Monday, December 19, 2011

Seeking the Joy of Christmas

   The tree is up, the lights are on the house and a nativity sits under the cross near the farm gate. The joy of Christmas is upon us! Amid the business, we have been striving to keep our priority on serving and learning instead of gifting and gazing. Here are some ways we strive to keep Christ the Joy of our season:

1. Bible study...Isaiah's prophesy mixed with a little Oswald Chambers

2. Live it. Taking opportunities to share with others through donations of toys, food and finance, and visits. Stopping by shelters and giving tree locations to provide a room, meal or gifts,

3. Place Him in our decor. The names of Christ are written on every decoration on the tree. Nativities adorn every corner. He is in our caroling and our card giving; our home and our yard.

4. We share the greeting "Merry Christmas" with everyone we meet.

5. Instead of centering our attention on gifting- we have zoned our focus on special time together. My kids are teens and are becoming more independent by the day so I took a "day out" with each of them, planned a specific candy making afternoon for each one (and a few collective). Each teen chose an outreach activity to do (with me). My husband and I have slipped away for little trips to town with just each other.

6. Prayer. Many around us are hurting; unemployment, homelessness, death of a family member, disrupted family situations, and simple loneliness. Our prayers throughout the day have been for those whose lives are touched by grief- for our servicemen, for our missionaries, for kids in crisis.

7. Planning. Currently we are planning a specific and special time for family that does not live near us, but are able to visit. Large family gatherings can be nice, but for this special season, we decided to make the time more concentrated; personal.

   After publishing this post, a little teen & me road trip will start. Music will be played, stories shared, crazy memories will be brought up (like the time the skin on my fingers was cooked off by the peanut brittle). We'll sip coffee while sharing dreams (and interests). Another special moment tucked away...don't you think they make our Lord smile.
   We pray that you are making memories, sharing laughter, giving the love of our Savior. That you are seeking and finding the joy of Christmas.

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