Advent & Resources

As of Sunday, Advent is officially here.  Were you prepared?  Are you still getting ready like I am?  :) 

My most wonderful husband let me have some time away from the kiddos this morning to think and plan through December.  Well, that is how I've chosen to spend my time, anyway.  And I'm ever so grateful!

I really needed to think about how we will be celebrating this Advent season.  And if you are like me, we need to plan time to be intentional through this season of Christ's coming.  One way we are doing this is by putting a nativity set out (this one is Fisher-Price) that is accessible to the children and won't break.  This was a must for me.  A very hand-on approach to keeping Christmas Christ-focused. 
I also have to share a special moment I had with my 5-yr old son last week.  He was so excited for Christmas, and still is.  But before December had even began I was asked by him (in a whiny voice, mind you), "When do I get presents from people?"  Isn't that what we remember each year and even what we are taught from the youngest age?  

I had to correct him, and simply replied, "Son, Christmas is not about you.  Or me.  Or Daddy, or brother or sister.  It is about Jesus.  It is about God sending His only son to earth, as a baby, to live, to die on a cross for your sins and mine, and to rise from death to life."

And that was the end of that conversation.  For that moment.  :)  Ah, grace for this moment.
Then a couple of days ago, he brought me a new question I wasn't quite prepared for.  "Mommy, if Christmas is about Jesus, why do we get to get presents?"  He stumped me.  I love these moments.  Sincerely love them.

Instead of gleaning wisdom from others I stumbled through an answer (which probably wasn't very helpful to him) and eventually said, "Let's ask Daddy later."  :)  

Daddy said, "We give gifts to others to show them love... just like God gave us the perfect gift of His Son, Jesus."  *Sigh*  Sometimes he makes this look so easy.  I love him!  But isn't God good?  That in His perfect love for us He had a plan... to redeem His children, through the death of His one and only Son.  

Something I learned from this, on a not very deep level, is that I was not prepared in my heart to celebrate Christ this season.  I am called as a parent to shepherd our children's hearts.  But first my heart must be in tune with God.  I must be in fellowship with Him to hear His heart.  I was reminded of His grace through my son's questions.

So, I wanted to put a couple of resources at your fingertips.  These were shared by a dear friend of our family.  The first is an Advent Devotional guide for you to work through.  If you choose to read through it, know that I am working through it right along with you.  It is provided by The Village Church in Texas.

Advent Devotional Guide.

The second is a book I own, offered now for free online.  A wonderful resource for mothers and families alike.  Written by Pastor John Piper's wife, Noel, this book offers her perspective of how we can practically keep our traditions God-focused all throughout the year.  It is a must read!

Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper.

Enjoy these resources as we keep Christ our focus in leading our children and may God use them to fine-tune our hearts to His.