Advent 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.
I 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.