Dec 122014
 

In this time of preparation for the coming of Christ during the Advent season, I have been injured and therefore I’ve been reading more and watching more when it comes to God and of course Jesus. And suddenly this story –this truth that I’ve heard a thousand times over, all comes together, because my heart was blind and now it’s learned to see.

And, what a view it is when my eyes are willing to work with my soul to see what God planned in the beginning would lead to, was preparing for in the here and now!

Jesus Family treeAll the way back to Abraham we can clearly see how Jesus came to be. How God was preparing even then through sin. Prostitution, polygamy, paganism, etc it all led to David, King David and then we are gifted with Christ! Preplanned and prepared.

And Israel? All those names became the tribes of Israel. They all had a God given purpose too. Because God, he doesn’t make mistakes!

Israel

“And out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot” Isaiah 11:1

Then Mother Mary comes. The Immaculate conception was Mary’s conception because her soul was sanctified at the moment of its creation. God was prepared and so was the virgin mother! Mary was saved from Original Sin before it ever had a chance to greet her soul, and then, when she was about 14 years old God knew she was prepared –because HE had created her without sin for the purpose of carrying the Christ-child –  and in that manger as Jesus lungs expanded as He drew His first breath, Mary ended one long chapter of preparation as she became the most holy mother to have ever lived and then the Christ-Chapter begins. Decades upon decades and generations back and again, the path to the cradle had been born. And that’s why the Bible shows us the lineage so many times, so we can pull out the characters and really see.

Dec 082014
 

Advent Week TwoAdvent week two began yesterday, lighting the PEACE candle was very special for me, ceremonious if you will. I haven’t had a count down to the cradle wreath before, counting each day of December up until Christmas Eve. So, as I lit the first candle and then the six between to mark each day of the week, and then finally the peace candle marking the second week I felt excited and joyous.

Christmas is normally one of the worst times of year for me. Three years ago I spent 8 weeks in bed starting on December 26th. I didn’t leave the house for anything during that time. I just slept. Even though God was the center of my life I wasn’t putting Him first the way I thought I was.

Studying His Word and creating a relationship with Him has definitely turned things around for me. Back then, I read, I prayed, but I didn’t listen and I didn’t obey Him or the plans He had for me. Without realizing it, I had only been going through the motions of a “good Christian” rather than truly putting God first in my life.

Over the last two years my values and morals have definitely become more concrete. I stopped being an in-the-closet-Christian and decided to wear my faith in God with pride. I began to edit the negative out of my life and keep the people who I knew had faith too and would help me in learning and in getting through. I decided that being modest and feminine is important to me and have been trying to implement more and more of that into my life. Constantly removing clothing and other things that just didn’t say what my heart does, out of my life. My cleansing out the bad and negative things I have found a few things out about myself.

I am beautiful. Overweight and all. My heart is beautiful and I was perfectly created by God – and He doesn’t make mistakes or typo’s. He knew exactly what He was doing when He created me and I have faith that the people who He has put in my path are there for a reason, even if I don’t always see it.

Jesse TreeI have bought home décor that celebrates my faith, and how I feel as a Christian woman. Those things that I have purchased can be used throughout the year and be switched up easily without having a ton in storage.

Not having to go through a million storage bins to prepare for the holidays has been amazing. I literally spent less than ten minutes in my closet to pull out some candles for my Advent wreath, my Advent scrapbook page and a wax melter in the shape of a Christmas ornament. Everything else was transformed with simple things like red candles instead of white, glass I already had out was moved to reflect light better.

Keeping it simple really is the key to my survival this year. Starting off with a list of things to purchase for décor and gifts and getting everything in one trip was really helpful. My back is very messed up so I can’t do much else right now even if I wanted to, but I have to admit I am loving the little vignette’s that are dedicated to God and the reason for the season, Christ’s birth. One antique chest hold my wreath and my countdown flip calendar. The top of my printer cabinet has my Jesse tree, a candle lantern, my Advent scrapbook page and a wooden wick candle. The coffee table has a candle trio on a black platter that I keep out in different places throughout the year, right now it adds extra warmth to the unfinished room. The nativity set is in the family room where everyone can see it.

It smells SOOOO good in here with all of the candles! Even when they aren’t lit there is a lovely fragrance that brings a warmth all on its own. Finally cranberry tea, pumpkin spiced hot cocoa and cinnamon sticks add seasonal flavors.

Reading The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas each day and answering the questions has also been awesome. Ann Voskamp writes a lot like I do when I do poetry or journaling so I can really feel her emotion and understand her heart.

I am also doing the Hello Mornings Power Pack study with my Hello Mornings group, except I do it each evening once I have lit the Advent candles. For more information you can click on it in the sidebar. It is really a great study and I am blessed by it each day!

This is the first year that I have really been excited for Christmas, decorating and finding that what I already have is MORE than enough to bring the Lord praise! It took me a year of writing what I am grateful for to see that I actually have it all.

 

Dec 032014
 

You are already FoundTonight as I hang the day 3 ornament on the Jesse Tree I am amazed how Christ came to be. All the way back to Genesis we see the family tree, the genealogy, being built through mistakes, infidelity, polygamy, murder, love, lust and oh-so-much-more, we see the imperfections of humanity rising up so that Joseph and Mary could exist!

So they could hold the Christ-child as He took His first breaths, so that He would grow and teach and live and be the sacrifice, so that we can be saved! Yes! Saved from all that stuff that happened centuries before His birth and saved from all evil since!

And God? He asks us lowly beings “where are you?” because when our backs are turned He seeks us out, never abandoning us. Never making us go alone. And Jesus? Laying there in a manger was sought after too, when the wise asked “where is He?” and suddenly it all becomes clear.

He seeks us because WE NEED to seek Him!

Dec 022014
 

This year as I set up my advent wreath {the Cradle to Cross Wreath handmade by the Voskamp children} I filled it with pink candles, well pink and red, the pink to mark the week and the red to mark each day as we countdown to Christmas and look forward to the coming of Christ.December 1

Pink is traditionally the “Joy” candle on an Advent wreath. Three Purples, one pink and one white to light as the final candle. This year though? I need a whole lot of joy. I don’t know why but it felt important to me to use pink candles and to recognize the hope that comes each day as we honor Mary’s journey to the birth of Christ, as we struggle through the lines to buy our groceries while people frivolously fill their carts, and hope and joy for those people that they may see the reason for Christmas. Christ. Jesus. Immanuel. Best of all? Our Saviour!

YES! There is hope, peace, joy, and love right there, our Saviour is all of these things in the flesh, and all of that,  gifts us new life, life eternal, hope, peace, joy, unconditional love, salvation.

So each day as I move the donkey one candle closer and light the path on the journey to the cradle my pink candles will bless me with the reminder of joy.Luke 1:32

I am also celebrating Advent with a BEAUTIFUL DaySpring countdown calendar with amazing cardstock and impeccable printing.

I am reading The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp and I am co-accountability captain with the beautiful Jen for a makeshift Advent session with our Hello Mornings ladies! Speaking of Hello Morning’s, registration will be opening up soon so if you want to hop on in with us on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram for the winter session that begins after Christmas, I recommend you keep your eyes peeled! Spots always fill up super-fast and each group only accepts 15 people. Join us?

If you are looking for a super affordable and awesome daily Bible study for Advent you can purchase the Hello Morning’s Power Pack for only 5 dollars!! The best part is you get the ebook, the study guide, and a bunch of extra’s including an inspirational song for that price. Since I am personally using this as well I can honestly say it is worth skipping the latte for a day and picking it up!

And Some Awesome December Savings!

20% off Karen Neuburger items at Sleepy Heads with Promocode KN20 Dec 2nd Only

20% off All Fraiser Fir by Thymes with Promocode FIR2014 From 12/02/2014 to 12/04/2014

DaySpring Stocking Stuffers- $5 gifts and more!


DaySpring Christmas
 

 

Nov 202014
 

*This post contains affiliate links which means I will earn a small portion of every sale at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support!*

Much of my home is decorated with DaySpring items and most cards that I send, if I haven”t made them myself, are also from DaySpring!

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Nov 192014
 

*Contains affiliate links. This means if you click my links and purchase anything I will get a small kickback at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support*

I am excited about Advent coming this year. Normally, I am not excited or even nice about the holidays at all. You see, when I was young I had a friend die on December 23rd and that soured the month for me. It stole the reason for the season right out from under me and I fell hard. I lost the joy that I had for Christmas and for years I didn’t even know why. I spent most of my holiday months after that, up until the past year, miserable and extremely depressed. I hid myself away and didn’t want anything to do with the holidays, especially gifts. I still don’t like getting gifts. Surprises around the holidays for me are just traumatic and I wonder if I will ever get over that.

But this year? This year I am excited for Advent and for celebrating the Christ-Child’s coming in my own way with my people. The people who I blog with and who love God the way I do because those people? They help me find the healing through the Lord that I had lost all those years ago. So I am going to hold tight to my Bible, my Advent devotionals like The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp, my Advent calendar from DaySpring and all those warm hugs that I get from across the globe through the people like you who are reading this.

I haven’t decided yet if I will go to the big family dinner for Christmas this year, I am thinking not. I have changed so much that I don’t relate to them aside from the blood we share. I want to have a quiet Christmas, with God and my children and the people I love the most.

I am not sure if this is really encouraging the way the linkup suggests but for me this year I have had success and it is thanks to God and only God. The people God has placed in my life over the past year are absolutely amazing. So I am excited for Advent and Christmas this year. Excited.

LetterPress

Nov 172014
 

Join me during Advent with the Hello Mornings Advent Power Pack!

 

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