Monday, December 17, 2012

Encouragement in the Christmas Season

Hey all!

We have some exciting news! We moved up to number 27 on the waiting list! :) It may not seem like a big jump, but hey, we're moving on up, by God's grace!

God has cheered our hearts and encouraged us. He has solidified over and again his calling for us to go get our child in Uganda. For that, we are so very, very thankful. No matter what challenges arise, no matter how often we lose heart, no matter how confused we may become, God never changes and he is faithful and encouraging. For him and to him we are most thankful. God continues to encourage us through his word, through prayer, through song, and through others (many of you!).

Let us say again and again with true joy, "God is good. There is no one like our God." :)

In the holiday season (I say "holiday season" because there is Christmas [woo!] and New Years in which many people have time off from working in the workplace to enjoy with friends and family), we want to encourage you to pursue the God that pursues and graces you. CHRISTMAS, oh what a reason to celebrate! The Word became flesh; Jesus was born! Emmanuel! Savior! Lord! LORD! King! He who came to bear our sin and to bring us into relationship with the Father, a RESTORED relationship with the triune God, is whom we celebrate, praise, and worship this season! It can be a time that brings up sorrow for various reasons. And the sorrows are legitimate and should not be neglected nor minimized. God's heart breaks with us in our sorrows; yet, God loves the opportunities that come in our sorrows. He loves to comfort and encourage us. He loves to be our provider. He loves to be generous to us. He loves to care for us. He loves to love us and show us who is is. So in this holiday season, celebrate God more than circumstance. He has given us the most wonderful reason to celebrate......himself! :)

In our last blog we mentioned that we are working on a project that we hope will let you in on some of how God is encouraging and strengthening us, and hopefully as something God uses to encourage and strengthen you in life. That project should be completed this month (December). We were planning on waiting to tell everyone what the project is until it was completed, but we think God may encourage you through knowing what it is. So, for all of you that might be wondering what it is (which may be none of you), here you go...........
We are making an album of songs we have recorded that we have sung to the Lord out of heartache and joy. We are leaving much of the "rawness" to songs because we want them to be accurate representations of us worshiping our holy God. So, you will hear wrong notes, maybe hoarse voices, possibly tears or sniffles, exuberant joy, some "unprofessional" instrument playing; but you will hear (and hopefully are invited in to) worship. We hope it will be something God uses to encourage you in Christ.

We do want to give a quick shout out of thanks to Bryce Neimiller and Elevate Rock School for allowing us to record, to Josh Barber in Kansas City for mixing the songs for us, and to some anonymous donors that wanted to add something special to the adoption journey.

We pray that God will strengthen you with the fullness of Christ. :)

The Svalesons