KARLA LEES

SHARING HOPE TO THE HURTING, THE BROKEN & THE LONELY.

“You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside & my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb. I thank You, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything You do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly You know me, Lord!”

Psalm 139:13-14 TPT

Hi friend!

My last post didn’t upload properly, so just a heads up that I am taking a sabbatical from writing and posting until January 3rd.

Meowy Christmas and a blessed 2022 from our home to yours.

See you next year!

Gonna lay under the tree and remind myself, not just my family, that I am a gift!

I have not been on social as much as I thought I would be this week. It has turned out to be a gift for myself:
🌲To quiet my mind a bit more, 🌲To take in the Word a bit deeper, and
🌲To remain, to ‘be’ in the moment a bit longer.

🎁Fully present.

That is the gift I have given myself this Christmas.

I will be finishing the ADVENTure this weekend, then taking a full week off social. To give my family the gift of more of me, to give myself the gift of less distraction, and to give my spirit the gift of increased connection.

#comeandsee #bethegift #selfcare #tistheseason

Thanks to Idelette, the original post-er of this graphic several years ago, which God continues to use each year to speak to me!

We pop over to Matthew 1:18-25 to see what happens when Joseph, Mary’s fiance, enters the Christmas story. We know from other verses that he was a carpenter.

Once Mary returns home to Nazareth after the miraculous birth of John, it is now obvious that she is expecting, as she is 3-4 months pregnant. We are told that he learned of her pregnancy, not that Mary told him herself, so it’s likely the gossip train arrived before she did.

This would have been quite the shock to Joseph, whom scripture refers to as a morally upright and righteous man. He would have expected the same from his fiancee Mary.

While he was debating how to quietly remove himself from this mess, he fell asleep.

And an angel supernaturally appeared to him in his dream, and informed him that Holy Spirit had come upon Mary and she was carrying the Messiah.

Verses 24-25 are Joseph’s miraculous response, given how he had been feeling about the quandary he had been facing, because he  really loved both Mary and God:

“When Joseph woke from his dream, he did all that the angel of the Lord instructed him to do. He took Mary to be his wife, but they refrained from having sex until she gave birth to her firstborn son, whom they named ‘Jesus.’ “

Pretty sure at some point Mary & Joseph would have talked about this face to face, but God kept that part of their stories private and out of the Bible. But it isn’t need to know for us on the flow of this ADVENTure, just that Mary & now Joseph were obedient to follow God in His plan to be Emmanuel, God with us!

Getting closer to the big day, friend!

#comeandsee #ADVENTure

If you find this season really hard due to grief, depression, anxiety or loss, may I remind you that how you feel matters.

Please find someone to talk to who will listen and support you. Don’t keep your struggle to yourself. You will not dampen someone else’s season by admitting yours is hard this year. We are all better together living with our ups & downs in loving community.

“A grief shared is halved, a joy shared is doubled.”

#keepitreal #takecareofyou #askforhelp #bettertogether

The first thing Mary does after the angel informs her she is to supernaturally carry the Messiah is to head to her cousin Elizabeth’s. (Luke 1 continued).

Not what you would have expected either, right?!

But here is why I think she did. Mary had heard (coz news like an older woman getting pregnant after decades of infertility would have spread like wildfire…) Elizabeth was experiencing a miracle, and she wanted to tell someone who wouldn’t think she was crazy.

Because at this point, the baby Mary now carries is only a few weeks along.

When Mary arrives and greets her cousin, something miraculous happens.

Baby John jolts in Elizabeth’s womb at the sound of Mary’s voice, and Holy Spirit comes upon Elizabeth – telling her that Mary is the mother of the coming Messiah!

Other than saying hello to Elizabeth, it appears from Luke 1 that Mary told no one what was going on before hightailing it to her cousin’s.

Mary breaks into a magnificent song praising God at the knowledge that God is in control and on the move for His people!

And then it seems Mary stays 3 months, until John is born and Zechariah regains his voice to join in praising God for what He was doing!

🙏Lord, even though the days seem dark and dreary right now, may I continue to look with wonder at all the ways You were, and are, moving behind the scenes in the lives of Your people. Thank You for highlighting these verses anew to my heart, as I see the tapestry You were weaving as the time drew high for Jesus to arrive.

#comeandsee #ADVENTure

In Elizabeth’s 6 month of pregnancy (the miracle we read about yesterday as we began reading Luke 1) the Christmas story makes another unexpected stop with a young betrothed girl named Mary. (In those days, ages 14-15 was common for a girl to become engaged/married.)

Gabriel, the same angel who brought the good news of their child’s coming birth to Zechariah & Elizabeth was sent to Mary, and suddenly showed up saying,

Rejoice, beloved young woman, for the Lord is with you and you are anointed with great favor.” (vs 28)

(I dunno about you, but I would be more than a little fearful & stunned at what such an angelic greeting like that would mean for me, so I can relate to Mary being troubled in response!)

Gabriel then reassures her she need not fear, for God has take great delight in her & has chosen her to bear His son, to be called Jesus. The Son of David Israel has been waiting for, who will reign forever!

It should be noted here that somehow when Mary says, “How could this happen, for I am still a virgin?” she is not doubting that God can do so. Her belief in Him is not in question. I think she is curious about how this is going to look, and Gabriel goes on to inform her the Holy Spirit will supernaturally come upon her, and that her cousin Elizabeth and Zechariah also have a miracle on the way.

Mary’s response to this further revelation confirms for me God knew what He was doing when He chose her as His son’s mother:

Then Mary responded, saying, “Yes! I will be a mother for the Lord! As His servant, I accept whatever He has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” (vs 38)

This daughter’s belief in her God accepted that as His beloved, she would willingly follow the way He had for her to go. Even though she would have instantly known this was not going to go well from an earthly perspective once things became obvious….

(Notice in this account, there is no reference to Joseph, other than the fact that she was engaged to him, a true descendant of Kind David.)

This ADVENTure is starting to get interesting, isn’t it, friend? Stay tuned for more tomorrow! 😉

#comeandsee #ADVENTure #sharingHope

As we begin to take a peek at the Christmas story in Luke, we see that this story didn’t start with Mary, but rather her older cousin Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah.

Elizabeth and Zechariah were an older God serving couple who were childless. It is noted in the story that Elizabeth was barren. (How they knew that medically back then, I don’t know, but God through Luke felt it important for us to know that fact.) The inability to have children can be exceptionally painful to those who want to have them, so we can imagine the grief this couple, Elizabeth in particular, would likely have experienced.

Zechariah was a priest in their area, and drew the lot to head into the temple’s Holy of Holies to minister to God, something with didn’t happen very often. While performing this special duty, an angel named Gabriel suddenly shows up to tell Zechariah not to be afraid, and that God was blessing them with a son, whom they were to name John. He will not only be a delight to his parents, but will be filled with the Spirit, set apart as a Nazarite (no alcohol) and lead many to follow the coming Messiah.

Zechariah responded with a “How, we’re too old?!?!” followed by a request for a sign. Gabriel informed him that because of his unbelief, he will not be able to speak until the child was born – the sign that what Gabriel spoke to him would indeed going to come to pass. The remainder of his time serving at the temple, Zechariah was unable to speak, and caused quite the stir. He then headed home…

And in a few short lines, we see the contrast with how Elizabeth responds (after the dot dot dot 😉)

“Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for the next five months. With joy she exclaimed, “See how kind it is of God to gaze upon me and take away the disgrace of my barrenness!”

Luke 1:24-25 TPT

One parent responded with doubt, the other with delight! Yet God blessed them both by supernaturally opening Elizabeth’s womb to carry John, and replace her disgrace with extreme joy!

We will see a bit more about Elizabeth as the Christmas story continues to unfold. Stay tuned!

#comeandsee #ADVENTure #sharingHope

Made by me on Canva

This Christmas, I have been captivated by the depths of one song in particular. So much so, I plan on unpacking it each day to share the good news it holds. Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman & Ed Cash wrote this amazing song, with Lauren Daigle bringing it to life with her stunning vocals.

🎍N O E L ❤️

“Love incarnate, love divine. Star and angels gave the sign. Bow to babe on bended knee, the Savior of humanity. Unto us a Child is born, He shall reign forevermore.

Chorus: Noel, Noel – Come and see what God has done. Noel, Noel -The story of amazing love! The light of the world, given for us – Noel!

Son of God and Son of man, there before the world began. Born to suffer, born to save, born to raise us from the grave. Christ the everlasting Lord, He shall reign forevermore.

Repeat Chorus twice to end.”

Watch it online here:

#sharingHope #comeandsee