Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Advent: The Season of Waiting and Wonder

This year we are simplifying Christmas. We are making it more about Jesus and less about stuff. We are focusing on family and spending time together in the Lord.

I have very fond memories of Advent growing up. My mom would gather us around our Advent wreath. We would sing a verse of O Come, O Come, Emanuel.  Then we would take turns lighting the candles and reading from our devotional. That is something I wanted to do with my family. I always do a devotional called 25 ways 26 ways by myself every year. This year, I wanted something new and different. I wanted something fresh and new to grow my faith and I also wanted something we could do as a family.

I found a really great blog post from Ann Voskamp of  A  Holy Experience  and shared it with my mom. Ann talked of turning her family Christmas upside down, something my husband and I have been trying to do for a few years. I was really happy when a copy of the book showed up on my porch with a little note from my Mom.

I am really enjoying this devotional. It's beautifully written and full of really interesting and new ways to celebrate the season of Advent. I have never heard of a Jesse tree before. It is really simple and profound. I quickly found a stick for my Jesse tree and put it up as soon as I got home. It is such a nice reminder of the coming of Christ. Every time I look at that pretty tree I think of it as something once dead and given new life. Just like me. I suspended it because I wanted to be reminded that I am elevating my Christmas above celebrating just one day with a frenzy of gifts and exhaustion.

It's not the best picture, but it's really sparkly!

We are also doing The Adventures in Odyssey devotional from Thriving Family. I made an advent wreath, which I will share in my next post. My husband lights the candle and reads the scripture, then we sing a verse of that beloved hymn O Come, O come Emanuel and read the devotional. We are only on day three and I am so excited for the time together.

Our super simple and inexpensive advent wreath.

Christmas can be so much more powerful and joyful when viewed through the lens of Advent. It's about so much more than shopping yourself to exhaustion and over extending yourself. It can be a wonderful time to draw closer to God and  family. You might not remember next year what you gave everyone for Christmas but I bet you will remember the time you spend in the Lord and family these next few weeks. Consider joining me and so many others in reclaiming Christmas and the season of advent. It's such a beautiful season.

Merry Christmas,


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