Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer


Sunset at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri —Thanksgiving 2020

Advent 2020 is upon us.  The end of a year like no other. The hope of things to come. The preparations for celebrating the Christmas holiday. We hear that Advent is a season of waiting. Recently, I heard the challenge to listen deeply. As I engage in this Advent waiting, I am drawn to this idea of listening deeply—to others, to myself, to life.

I encourage us to take some time and ask God what that phrase means for each of us. For me, I know listening involves paying close attention to life as it presents itself moment by moment. I’m called to not resist life but allow God to open my spiritual eyes and to heal my blind spots. This type of listening calls for less words and more silence.  In keeping with that spirit, this month my only words are to challenge each of us to sit with the phrase listen deeply, and ask God to lead and guide us along that path as we finish out 2020.

I leave you with two of my favorite Advent traditions—a poem and a prayer. The poem is God’s invitation to us, and the prayer is our response—our invitation to God.

When you step over
The threshold of Christmas
There’s a mystery
For you to explore.
A story.
A message.
Rich beauty.
The music of color and love.
There’s a sense
Of the Creator’s presence.
The wonder of childlike joy.
The texture of worship.
The power of peace.
Turn the handle
And open the door.
 —Greg Asimakoupoulos

Lord Jesus, 
Master of both the light and the darkness, Send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. 
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. 
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. 
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. 
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. 
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. 
To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”  Amen. 
—Henri Nouwen

As we encounter dazzling Christmas lights everywhere, may we be reminded to seek the natural light of God, the Divine, and listen deeply.

God bless you.


  • Paula Sievers
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    You can’t come to Lake Ozark & not come visit me…would love to see you & Dave!

    Thanks so much for the Advent Inspiration!💕

    • Cherryonline
      Posted December 6, 2020 at 11:23 am

      That is right Paula. I did forget that you live there now!!! It was a very last minute trip but we loved it so we will be back!! And I will contact you.

  • Daniel Schuetz
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Beautiful, Cherry!

    Merry Christmas!

    [Image.jpeg] Sincerely,


    Dr. Daniel Schuetz Inst. Asst. Prof. of Voice Illinois State University 309-825-9502 504 Maple Place Normal, IL 61761-3930 ________________________________

    • Cherryonline
      Posted December 6, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Thank you Daniel. Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Pat Stengel
    Posted December 5, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Beautifully written, Cherry. Listen in silence…so challenging in our time, but of great necessity!
    God bless you and Dave with a joyful, expectant Advent.


    • Cherryonline
      Posted December 6, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Thank you for reading Pat and your encouragement. A Blessed Advent to you and yours as well.

  • Jenna Mangold
    Posted December 6, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Cherry. I can always just feel the love that exudes from your writing. And love the idea of listening deeply…obedience.

  • davidnybakke
    Posted December 25, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Dear Cherry,

    Merry Christmas, I hope this Christmas exceeded your wildest dreams. Yes.

    I wanted to thank you. Your Advent post, LISTENING DEEPLY, caught a hold of me and just wouldn’t let go. Daily during this Advent something about ‘listening’ and ‘deeply’ kept drawing me back to a memory… a voice… and then various readings, which I went back and reread to find that they had been imprinted on my soul, having been buried under all the whirlwind of events this past year.

    I wondered if you could share your experience of LISTENING DEEPLY.

    We pray your visit with the girls is going well and we also pray for your safe journey back.

    Merry Christmas.

    Peace David and Ann


  • davidnybakke
    Posted January 19, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Dear Cherry,

    Listening with your eyes is a great meditation. The attached extends the notion of listening to that of your whole being.

    Peace David


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: