They’re on their way to your house, even now, and who knows what visions of sugar plums are dancing in their heads. Are they imagining the big greeting, the fresh flowers in their bedroom, and their favorite meal just coming out of the oven? Days of sleeping in, waking up to fresh coffee brewing, lounging over breakfast, visiting old friends, and hanging out by the fire doing some pleasure reading?
Meanwhile, what are your expectations? Are you counting down until you have a little more help around the house? Maybe you’re looking forward to having someone wrap that pile of presents you have stuffed in your closet and finish your last-minute errands for you. And you are positively giddy with joy over handing off the kitchen clean-up duties. And then you’re expecting lots of heart-to-heart talks and one-on-one time.
So what could go wrong with this impending collision of expectations at Christmas? And what can we all do to avoid such an unnecessary collision? Here are a few ideas.
1. Review your expectations, whether you are Mom welcoming home your kids or you are the kids traveling home. Have Continue reading ‘Home for Christmas’
Have you ever seen those ill advised cupcake sprinkle applicators? I think they made them for children, and I feel like they may or may not have been an As Seen on TV product. I just remember stopping at Michaels by some kind of a plastic contraption that you insert a cupcake into and then in some way generate a windstorm of sprinkles and some of them stick to it, and marveling at the badness of the idea. I really wish I had paid more attention to how the thing worked because at this very moment I think I may be stuck inside one. Continue reading ‘Joy to the Whirled!’
Mary’s famous response to Gabriel’s announcement that she will bear the Son of God should always humble us and encourage us: “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Mary didn’t have the full picture. She must have been completely caught off guard. But she has the composure to ask one question, and then settle the matter by affirming her obedience, her willing spirit, her faith and reverence. She assumes the position of a servant who joyfully submits to her Master’s plans for her.
Humility is like this. Mary’s faith is quiet and thoughtful. She considered (Luke 1:29); she pondered (Luke 2:19); she marveled (Luke 2:33); she kept (Luke 2:51). Humility believes and trusts.
So what can we learn from Mary? Respond in faith. God is “working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight” (Heb. 13:20-21). We have been created to do the good works that God has already planned for us (Eph. 2:10). We don’t need to understand it all or know the outcome. Our duty is to be the Lord’s maidservant, eager for God to have His way with us. And the glorious thing is that when He works His will in us, it pleases God. So it goes full circle. He works in us, we joyfully embrace what He calls us to do, and He is well pleased with the result.
My husband has just finished a wonderful four-part sermon series called “Why Children Matter” and you can listen to them here at the Christ Church website. Not only is each sermon available, but Doug and I have done a Q&A each Monday night after the sermon to answer questions and go on bunny trails. You can help yourself to them at the same spot.
Secondly, for those of you who expressed an interest in the talks from the Table Grace Femina seminar, here they are as well.
And finally, I want to commend to you my husband’s book God Rest Ye Merry. There’s still time to get it for Advent, and it is a wonderful addition to your Christmas preparations. We are reading it together each day.
And while you’re at it, take a look at the Canon Press Christmas Catalog!
Merry Advent to you all!
So anyways, I’m sick in bed today. Not too bad, merely coughing myself into an early grave is all. I have also lost my voice which is a great bonus because it makes me sound so much more pathetic than I actually feel. I have reached the point where I am communicating with my family via a series of squeaks and gestures. The whole thing is actually just comic, and I would pick this any day of the week over any form of stomach bug – even though I may at any moment sprain a rib with coughing.
Now that I have over-shared with you about that, you are no doubt wondering why on earth I bring this up. Why shout the news all over the interwebs that I am coughing? I’m just setting the context here. Seeing as I am sitting in bed rather than being productive and planning my Thanksgiving menu, I decided to make some Christmas labels. Every year around this point I’m still feeling optimistic about the whole Christmas package situation. Continue reading ‘Here’s hoping’
I wrote a post for Resurgence on a few ways to control the stress of Christmas, which you can read here.
I should have written number 7 – wrap every gift the moment it comes in, but that would have been hypocritical. Enjoy!