Happy November!! You may or may not be a fan of cranking up the Christmas tunes after November 1st, but as women who are called to spread the aroma of Christ in our homes– whether they are full of roommates, spouses, children, or others– we must begin preparing earlier than all if we hope to help others rejoice in Christ this Christmas season.
Outside the cross, the coming of Christ into flesh is the greatest, most astounding and humble gesture of God towards humanity. The implications of His coming will feed our souls for eternity, so while on earth, let’s not limit our remembrance of it to a few days a year. To help soak in and treasure Christ this season, I would encourage you to observe Advent this year– a month of treasuring Christ come to earth.
Advent means “coming”. For the four Sundays preceding Christmas, we remember various aspects of Christ’s arrival. I am already enjoying preparing my heart for the season. So far this year, that has involved my favorite advent video and ordering our family’s first advent wreath.
As you think through your own traditions this year, I would love to help by sharing resources I have enjoyed so far on my journey of treasuring Christ in Christmas.
Feeding your Own Soul
We must keep in mind that remembering God is the goal of tradition, and this must begin with our own heart (Deut. 6:6). So here are a few ways to feed your own soul as you prepare to serve others:
Advent Video- This is my favorite advent video by far, it fills my heart.
The Innkeeper- My husband and I watch this often during the season.
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus- Nancy Guthrie, Ed. This is a great way to feed your mind– Come Thou Long Expected Jesus is Josh’s and my favorite advent book for personal devotions. Nancy Guthrie has collected short writings from old and new Bible leaders into a 22 Chapter book that is wonderful as a holiday devotional. This will feed your soul every day of advent.
Serving Others in Your Traditions
As we worship God with our own hearts, we then diligently teach our families to worship Him also (Deut. 6:7). Further, as we speak of Him, He tells us to reinforce our words by surrounding ourselves with visible reminders of Him– you might call it creating an environment of worship (Deut. 6:8-9). Here are some steps and resources to help you in this direction.
Treasuring God in our Traditions- by Noel Piper. A great way to start thinking through traditions, this is a rich, practical, generous book of wisdom from a godly woman on helping your family remember God in “everyday” and “especially” days. Piper’s writing makes me feel like a daughter-in-law receiving her godly mother-in-law’s family book of traditions. It is a wonderful resource every woman should have and reference often.
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room, Family Advent Devotions. Nancy Guthrie. A family Advent devotional from Bible teacher and mom Nancy Guthrie. Great for families with elementary to high-school age kids, or a great starter book for couples.
Advent Wreath- Starting a simple tradition of lighting an advent candle every night of December can ease your family into remembering Christ throughout the month, and also provides a lovely centerpiece that actually means something Here is a simple description if you are new to Advent wreaths
Advent Calendar & Manger Scenes- are wonderful, visual ways to help your children look forward to Christ in Christmas. If you’re looking for a practical way to help your children think on Christ more than presents, these are two methods worth looking into and emphasizing more than presents or trees (though those can be fun and meaningful too!)
I hope these resources serve you and/or your family well this season, and these traditions for years to come. I am praying that we as women would be eager, excited to make Christ well known and treasured in our households. May our efforts show others that He is good, glorious, appealing, exciting, and full of the richest treasures! May we crave Him this Christmas season– because He has come down to fulfill the desires of every longing heart.
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