Monday, November 30, 2015

How To Have the Best Christmas Ever + Some Links for Extra Reading

I am of the tribe of Jacob.
I'm a doubter, a trickster, a liar, and one who wrestles with God.
And yet, He loves me still.

I'm frail;
I fail;
I flail;
I fall.
Still, God's matchless grace keeps hunting me down, chasing after me, letting me grapple and fight with Him until I learn that I am nothing and He is everything.

Like Jacob, I'm not quick to remember all God's goodness to me. And like Jacob, fear is often my default mode. The solution to my Jacob-like wonderings?
I must choose to think truth.

Now we come to the time of year when lies can drown out the truth that could be filling our days.
Cries for "more" and "louder" and "faster" diminish the important words like "enough" and "quieter" and "slower."
Opportunities to dwell on Christ can be found in each glimmering star and each carefully wrapped package if our eyes are open to see them.

As a family, we've chosen to fill this season with traditions that point us to Jesus, stringing each one like a glowing light on our garland of December days.
We go as a family to the school where John teaches every Wednesday morning and share the real Christmas story with them.

We read Jesse's story, and watch the root grow out of a stump day by day.

We share the best story with our Bible club children and our Sunday school friends.

We bake lots of cookies for those we love, and fill our minds with the best stories of Christmas.

We make gifts for each other, and try to choose the presents we buy with much thought.

We make our Christmas hut to remind us that Mary and Joseph needed a place to stay.

We join with our brothers and sisters in Christ and share our common food and play together.

And I have days when I forget the reason we are doing all of these things, and I make poor choices, and I sin.
Though like Jacob I may "walk" with a bit of a limp, I rise, knowing I've seen the face of God.   

* So December is a quiet month around here, but I thought I'd leave you with a few things to read, if you're interested. If you wish, take the time to read the links throughout this post. They are a reflection of how we try to honor Jesus at our house and in our church and community each year. Maybe something to inspire you for the future?
I also wanted to link to some things that have been a great blessing to our family ~
   1. Kari over at Stone Soup For Five has just released a Doodle Study on the Promises of Christmas.
I'm looking forward to doing this starting December 1.
   2. A simply amazing piece of writing about Feasting as an Act of War. Perfect for these Holy-Days!
   3. If you are a fan of C.S. Lewis, you will love these Youtube videos of his original radio recordings of Mere Christianity with doodles added for understanding.
   4. And one for the missionary friends ~ a travel tree!

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