Christmas – Day One
by Rachel Jones
“The only people whose souls can truly magnify the Lord are…people who acknowledge their lowly estate and are overwhelmed by the coming of the magnificent God.”
1. This is the day that the Lord has made! Wake up, grab your Bible, journal and a pen, and get ready to spend some precious moments with your Savior.
2. Please read Isaiah 40:1-5. Write verse 3 in your journal and ask yourself if you have prepared a place for the Lord in your heart.
Celebrating Advent during a Busy Christmas Season
Advent is a season of preparation and waiting for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas. The term advent is from the Latin translation of “coming.” It is God’s prophecies in the Old Testament that prepared the way for His promise. He told us He was coming and then He fulfilled that promise!
Honoring Advent teaches our children the real reason for the season, it creates memories with our children they will cherish forever, and it allows our families to spend quality time together focusing on what is good, pure and holy. We will experience a more peaceful holiday season if we keep Jesus at the center.
Luke 2:13-14 tells us that, “suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
You might be asking yourself, but how do I get started? Well, do not worry!
We at Help Club for Moms feel passionately about encouraging and helping moms! I would be honored to share some of my experiences with you and I have included lots of links for you to choose from and save for later.
Celebrating with a Jesse Tree:
Jesse trees are a very old Christmas tradition and first started in Medieval Times. They are used to help tell the story of the Bible from creation to the Christmas Story. The name comes from Jesse who was the Father of the great Jewish King David. Isaiah 11:1-4 tells the prophecy of Jesse.
Using an Advent Calendar to Count Down the Days to Christmas:
Younger children especially enjoy using something to countdown to Christmas.
Obviously, these boxes can be used in a variety of ways, but I like to be pretty intentional with them. Every day, my girls pull out a small piece of paper with something for us to read together; either a short verse or a page from our Jesus Storybook Bible.
I also put a second piece of paper with a craft idea, activity, or a special snack to share. Some ideas include making cookies for a neighbor, wrapping our family’s presents together, listening to a Christmas song and dancing together. Really the possibilities are endless. I use this as a way to guarantee my family is doing something together, even if it is small, every day during the month of December.
This one is called “Truth in the Tinsel.” It’s a very simple advent study especially for young children. Simply read the quick, daily Bible study to your small children while they make a fun ornament! The book sells for $7.99, but we get a discount until 12/15. Use the code HELPCLUB to get 20% off!There is also a easy, pre-made ornament package available for $3.99. Simple, meaningful and FUN!
Celebrating with Shepard’s Pouches
My family has not done this personally, but I am thinking of starting it this year!
I found an amazing blog post detailing everything one needs to know:
Mary and Joseph Traveling to Bethlehem
We have done this for a couple years with my girls and they love it. It is a nice alternative to the secular tradition of the Elf on the Shelf.
As many nights as possible during the month of December, my family tries to sit down together at night to read a Christmas book. My girls expect it now! We all snuggle on the couch or stay at the kitchen table if we are having hot chocolate. I have cleaned up too many hot cocoa messes on the couch!
Here is my list of our favorites. Make sure to plan ahead and put these on hold at the library. Or you can buy them of course on Amazon.
- Alabaster’s Song: Christmas through the Eyes of an Angel by Max
- What Is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams
- Stable Where Jesus Was Born by Rhonda Gowler Greene
- There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve by Pamela Munoz Ryan
- The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
- The Small One by Alex Walsh
- The Perfect Christmas Gift (Gigi, God’s Little Princess) by Shelia Walsh
- The Candle in the Window by Grace Johnson
3. Questions to Ponder: Write the answers to the following question in your journal.
– Which one is these Advent ideas will work for your family? Spend some time in prayer and ask the Lord to guide you in planning this season. Ask for peace and patience as you are preparing and ask for your children’s hearts to be opened to the joy and wonder of their Savior this Christmas.
4. Faith-Filled Idea:
– Choose one (or more) of these advent ideas to become a tradition for your family. Start slowly and be easy on yourself if you begin late or miss a day. Remember the most important thing is that you and your husband are being intentional with your children to point them toward Christ.
Christmas – Day Two
by Tara Fox
“However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts.” -John Calvin
1. Oh how your Savior loves you! Come and meet with Him with expectation today. You are favored! Take out your Bible and notebook. Try playing some beautiful instrumental music during your time with the Lord today!
2. Read Psalm 27:1-14 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Highlight or write verse Psalm 27:13-14 in your journal.
Is there anything better than a small child in footsie jammie’s? I just love it!
As I was thinking about Expecting God, this is the picture He laid on my heart: three sweet little ones all zipped up in their jammies, staring with wonderful excitement at their Christmas tree!
Do you remember this feeling of pure joy and anticipation? Did you know this is the way our benevolent Father in Heaven wants us to look to Him- in expectation of His presence and His work in our lives with delight and contemplation.
The word Advent means “coming.” For Christians, Advent is a time to look forward to Christ’s final return and the fulfillment of his plan…His second coming. We are waiting in longing for our King!
This advent season, He wants us to wait in expectation for the good things He has for us BEFORE His return:
- To gaze upon His face with excitement.
- To revel in his amazing love for us and to wait for the dreams he has laid on our hearts.
- To expect is to know that something will certainly happen!
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11. We can expect favor, honor, and good things coming from God!
“Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”” John 11:40.
Oh what will He do in our lives if we are daughters who believe? Let us be Daughters of the Mighty King who believe we will SEE the glory of God, and who walk in faith knowing and expecting God to bring His good works to fruition.
As sure as He is coming we can expect His goodness and blessings to manifest in our lives!
Take this season to look to your Heavenly Father as a child looks forward to Christmas.
Just between you and God… When you see a Christmas tree, decoration, or nativity scene this season, smile and let it be a reminder of not only His goodness now, but also for His future return to claim you-His precious daughter for eternity!
3. Questions to Ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal.
1. Are you in a season where you have lost your zeal for the Lord? Pray and Him to return it to you. Set aside time to spend with God. Our faith is not based on feelings, but instead our faith is based on a person, Jesus Christ. When we continue to spend time with Him we are moving in the direction of faith instead of doubt, which thus leads to anticipation!
2. Write and display a running list of the many the good things God has done for you over the years. Have a family worship night to thank Him!
4. Faith Filled Idea:
Pray and ask the Lord for a Christmas devotion to do with your family. “Christmas Carols for a Kids Heart” has been one of our favorites! You will all learn the true stories behind the songwriters of favorite Christmas hymns. It is simple, beautifully illustrated, and comes with a CD. It is a great way to start or end your day in the season of Advent!
Christmas – Day Three
by Leslie Leonard
“Listen in silence because if your heart is full of other things you cannot hear the voice of God.”
1. It’s time to spend some quality time with our loving Savior. Grab your bible, notebook and a hot, delicious beverage.
2. Begin by opening your bible to John 14:26-28. Write the passages in your journal or record them on your phone. Pay special attention to verse 27. Read the whole chapter for a beautiful blessing.
In the Midst of Chaos, Open Your Ears and Listen
We are surrounded by hundreds of distractions every day. Phones ring, children cry and daily responsibilities become overwhelming. We find ourselves at the beginning of the Christmas season so overwhelmed with social obligations and traditions that we tend to overlook the most important piece- Jesus.
Psalm 46:10 tells us: “Be still and know that I am God.” Stop. Listen for the baby Jesus. If you are not still, you might miss what God is trying to tell you. God is crying out to you, telling you He loves you. Be still and listen.
Do not find yourself so busy that you cannot hear the baby Jesus. As a first time mom, time stops for the first few weeks of your newborn baby’s life. The tiny life you are now responsible for is all consuming. You can hear every noise they make from across the room and let’s be honest, that baby does not leave your sight in the beginning.
What if our relationship with Jesus was just like a newborn baby- all consuming and compelling us to just be still and be present with Him?
Don’t let the noise of the world keep you from hearing the voice of the Lord. Colossians 3:15-17tells us: “ Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Maintaining peacefulness, especially when dealing with difficult situations, means being able to “let go and let God” all the time, constantly, in every moment. This is hard.
Consider giving yourself the following “gifts” this Christmas season:
*Establish a daily quiet time. Use this Christmas season as a reason to start seeking the Lord every day.
*Pray for feelings of peace and calm whenever you feel the need. This could be while preparing your home for guests, shopping at a busy mall, or performing a simple task at home. Earnestly pray to God and ask Him to fill you with His Spirit of peace and to help you give over your yoke of anxiety. He will shoulder your burdens.
*Remember to put your trust in God. When the “noise” of the holidays drowns out the “still, small voice” of the One who came to us as a baby, put your trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight”
Take these three simple ideas and tasks and incorporate them into your daily routine. Seeking the Lord daily will help us to be still and listen. Chaos is natural. Constant chaos is not natural. We should find quiet moments throughout our day to seek the counsel of God, to pray or to worship the Lord. Seek calm and quiet during this Christmas season.
Trust God. Make an effort to listen for the Baby Jesus.
3. Questions to Ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal.
1. What area or areas of your life are filled with distractions? Are you able to put aside any of those distractions? Remove them for good? Pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance in this area.
2. Being still is also being more aware of those around you. Are you actively engaging your loved ones by being present? Journal different ways you can show love to your family this holiday season.
4. Faith Filled Idea:
1. Are you comfortable with silence? Make an effort to create more quiet in your life. Make a goal of at least 15 minutes of complete silence a day. Use this time to pray or meditate. Seek God during these still times in your home.