Monday, November 9, 2009

Preparations

My eyes swell with tears as I wonder how I am going to put these thoughts into words. More than any other year, I feel called to look at the upcoming seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas as holy. Not to be squandered in check out lines, baking endless goodies, rushing here and there and everywhere. These seasons are calling me to act differently, to be deliberate, to give credit where credit is due...to our Heavenly Father.

Is it possible that we idolize grand feasts and the families that sit at their tables instead of giving The Ultimate Provider the glory?

Is it possible that we idolize the season of Christmas instead of giving The Ultimate Gift-Giver the adoration He deserves?

I have been pondering, breathing short prayers, searching. How can I carry out this pull toward something different for myself and my family this year? Are there actual past practices I should avoid? Should I just pare down? What do I put in their place?

My attention has been called to three areas...

1... Remember that while I live in this world, I am not of it. Avoid the traps of media and society that lead me to think I should buy more, make more, do more during this season. Instead... be still more, pray more, do less.

2... Be thankful every week, every day, not just on Thanksgiving. I joined the Gratitude Community and have started journaling my list of 1000 things I am thankful for. I will be sharing parts of that list here, extending my thanksgiving over time.

3... Use the Jesse Tree as an Advent devotional for our family (The Glorious Coming by Ann Voskamp). We will be beginning in mid-November to allow for traveling and to ensure we do not have to rush through any of the 26 devotions that will lead us to Christ's coming.

4... Talk to our children and each other about the seasons and where their meanings truly lie and Lift our eyes up to the heavens.

Will you join me in re-focusing this season?
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9 comments:

  1. Friend, You probably know already that you are speaking to my heart! I think this is absolutely awesome! I'm right there with you. And I will pray that God will help you truly worship this holiday season.

    Interesting that I am reading a book right now called Worldly Saints, by Leland Ryken. I've actually read it before and will be going through it again with my Classic Christian Book Club over at the Cottage Library. It's about the Puritans and who they REALLY were, how they lived, etc. Their lives were purposeful with a desire to worship and glorify God in every endeavor. A great read that would encourage any believer.

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  2. I'm in- so glad to know ladies of a like mind, may God bless our endeavors to be still more, pray more & do less. May it not be an effort, but a longing we can't resist.

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  3. I couldn't agree with you more...this post is so thoughtful. We have gotten SO far away from what it's ALL about...

    I am the only believer in my immediate family...or, at least the only one actually striving to "walk the walk". My brother and sister in law are saved...but they walk their own walk. My parents are totally of the world. So I find it really hard to pare down...to do things differently...when I'm surrounded by the opposite. Holidays are tough for me...as I fall into the BUY MORE trap...while at the same time, doing my best to remember why it's all possible in the first place. I dread this time of year...which makes me sad. I should be glad...and excited...and THANKFUL. But instead I dread the commercialism...the financial strain...the craziness that it's all become. I'm torn...

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  4. We are expecting a newborn soon after Thanksgiving - that kind of forces me not to plan anything extravagant, although that's never been in my nature, anyway.

    I plan on taking a month off of "official" homeschooling and just focusing on "the reason for the season" with the kids; we made Jesse tree ornaments last year.

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  5. I'm in...unfortunately I am the only one in my family who wants/understands/needs "simple". Last Christmas I ended up returning over $600 worth of "gifts" at Nordstroms from my parents. And that was only HALF of what they gave ME...not to mention the kids. Every year I tell them I don't want/need anything...and every year it's the same extravagant parade of gifts... they see it as me being ungrateful where I see it as a big waste. If you want to "give" somebody something then "give" them your time ...something which money cannot buy.

    Like Michelle I also dread this time of year... it's just gotten so out of hand with the media/the gimmies and "feeling the need" to give EVERYBODY some sort of token of your appreciation. Why can't we do that on a regular basis...why wait for that one day each year. I think if we would all just slow down and look around and really cherish who/what we are thankful for we would all be better off. So am I slowing down this year? Yep... I'm there with you :)

    And in case I haven't told you lately... I love your blog. It makes me smile :) Every morning I wake up wondering if there is another chapter to read in this "online book" of yours. I am blessed to have found you.

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  6. My heart swells with comradery!

    Michelle and Mavis, I will be thinking of you as you balance your desires for the season and your family's wishes.

    Stephanie, I will be thinking of your family as you celebrate the season for yet another wonderful reason- congratulations!

    Comtesse, I will be looking into that book. Thank you for mentioning it.

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  7. This is a great post...we really do need to keep things in their proper place and maintain a proper perspective through it all. May the Lord give you that balance as you seek to honour Him.

    I am planning to join the "gratitude community" too! Just got to get it going....

    Blessings,
    Camille

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  8. Thanks so much for this post. I totally agree.

    Aunt V.

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  9. yes. yes. yes. if only I could get my family on board...

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