Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Gems

It's been crazy around here and I haven't had time to blog much this week --- but it doesn't mean I haven't had time to read some great Christmas and Advent articles!! 

It's no secret that I love the the holidays (especially Christmas!) and I love advent. Advent is to Christmas what Lent (for those who celebrate Lent) is to Easter -- time to reflect and prepare our hearts for the celebration of our Lord!! I've been encouraged by some of the wonderful articles I've seen so I thought I'd share these great articles!

1. I love this article on hope, work and waiting....particularly since the holidays/advent is so much about hoping and waiting and can also be a struggle to focus on work -- so much to accomplish, so much to get done, so easy to focus on that!

2. Don't you just love hymns? I enjoy praise music too, but there is something so beautiful about the wording in old hymns -- I guess we just can't phrase things as lovely as people in past times could! It doesn't mean our praise is any less worshipful, but I can't help but long for gorgeous old hymns, particularly Christmas carols.  I also LOVE knowing the story behind the music which is why I loved this article telling the history of 5 carols. I think my favorite two stories were the stories about "O come, O Come, Emmanuel" and "O Holy Night"

3. Who can't relate to hard times and holidays and mixing the two? Who hasn't struggled to believe in miracles? I love this article 'When it's hard to believe in Miracles at Christmas'  Her words are so beautiful...

You’d better believe there really is a Jesus and there is a God in heaven and there is an Emmanuel who came, Creator of the Cosmos who wore bones to touch our skin.

And our Christ, He can be hoped in, believed in, trusted in; He came and He is coming again and He cares.

When hearts are fragile, that’s when they may be most faith-filled — believing in miracles before life makes sense.

Believing in the miraculous coming – so there is real living in the moment now.

Believing in a God bigger than the burdens.

Believing — so there is living.

This is how the fragile are made strong.

4. I love this post clarifying that we are participants in the Christmas drama as we actively await his 2nd coming just like Isreal waited for their Savior.

5. Purely for fun - here are some holiday decorating ideas for small spaces.  And here are some more!! Since we will likely be a small space for awhile due to the fact that we live in a city where apartments are tiny and pricy, I plan on trying some of these decorations next Christmas! (This year, we have a skinny little tree, some wreaths, a few trinkets and a nativity)

how fun is this?

Simple Cheer
Hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did. The holiday season is so busy - and its always good to take time to reflect. Dave and I do our advent devotional every morning at breakfast and although its only a few minutes long, it, like these articles, helps focus me on the Lord's coming and our time each December (and hopefully other times as well) to prepare for Him! And, when life is busy (like during the holidays) I need all the remind I can get to focus and worship instead of stress! Thankful God gave us advent to help us prepare, worship, rest, wait and hope.

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