I realize I have been pretty much silent on here for a couple of months. I apologize for that if you've hoped for more. Unlike the silence on our blog life has been bursting at the seams and God has been always good to us. I have gotten much insight, encouragement, and good ideas from moms striving to be faithful and I hope that I can be a blessing to others too as I funnel some of the things I've learned from others and what the Lord is teaching me.
I started reading Noel Piper's book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions and have been encouraged this Thanksgiving and Christmas season to do some structured things to point our kiddos and their parent's hearts to Christ. My neighbor, Colleen, did a Thanksgiving Tree where she cut construction paper leaves to write things that they were thankful for on and hung the leaves from a cut branch. We decided to do the same and I think it will be an annual tradition now. We did this tree on Thanksgiving day but I think it would be nice next year to start the 1st of November and write out something we are thankful for each day.
It also gave me a nice glimpse of my sweet son's unregenerate heart that still needs much cultivating for Christ. He "wrote" on one leaf, trying very hard to make legible writing, which of course looked just like scribbles. We asked him what he wrote on the leaf that he was thankful for. "Christmas trees" he said. The next leaf was, "Presents". When asked what else he was thankful for, and after giving him some ideas, he ran off exclaiming, "Nothing else!" We have some work to do :).
Owen is absolutely excited for Christmas. He anxiously asks if the snow is going to melt- afraid that if it does Christmas will not come. However, presents are the only thing on his mind. I want him to truly see and hopefully believe that JESUS is our greatest treasure and our greatest gift.
My neighbor also does an advent calendar each Christmas season with her kids. Each day is a little devotional. Noel Piper also talks about this in her book. Noel shows a picture of one that she made where there is a character for each day that you put up correlating with a story that she put together from the biblical account. I scoured the internet looking for that advent and story. She is sold out of the calendar this year (I was planning on making my own anyway) but the real jewel of the advent, the story, she put up on her blog.
I am more than thrilled to have a plan for this season to help turn our hearts more to Christ and what he has done for us. If my calendar doesn't look too hideous :) I might just post a picture of it.