Day 4….staying focused on the Advent part of Advent…

This one should probably be our Friday topic, but I was awake a lot in the night and am leaving soon to head up north to hang out with the munchkins so …. I am sharing what my Advent devotions are looking like for 2017.

First let me say, this is probably THE most important part of my preparations every year and so the one that has the most opposition for bringing about.

We all have busy lives with work and maintaining home and family, serving inside and outside of the church we attend, community events, fellowship with friends…jam-packed whether we have a home filled with wee ones or we are retired and trying to figure out how we ever squeezed in a 40-50 hour work week all those years.

When we add:

  • a complete redo of our home that includes finding a spot for a tree…a TREE!!!…in the corner
  • add two or three gatherings a week to the chock-full calendar
  • shop for all our family, friends, the mailman, our hairdresser and a few random Secret Santa/White Elephant deals
  • send cards
  • bake cookies
  • attend and throw Open House parties

well….it’s not like we had a lot of free time on our hands before all the bonus end-of-year festivities.

So it may be tempting to skim a little on the regular quiet time we had set aside in our day.

But of all times, this is THE time to make time for one on one with God.

I am intentional each year to add some readings that will give me at least a fighting chance of keeping Christ the center of Christmas.

So this year I am using:

I picked this up at our local bookstore’s close out sale. It was sitting on top of the stack of children’s books we were looking at and I just felt like it was meant to be.

I am enjoying it and gleaning some good insights about redeeming the traditions of Christmas where they have become tainted by worldly commercialism.

I shared a little quote from her yesterday and will probably be sharing more as the season plays out.

The other study I ordered is…

which is published by a different company and yet I feel used the same artist as the Total Christmas Makeover.

But I’m kind of liking the complimentary covers of it all…makes me feel all organized and pulled together.

I ordered the Max Lucado set because there are free videos offered by Study Gateway OBS.

In my opinion, so far the video is basically Max talking about what is written in the book so I am not sure I am going to continue watching the videos since when I read anything Max Lucado writes, I hear his voice in my head anyway.

It’s like I bought the audio version…I do this with Anne Graham Lotz as well. It may be a spiritual gift.

The study is geared toward a small group discussion setting, but I am finding it useful to just work through on my own.

It gives me an opportunity to dig into old mindsets about Christmas that need some fresh perspective.

Another book I have loved and will be looking at closer to the last weeks of Advent is….

Ann has a heart of devotion that draws me in and I find her insights point me to the Christ of Christmas in a tender and unique way.

In the past I have also enjoyed reading “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and “Cosmic Christmas.” The last one is also by Max Lucado.

What are you doing to prepare your heart in this season of waiting and expectation?

Talk about with your friends and family.

Share what God is speaking to you in the quiet places and be an encouragement to others to know Him more as we wait for His return <3

Blessings on each of you and I will see you tomorrow when we finish up this little series <3

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