• Advent

    What’s Expected?

    It’s amazing to me how my expectations at Christmas time vary from year to year. Many years I have tried to go all out with Christmas cards, gifts and decorations. One year I handmade 50+ Christmas cards and sent them to friends and family (how did I have time or energy to do that?). But it was enjoyable and not stressful. There have been years where I have made baked goods.  And almost every year, because of my INFJ nature, I agonize over the most perfect and practical gift for each person, as is stated so well in this article, shared by fellow blogger, Leigh Kramer on her Facebook page. More…

  • Advent

    Stars & Angels

    I was decorating my tree with ornaments last night and noticed I had a lot of stars and angels. It took me back to the Scripture reading which described the night of Jesus’ birth: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” – Luke 2:8 For some reason, I have imagined more description of that night. Many a Christmas song has put that notion in my head.. “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…”                                            “O holy night the…

  • Advent

    A New Year begins with Advent: Joy

    I had this post written almost immediately, even though this is the week 3 theme for Advent. I decided to post it this week because God gave me too many signs to just ignore it. Joy had been on my mind the last several weeks because I have been wearing this on my wrist/neck (It’s a special charm that can be put on different pieces of jewelry).   JOY. For me, Joy is not just a Christmas word, it’s a mission for my life. You may have heard the acronym that you can use with the word: Jesus Others Yourself It’s such a fitting way to live out our days, isn’t it? Even when I…

  • Advent

    A New Year begins with Advent: Peace

    I love receiving Christmas cards this time of year. This one caused me to pause. (The picture does not do it justice because you can’t see the sparkles). This was a good one too. Peace is a sought after feeling year round, but it seems to be needed even greater at this time of year, especially with all the fear and uncertainty caused by many unsettling events in recent months. We so often search in all the wrong places, desperately seeking peace, which will calm our hearts and our minds. We search for peace that will quiet the chaos of the holidays. We search for peace that will fill the…

  • Advent

    A New Year begins with Advent: Hope

    I realize that I wasn’t able to post every day during 30 days of thanks. I also realize that it’s not about completing a task, but truly being thankful. I am and continue to be whether I am writing it through a blog post and regardless of what month it is. I kid you not, the day after Thanksgiving, I began to feel anxious. Friday morning I woke up realizing that my Christmas shopping wasn’t done. I knew we had to figure out our travel plans for seeing family and what I had originally finalized now had to be re-thought. There are so many family and friends I want to…

  • Advent

    What Does Your Journey to the Manger Look Like?

      A friend posted this picture on her Facebook recently. I had just been talking about how everyone (including myself) is so busy during the Christmas season. When I think about slowing down, I begin to replay the narrative of Mary and Joseph in my mind. The angel talking to Mary, Mary visiting Elizabeth, the possibility of a quiet divorce and then the angel talking to Joseph. And then, the journey to Bethlehem. “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to…

  • Advent

    Long Expected

    It’s been about a week since I’ve posted. Partly because after 30 days of thankfulness, I wanted to dwell and reflect on all that I wrote about. Partly because in this busy season, breaks are few and far between unless you intentionally take them. Now it’s a new season. It begins. For some it began Thanksgiving night and into Black Friday, but that’s not what I am talking about. Advent begins. This is the time of hope and anticipation for the birth of our Savior, but instead it has become another excuse to be busy getting ready for another holiday. My challenge for you is to watch this entire video.…