This year Christmas seems to have arrived more quickly than usual ... with everything that the early December calendar holds it is sometimes hard to come up for air.
God has taught me a lot this year ... it has truly changed my heart and thinking about many things. One of those was the feeling that for us to celebrate Christmas we had to decorate a certain way, spend each day doing some sort of Christmas activity or baking some special treat. Not this year .. it is not to say that any of those activities are bad but, they are not necessary. I have been reminded several times during our Advent studies over the last week that to fully participate in this Advent season we must quiet our selves ... which is hard to do if we are not "quieting" our calendars. It is not easy ... and truthfully, I will be happy when the busyness of this week is behind us and we can settle into a slower pace. It reminds me of the last night we were in Asheville over Thanksgiving ... standing in the breezeway of my parent's mountain home - snow still scattered on the ground, the sun setting behind the mountains, and the absolute silence - other than a breeze rustling some fallen leaves. I felt - this is what it means to truly quiet ones soul.
As we dive into Advent this season, we are enjoying Bartholomew's Passage as our family Advent Study. Loved Jotham's Journey last year and this is another book in the series.
We are also keeping our focus on Jesus by, performing Random Acts of Christmas Kindness ... it helps the kids to keep their focus where it needs to be - rather than on gifts for themselves.
Two recent acts of kindness ... donuts for our local police station and fire station and picking out a Christmas wish to fill with our local radio station's morning on air personalities.