(Re-Blog) The Advent Door • Website

http://adventdoor.com/

https://theadventdoor.wordpress.com

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

An Illuminated Advent – 2021

ILLUMINATED 2021An Online Journey into the Heart of ChristmasNovember 28 – December 27 Beloved friends, I am thrilled to share the news that …

An Illuminated Advent – 2021

First Monday of Advent • 2022

November 28th, 2022

Annunciation

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.”

Luke 1:26-38 (NRSVCE)

Hello & Welcome,

Today is the first Monday of Advent and I will be following the traditional focus which is HOPE. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where others are telling you to keep “hope” alive or think to yourself, “there’s no hope.” Life has many twists and turns that can often happen at the most inconvenient times. When they do “how do you react?” Do you find yourself drawn into dark places or negativity, with your head spinning out ideas that are so outlandish they could never be true? What about being scared or afraid of consequences? I have personally experienced these things and lived through some that I never thought I would.

• I have lied, knowing it was wrong.

• I’ve cheated while in a relationship, knowing it was wrong.

• I have made very poor decisions that could have forever altered my life.

• I have believed I was not deserving of forgiveness or second chances.

• I have taken myself down some very dark paths.

• I’ve been so broken-hearted that I wanted to rip my heart right out of my chest. Grief that was seemed unbearable.

I now know the truth, the truth has set me free. I am, and so are you … a created being, created uniquely but God Himself. God has a plan for each of us and a purpose. We are human and we will mess up, but my friends there is hope, these is always hope. Our hope is in Christ alone. Sincerely seek God and His forgiveness and start over, again and again if that’s what it takes. You are so very loved!

What About Mary?

Can you even imagine the things that might have entered Mary’s mind when she encountered Gabriel and his message from God. Did she feel dark shadows surrounding her as her mind wondered what others would say? Did she fear for her life? Would Joseph believe her, becoming pregnant through the Holy Spirit? I am not sure I would have responded with Mary’s confidence but I can honestly say, I want to be like Mary.

Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

Luke 1:38a

Today look for moments of HOPE! See it for yourself, share it with others and provide opportunities to plant seeds of HOPE. I have a favorite sweatshirt that I wear often that simply says “Share Hope” with a background of the world on it.

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblegateway.com/

First Sunday of Advent • 2022

Hello & Welcome —

Advent season is upon us and I must admit I am looking forward to spending time in God’s Word allowing my anticipation of the journey to overwhelm me. In past seasons, I have been much more prepared as to what I would be reading and blogging about, not so much this year. I do have a book, “ Night Vision” written by Jan Richardson. I am reading it. My goal is not so much to regurgitate it back to you but to share myself with you as authentically as possible. So I hope you continue to follow me as I navigate my way through my unknown, my darkness because I know there is something on the horizon.

Advent is a season of preparation and anticipation of the birth of Jesus, as foretold in Scripture.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14

This Scripture points to the manner in which Jesus will be born, and also to one of the names given to him; Immanuel, meaning God with us. This was pointing to both his human birth and his divine nature. This scripture was written over 700 years before Christ was born.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

Micah 5:2

We know Jesus was born in Bethlehem and this Scripture tells us in advance the place Jesus would be born. This prophecy was written by Micah approximately 800 years before Christ was born.

It was the title of Jan Richardson’s book “Night Visions” that originally caught my attention. Back in January 2022, I decided that this year was going to be about “me” taking more time to focus on my interest and doing things I wanted to do as well as things that were out of my comfort zone. I have no regrets, God blessed me with some wonderful adventures that helped me to grow in directions I was not even fully aware of.

In January, I was able to travel to New Orleans, LA on a girls trip celebrating my friends 60th birthday.

In February, I traveled alone to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. Celebrated my baptism anniversary on February 28th (1982).

In March, I celebrated seventeen years of employment at a job I love.

In April thru June, I began searching for a new place to live and packing to move. Found a place, friends helped me move and yes, I’m still unpacking.

July was my birthday month of celebration and August was quiet and calm spending time with friends and family.

In September, I went to St. Louis, MO where I met several new friends. I had joined a team of women promoting breast cancer awareness and celebrating cancer survivors. BEST DECISION! Our team name is Team Boo Bees and we are part of a bigger group of amazing women’s organization called “ Pledge The Pink!” My life is forever changed since meeting them in September.

In October, I traveled to Fripp Island, S.C. along with 1499 other members of Pledge The Pink to walk 10 miles a day for 3 days, all to celebrating survivors, recognize and grieve those who were no longer with us. No one walks alone in this organization.

Here we are at November, it has been a tough month to navigate as inflation is still on the rise, holidays are in full tilt season. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, my heart is filled with memories of past holiday experiences. I still get that edgy feeling of excitement in my stomach around all the festivities of Christmas.

In many ways, it is looking back where I see the light. The unknown of the present and future can feel dark or at the very least difficult to navigate with squinting eyes. I want to see the light at the end of the tunnel and to get there I must move forward through what seems like utter darkness. This is advent to me, I know where the tunnel ends and that there will be light, Jesus is waiting there with open arms for me. He is there for everyone who accepts the journey.

My darkness may be entirely different from yours, no one persons darkness outweighs another. We all have different paths to travel and we all have something on the horizon, Jesus Christ.

Advent, as with salvation you simply come as you are, Jesus is waiting. There are no prerequisites for this advent journey, you just begin…

My prayer for you and me, Lord open our eyes and hearts to the darkness that scares us and frightens us. Help us to use all of our senses to discover the gifts of this advent season that only you can provide. Open our hearts to the mysteries of your divine presence in our lives. Amen.

This first week of advent is traditionally focused on Hope and Faith. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for,” we contemplate both hope and faith as we spiritually prepare our hearts and minds for Christmas … Think of it as a hope-faith continuum.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1

Below are the lyrics to a song referenced in Jan Richardson’s book, Night Visions.

Night Vision/Lyrics


By day give thanks
By night beware
Half the world in sweetness
The other in fear

When the darkness takes you
With her hand across your face
Don't give in too quickly
Find the thing she's erased

Find the line, find the shape
Through the grain
Find the outline, things will
Tell you their name

The table. the guitar
The empty glass

All will blend together when
Daylight has passed

Find the line, find the shape
Through the grain
Find the outline, things will
Tell you their name

Now I watch you falling into sleep
Watch your fist curl against the sheet
Watch your lips fall open and your eyes dim
In blind faith

I would shelter you
Keep you in light
But I can only teach you
Night vision
Night vision
Night vision

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Anton Sanko/Suzanne Vega
Night Vision lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

References:

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/times-the-old-testament-predicts-jesus-birth-and-death.html

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Heb.11.1&version=NRSVCE

The Struggle is Real • Part II

November 25th, 2022

Friends, I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving Day. There is always something to be thankful for. 🍁🌾🍂

Let me start this conversation by saying it is possible to have a thankful heart while also admitting that life is and can be a struggle from time to time. I truly believe that God is good, God is always good.

A single thing that scares me the most in life is to not be able to financially take care of myself and my family. This morning I woke to read an alert on my phone that my bank account was over drawn by $3.66, now that may not seem like a big deal to most but to me it seemed like $1,000. I may be exaggerating a bit but $3.66 is a lot of money when there’s none. But I digress…So I jumped up, showered and found all the loose change in my house, I found $5.00 in rolled pennies that I kept forgetting to take to the bank and a plastic cup with loose change in it. In total I found $9.60. I went to the bank and breathed a breath of relief. Then about 6 hours later; I kid you not, I got another alert that my account was overdrawn by $0.05. I certainly hope this does not reflect too negatively on my account or financial standing. Thank God, I should get my paycheck by tomorrow morning. I did happen to have $0.25 in unused money in my investment account that is currently pending to transfer to my overdrawn account. All in all, my heart is still thankful that God is in control and that through various resources I was able to cover my account.

Video Created: Me

There’s nothing special about my situation because many are enduring the same kind of crisis in their lives. What I believe to be the underlining issue is the way in which countries care for there own. It’s no secret I am a citizen of the United States and I believe in humanitarianism, caring for others in need but at the same time I believe in helping on the home front, your own citizens who have put elected officials in positions of authority to make decisions on our behalf. My experience has been that these individuals at least many have forgotten why they were elected and to whom their allegiance should be placed.

I have a good job, the pay could be better but that’s not the issue, the issue is that inflation is hurting so many people. I carefully watch my spending because I live on a budget, I help my elderly father and his extremely tight budget. I have personally seen my grocery budget double over the past several weeks. Everything is more expensive, spending comes down to need verses, can’t live without.

I can’t leave you with gloom and doom, at the end of the day this truth remains…God is good, God Is Always GOOD! Trust in His Plan for your life. A favorite passage of mine is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, and a time of peace.

May God be with you and continue to bless you. Thank you for visiting my blog. I am thankful for you!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.”

—Proverbs 3:5-6

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

Advent 2022 • Coming Soon

Below is a picture of the book I will be reading during Advent and sharing my thoughts with you daily. It is titled, “Night Visions — searching the shadows of advent and christmas.

Written by Jan L. Richardson.

I invite you to journey along side me through Advent and together we will

“Wait…Something is on the horizon.”

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

Love • Grief • Growth

November 22, 2022

Hello friends — 🍁🌾🍂

Just a few thoughts about loving deeply and grieving deeply. I would not have been able to put those two words in the same sentence a decade ago. God has taught me so many things about love and grief over the past ten years. My mother was called home to heaven by God a bit sooner than I would have liked and God’s plans are always right. Oh, I still miss her every single day, not so differently than anyone else who has lost someone they loved. I guess, I’m saying this because grief is not the same for any two people, when we love someone so deeply with all our being it’s hard to let go. It’s hard to say goodbye. It takes time, it takes hard work and grief can be messy, scary and heavy. I felt all these things and more even though I knew in my heart she was in heaven and that I will see her again someday. I was even upset with God, I just did not understand why and I wanted her here…for me. I was very selfish in my thinking way back then. Not giving much thought to God’s plans or even about my moms future health concerns, I just wanted my mom to still be here for me. I know these are all natural feelings and emotions that people experience. As I allowed myself to process, I realized that I would never have wanted her to be sick or ill, needing to be cared for; she would have simply hated that. If we allow ourselves to grieve as deeply as we loved; something wonderful happens… our hearts can experience a fullness and an increased capacity to love others. Keep their memory alive, share that person with others. I find myself referring to my mom a lot, just through casual conversations and it’s okay. I no longer feel the need to be sad when her name is spoken, though I do miss her. Just today, I was talking with a friend and mentioned a plant that I have had since right before my mom passed. My mom had given me a starter plant, I don’t really have a green thumb but I have managed not to kill it, and slowly it is growing. As I sat and looked at my plant tonight, God spoke to my heart and the words that came to me were these…growth, grieving and loving and all of these words are part of God’s marvelous plan for each of our lives. My plant has been in a growth spurt recently and I find myself at peace within my life right now, I feel as if I’m living my best life.

Is God speaking to you? Are you hurting or grieving? Ask God for His plan for your life. Trust in The Plan!

This is the plant my mom gave me over ten years ago…slow and steady healing and growth.

A prayer for you…

Dear God,

I pray that you would be present in very real ways to the person reading this. I ask that you comfort them in times of grief, I pray for their peace and to see with clarity the gifts you so freely give. I ask for patience and guidance for them to find their way through grief. I pray this prayer knowing and trusting in your all encompassing love and compassion. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

In a world where you can be anything…

Be Kind

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Prov.3.5,Prov.3.6&version=NIV

Pledge The Pink • 2023

November 18th, 2022

Hello Friends —

I wanted to share with all of you “friends, family, followers and visitors” that I have started a go-fund-me page in hopes of raising money for registration fees and lodging for Pledge The Pink 2023 in October. I know that asking for money is something not everyone can do and I totally understand that. Your prayers are as valuable as your financial assistance. I am also asking that my followers share this post in hopes of reaching a wider audience.

I participated in PTP 2022 and had a great experience and want to continue supporting this organization. They help so many individuals by affordable and free mammograms. I met so many brave and courageous breast cancer survivors who also fight for others by walking and raising money.

Pledge the Pink started in 2011, it was a small, local, charity race—aimed at fighting cancer in South Carolina, and getting the lowcountry in shape. And, now PTP is an ambitious, not-so-small, breast cancer event that’s gotten almost 15,000 people off the couch and given over a million dollars to charities all across the country.

Pledge The Pink Goal For 2023

$750,000

Check out my Go-Fund-Me page:

GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/041a7a26

Thank you in advance for sharing this post. Wishing all of you a very Happy Holiday Season!

💚 💗 💚 💗 💚 💗 💚 💗 💚 💗 💚

Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you have bestowed on my life. You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined. You have surrounded me with people who always look out for me. You have given me family and friends who bless me every day with kind words and actions.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 23-24

Thank you for stopping by my blog space today. I am blessed by your support.

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.

Safe Journey and A Happy Return

November 9th, 2022

Yesterday I watched one of my favorite movies, “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.” It is based on the real life of Gladys Aylward. A woman who bravely journeyed to China on her own to be a missionary when no one felt she was qualified to do so. The movie and producer added a few features into the movie probably for the audience appeal such as a love interest which did not happen but in my opinion does not deter from the message of the movie. I for one love the addition! Gladys was a strong-willed, devoted, caring, loving, woman who loved God and lived into her purpose and God blessed her and her efforts. The movie was released in 1958 starring Ingrid Bergman.

Gladys Aylward (Ingrid Bergman), a British maid, believed that she was destined to go to China. She was rejected as a missionary, but she eventually finds her way to the town of Yang Cheng and happily runs an inn there. Her peaceful existence, however, is interrupted by Japan’s invasion of China. Aided by Lin Nan (Curt Jurgens), a half-Chinese/half-Dutch military officer, Gladys must lead a group of orphans to safety by embarking on a dangerous mountain journey.

🎥 🎬 🎞️ 📽️ 🍿 📽️ 🎞️ 🎬 🎥

Release date: December 11, 1958 (USA)

Director: Mark Robson

Awards: National Board of Review Award for Best ActressMore

Nominations: Academy Award for Best DirectingMore

Adapted from: The small woman

Distributed by: 20th Century Studios

Friends, if you are unfamiliar with this story I highly recommend watching the movie for yourself. I have yet to read the book, “The Small Woman” but it is on my list. Listening to God’s voice and following His plans are always better than any of our own plans alone. I lift you up and pray that God’s small still voice can be heard by you. Never doubt who you are, you are a child of God Almighty! Below are some encouraging words from the Bible. May you be blessed in very real ways today. Give thanks to God, God is good…God is always good! Amen.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.