I can still see the leaves on my trees falling. Over in the corner is our Halloween candy waiting to be passed out. My kids have their costumes ready. I can’t believe I am already thinking of Christmas. It seemed just like last weekend where we were sitting outside in 90 degree weather with our shorts and flip-flops on. I know I’m not the only one…just last week Target began unloading boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. People are murmuring about what size turkey to buy, the best pumpkin pie recipes, Christmas lists, and getting their guests rooms ready. The red cups from Starbucks are out! It really isn’t too far away to begin to prepare for the upcoming season….

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a series of unfortunate events

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“I have to take a break. I am knee-deep in a sludgy mess of once frozen food. Meals I had lovingly planned out for my family are no longer edible. Meals I had hoped to pull out in a moment of need… now rotting in black trash bags at the curb. (sigh) I didn’t have time for this today. I didn’t plan for this to happen. I wasn’t ready. Instead of reading that great new book I bought as a reward for completing my home projects…I am wiping out a stinky fridge that reads 107 degrees. Instead of using the money in our savings account for a special little trip with my husband, we have to buy a new refrigerator. I am sad and I am discouraged. I just didn’t want this to happen today.” (from my journal entry on October 9th, 2014)

Do you wake up with a sense that a storm is on the horizon? That your day may need a little bit more prayer to make it through. Yesterday was one of those mornings. I woke up with a horrible headache; the kind that makes your neck, shoulders, and back ache as well. The flu. If that wasn’t enough, I wasn’t able to get my kids to school on time. Our garage has decided to intermittently work for the last week. By refusing to open, it has made our car it’s prisoner at the most inopportune times. The repair man arrived later that day with bad news in tow…the part will not be available for two weeks. Homework craziness, husband had to work late…I forgot to make my crock-pot dinner. It was 6 o’clock…everyone was hungry. Out came the cereal boxes…dinner of champions. Cheers all around!…

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don’t look down

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My mom said something to me once that has stayed with me all these years. She was waiting to pick me up outside my high school. When I got in the car she asked, “Why do you always walk with your head to the ground?  You never look up. Is there something bothering you?”  The tumultuous years of hormone-induced melancholy. As a parent of two teenagers- I completely get her concern for me at that point in my life. I was so myopic- so turned inward to the struggles I was facing. I couldn’t look up because I was so overwhelmed with my insecurities, my fears, and the drama that comes with being a teenager.

This is such a visual picture for me in my mind. Seeing my younger self hunched over with my hair hanging over my face as I walked through life. Letting the cares of the world weigh me down to the point where I couldn’t even lift my head from under it. I wish I could say that I no longer walk with my head down. I still struggle under the weight, at times, and I find my heart burdened and heavy when life throws me a curve ball….

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{practice} hospitality

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Does the thought of having people over make you feel completely over-whelmed? Do you feel like you do not have the time, money, or the creative ability to open up your home? Are you embarrassed that your home isn’t pretty enough to invite someone over for dinner?  You are welcome here!

Romans 12:9-16    Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

I LOVE the part in this scripture where it simply says:   Practice hospitality.  I am not a biblical scholar, nor do I play one on TV.   For my simple mind, practice can mean two things…don’t think- just do.  Or it can also mean…repeatedly performing the activity in order to improve.   I like both options, but I think the majority of us fall in the area of needing to practice rather than just doing.  Practicing requires you to be intentional.  Just like learning to ride a bike, you have to repeatedly get on that bike to get better at it.  You can’t just think about getting better- you have to put your feet on the pedals and push-off.  You may be wobbly at first, you may crash and burn…but you have to just get in there and do it.  After a while of hitting trees and parked cars- one day you will get on that bike and it will be smooth sailing.  Your practice will have paid off….

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