I love Christmas. I truly love the nativity story so much. That Jesus who made everything, became nothing, became a baby, became poor, became a servant, so that we could become friends of God. And i’ve loved sharing this story with my 1 and a half year old issy. They are sponges even at such a young age, i love praying with her and chatting to her about God and the meaning of Christmas, the true magic behind Christmas. It’s hard to avoid santa, we actually took issy to see him this afternoon – it was cute. She loves Christmas trees and lights, and opening her chocolate advent every morning, and i’m sure she’ll love opening her presents on Christmas morning. But I’m looking forward to her grasping the true magic of Christmas!
Here are my favourite books that really open up the story of Jesus’ birth for little people. Would love to hear your favourites too…
Got given this at one of the baby groups that we go to – It’s really beautifully illustrated and really gets the imagination going that Jesus was actually a baby!
I love this book – I found it in a charity shop. It has twinkling lights and includes lots of animals that see that bright star on the first Christmas night
And you can’t beat the Christmas stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible
Beautifully written and illustrated, really opening up the details of that amazing first Christmas
Would love to hear your favourites…
Just want to let you know about a gig i’ll be doing. I haven’t done a gig in a while so i thought i’d share the details on here and give the opportunity for you to come along. I’ll be sharing my songs and the stories behind those songs and how i came about to songwriting in the first place. Jesus – basically! But come and hear the whole story! There’s going to be tea and sandwiches and i think cake too! Would be really lovely to see you there. Feel really honoured that i get to encourage people and share the songs that God has given to me to sing.
“My lips will glorify you”
Anyhoo, maybe see you there…
(Quick back track of summer – I have been the wedding singer this autumn – 4 weddings in 7 weeks! woah, and yes we took issy to all 4! I love a good wedding! Congratulations to all the newly weds! Love you and thanks so much for asking me to be a part of your special day! A beautiful barn in brighton to the coolest teepee in York, we’ve had a wonderful time… Some wedding covers to be uploaded soon…)
So i just want to encourage you with your time with God. I’ve had, probably a year, of really feeling stuck in the mud when it’s come to spending time with my Jesus. But it’s been a battle that i’ve known God’s presence, if that makes sense. I’ve really felt, that I’ve needed to overcome this one. He’s been right next to me the whole time longing to see my next move when i fall back down and have to brush myself off, all the laziness, the apathy, the mistrust… i get back up and the deep deep longings of my heart persist…
So i’ve felt his encouragement and his cheering on, but after that, i didn’t know it, but i needed a rebuke! From Hosea! The most outrageous love story – where Hosea marries a prostitute – which unveils the unfaithfulness of Israel. Through everything, even in my unfaithfulness, God’s pursuit for me, is outrageous and compassionate and his deep deep longing for me far outweighs mine… because he is love! and love loves to love. So i’ve been captured, my heart seems, even arrested by this crazy love.
I’m coming to the breakthrough… so i have only been able to wake up for Issy - If issy needs me in the night, no problem. If issy wants to start the day at 6am – no problem. But can i get up and meet my maker… that seemed to be another story, a story that wasn’t happening. But his pursuit kept my heart alive and longing. I have been inspired by ihop – international house of prayer – I have been inspired by King David who filled the tabernacle with singers and musicians just to sing to the lord. I have been inspired to pursue…
The breakthrough – The alarm goes off in the early hours of the morning, before issy wakes, and i turn on the bedside lamp. Matt is already up and brings me a cup of tea! I sit up in bed, half dozing, sometimes, accidentally dozing. Bible open, offering praise. Speaking truth. Asking Holy Spirit to totally have His way in that day and in that moment - letting him lead me to pray for friends and family or just love on him.
The peace that i have encountered the last week is literally like no other. I have had more energy and more grace and more patience… I have quickly seen fruit, in words of knowledge when praying for others. I have been more expectant to see God move.
Basically, i used to spend time with God when Issy had her morning nap. But i was already connected to the world, and in that moment, even though i might have been more awake, it took forever to connect as i needed to disconnect to so many other things. And even in that time, i would feel the enemy try and distract me with lies. Here’s the good stuff – in the morning, i’m too sleepy to hear any lies! I’m too sleepy to be distracted. I’m giving God my first, and I have been so encouraged. I’m not saying it has been easy – every morning you have to fight the flesh, but my spirit is willing! And the fruit of God’s peace in my life is enough to temp me to set the alarm that bit earlier!
Whats your rhythm with Jesus? He is in outrageous pursuit for your attention. He has pleasures ever more, joy joy joy in his presence. There’s a party around his throne and you’re invited. Looking back over the year, the mud, i have learnt so much about God’s faithfulness and kindness. What really moves me, is his pursuit. That he wants to share his presence. That he has moments that he wants to encounter, just with me…
…just with you x
“I want to be your companion,
Just like in the garden,
So if you’re searching for eden
Find it in me”
lyrics by Misty Edwards
This is a message to the tired, the hungry, the lonely, the fed up, the ones that have put too much pressure on themselves, the confused, the distracted, the children of god that just need to be reminded that god simply loves you…
I’ve had a weird month, where its been hard to motivate myself, in all areas really. Even looking after myself, eating well, drinking water, simple things. But it’s most affected me in my walk with God. I’ve just felt… ‘meh’. I’ve persued, and prayed, and praised, but in all of it, felt…well, distracted. I can’t really explain it, but i know God is the only one that satisfies, but my heart sometimes wants to look elsewhere.
So yeah, i was praying the other morning, and just nervous really, that this month would continue in this pattern of numb dull distractedness, to my incredible maker whom deserves so much more from me – and then God did the most lovely thing…
Whilst feeding issy, she did the inevitable – giggle with a mouthful of food. She sprayed mummy with a mouthful of her fruit pudding. It went everywhere, but in particular – landed on her tray in the perfect…
God often shows hearts to me and matt – and we just receive them as little, yet powerful, sign from heaven to remind us that he loves us. Simple really, but really encouraging and comes at the perfect times, like today.
I felt like God simply said, beth, i love you. Stop putting pressure on yourself. And the timing of the heart, made me not feel nervous about the future. His quick reaction to my nervousness was love, which i’m holding as the answer out of this place.
So today, if this message is for you, if you are feeling far, know that he is closer than your breathe, and hear him simply say, “i love you”
And those of us with kids – he has given us a divine picture – a glimpse into his love – to help us. It would break my heart if i knew issy was sad because she was trying to prove to me her love, and trying to get my attention, and feeling tired and stressed out not knowing what to do… when i simply just want her. That is a picture of heaven – he just wants you… this is the gospel – Jesus left his throne because he loves you – Jesus was nailed to a cross because he loves you – jesus rose again and does not count your sin – we are forgiven and free – hidden in him – because he loves you
So i’ve surprised myself and am very excited about kick off tonight in brazil. Matt warned me about a month ago about how many matches there would be and it’ll be lasting about a month etc. Trying to prepare his wife! Well today, matt came home to some brazilian beef pancakes and a cold beer. The sun is shining, and here are a few bbq/picnic summer time accessories (brazil/tropical style) to get you inspired for the world cup/bbq season
1. Create that prefect summertime vibe with these lovely solar powered fairy lights from John Lewis | 2. Beautiful yellow dress from Anthropologie | 3. Practical and stylish lime green paper napkins from ikea | 4. Keeping with the lime green theme – a portable kettle bbq from John Lewis | 5. Tropical plate from paperchase | 6. Bright yellow seats from Ikea | 7. And tropical accessories to finish from a very cool easy shop called ILoveCrafty