Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Series!

It is nice to sit back and relax as the Christmas season comes to a conclusion! It is so nice to just enjoy some relaxing down time before the new year begins.

Speaking of the New Year - starting Saturday I will begin a new blog series for the month of January called Joy in Simplicity! It will feature a myriad of ideas for your personal life, your home, and your ministry. Check out my blog daily for ideas of how you can make life a little easier, a little more enjoyable, to make your home a little bit easier to live in, your job a little bit more organized, and your ministry (ps if you are Christian, your life is your ministry) a little less chaotic, and your life a little bit more relaxing!

I hope you will be refreshed and encouraged as we begin this 30 day series. Please tell your friends, share it on facebook I would love for others to experience the joy of simplifying their life. I will try to give multiple applications for each idea so it can be used in multiple settings.

I will also be giving you ideas to encourage you spiritually, physically, socially and emotionally, because if our personal life isn't in tact it makes the rest of world hectic as well!

I hope you will join me for this 30 day journey of finding Joy in Simplicity!

Have a Happy New Year! Check back on January 1st for our first addition of the series!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Advent Awesomeness Conclusion

The holiday has come and gone by the world's standards, but the celebration can continue to live on as we live our daily lives with the joy of knowing Jesus Christ and the gift of life that we recieve from Him. Today - rest! Find sanctuary in knowing that God is God!! He created us to bring glory to Himself. Today and throughout the rest of the year - Worship Him and give Him the glory due to Him!

I close with one of my favorite passages of scripture that Paul shared with the church in Ephesis - "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ power may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide, and long, and high, and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #25

Merry Christmas!!!! Blessings to you and your families!!

Day 25 - Celebrate the Joy - it can be a challenge during the holidays to find family time to be a joy, especially for those hard to love relatives, today I want to encourage you to find the positive in each person as you gather aroudn the table, because God created each one of you in his image and as I say to the kids all the time - you are his favorite!!! We are loved by the Creator of the Universe! Sp just as God loved us by sending his Son to that cold stable - let us sacrifice and share that same love with those that we spend the holidays with.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #24

Twas the day before Christmas..... it's hard to believe it will be upon us in one short day!!! Oh how the time flies!.

Day #24 - Read the Christmas Story - Matthew 1 &2 and Luke 2 - I challenge to look beyond the story - see the people - imagine what it would be like to be them or be in Bethlehem that day. Let the words come to life as you read it together as a family, with friends or just you and your Bible. Let this be a time that God speaks to you through his word - pray first that God will open your eyes and ears to something new!

Advent Awesomeness #23

Sorry this wasn't posted yesterday...we were traveling and had no internet connection. So you may have to do a double one for today.

Day 23 - Nice to your neighbor - Do something nice for your neighbor today. It may be showing up with a plate of cookies or a jar of homemade applesauce (that is what I love to give). If time allows stay for a few minutes and visit. If your neighbor isn't home, leave a note on their doorstep. Maybe for some of you going to your neighbor means a level of anxiety because there is tension - let this be a season of forgiveness and restored relationships!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent Awesomeness - #22 – Wednesday

Day 22 – Picked a prayer/praise - One of my favorite parts about the Christmas season is the plethora of cards that we receive!!! Real mail – I love it! Well today as part of our last week of advent celebrations I want you to pick 5 cards randomly and pray for those people, for their families, and praise God for the relationship that you have with them.

If you want drop them a message to let them know that they were prayed for – you may never know how much they need those words of encouragement!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Advent Awesomeness - #21 – Tuesday

Day # 21 – Read a book Day – There are so many great books out there that have Christmas themes to them. One such book that I absolutely love is God Came Near. If you get my newsletter – this book and recommendation will sound familiar. The book is broken up into short chapters, many of which help you to think about the Christmas story from the shoes of someone who was there. It brings the event to life. I also love Christmas Children’s books. There message is directed at kids, however more often than not – they are filled with timely reminders for us big kids (aka adults) So today grab a cup of hot chocolate your favorite blanket and snuggle up by the Christmas tree and read a book together!

One of my favorites is the book called The Crippled Lamb - it makes me cry every time I read it! If it's not in your library - add it today!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #20 – Monday

Day #19 – Share your Story – What is your favorite Christmas memory? I love to hear the stories of different people as they share their holiday traditions and memories. Send me a message or post a note about your favorite holiday tradition or memory – who knows maybe next year it will be our family’s new tradition.

I am not sure why I always remember those Christmases that are crazy – one year all five of us had chicken poxs at the same time! I am sure that wasn’t a happy memory for my parents. I do remember one year it was getting late into December and we had yet to get a tree – Dad and I would always go and pick out a tree. Well I was getting tired of waiting so I decided to grab a saw out of the shed and headed up on the hill. I walked for a while until I found a nicely shaped tree, cut it down and dragged it down to the house. Once it was up in the house I realized how far apart the branches were – let’s just say once it was decorated it officially looked like a Charlie Brown tree – I took a lot of flack for that – but the next year – my family didn’t wait so long and we went and got a real Christmas tree. Lesson learned the hard way! Yet a great memory was made!

Advent Awesomeness #19 – Sunday

Day #18 – Outdoor Adventure

At our small group a couple weeks ago a dear friend Christianna Maurer was telling me about something that her and her husband Elias did that day as part of their advent celebration – it was an awesome idea – so with her permission I borrowed the idea to share with you.

Grab a camera and your friends or your family and head outside this afternoon. Take a walk around and look in God’s creation to find the letters to the Words Merry Christmas. Take a picture of each letter that you find and then print out a collage as a reminder of God’s perfect design in creation. You may Find sticks in the shape of an M – a rippling brook that makes the pattern of an S – be creative, after- God was pretty creative when he made you!

Hope you enjoy your outdoor adventure today. Finish off your afternoon adventure with a nice hot cup of hot chocolate in front of your Christmas Tree.

If you need to modify the activity because of the weather or schedule - do a scavenger hunt in magazines or around the house. You could make a colorful collage of letters that you cut out of magazines. Just an idea - be creative and enjoy your adventures - ps - post some pictures I would love to see you craftyness!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #18 – Saturday

Can you believe that it is one week until Christmas - the day we celebrate Christ birth and His blessings on our life. I hope you have been able to take time this season to reflect on the meaning of Christmas as we walk through Advent together. Today is a crafting project for you to do with your friends, family, or just for some quiet time by yourself.

Day #18 – Make a Jesse Tree – if you have never heard of Jesse tree, you aren’t alone. I had never heard of one until several years ago when I was working for the Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg. One year for Christmas the ladies of the church gave one to each staff member. It is a great way to celebrate the Advent season as each ornament for the tree has a scripture and a lesson. Obviously you wouldn’t be able to use it this year, but it would be all ready to be used next year, or make several and use them as a gifts!

Here is a link about what a Jesse Tree is, what each of the ornaments stand for and how to make your own tree. The Jesse Tree: Celebration of Advent

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #17 – Friday

This past week I have had the joy (okay I am lying) of having the winter sinus monster visit my house. With that has come some quality time to lay on the couch and watch some classic Christmas favorites and check out some new classics - one of which was It's a Wonderful Life. I even twittered that I was watching it for the first time and definately recieved some backlash for waiting until age 35 to watch it for the first time - give me some slack folks I grew up in Potter County and got two channels! Anyway - it was great and I am glad I finally got to see it now it is your turn!

Day # 17 – Christmas Classics – what is your favorite Christmas movie classic? Is it something old school like White Christmas or is it a children’s classic such as Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph. Maybe you are into the new Christmas comedies – Elf, or Home Alone 10 (okay so there aren’t ten but there are several). There are tons of great movies out there. A favorite of mine is How the Grinch stole Christmas – not because of the mean Grinch, but because of his transformation. I just love that part – it shows that there is hope for even the grumpiest of people during the holidays all they need is a little love. Have a family night and gather round with a bowl of popcorn and enjoy a night in, who knows maybe it will even snow tonight!

If you aren't able to find a Classic on TV tonight - head out to a local church or school that is having a Christmas program - I am sure you will find one and if you are in the Richfield area - head over to Richfield Mennonite and see our production of the Not So Perfect Nativity at 7pm tonight or 3pm or 7pm tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #16 – Thursday

Did you get a chance to Christmas Carol last night - well I did, at least by doing the phone caroling with a few girls from my youth group. We took our students to see the New Narnia movie and it was awesome, so I am planning to carol at our Christmas play this week as well as do some more phone caroling - my girls loved the phone caroling so much that they now want to start a facebook page for it. Also I was honored by having my idea shared on site by my dear friend Stephanie!!!! Now onto today's advent adventure.....

Day #16 – send a Christmas care package to a long distance friend. Even as an adult I love to get real mail – you know the kind that doesn’t expect a check in return. Well if we love to just get real mail how much more would we love to get a real package. Include their favorite snack or a note about a special memory that you have shared. How about an old photo of the two of your together. I just got a letter like that the other day and it was a great memory to see that photo again. Just get a flat rate box from the post office and fill it up and send it out! You will be sure to get a call in return!!! Enjoy creating your care package!!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #15 – Wednesday

So how are you doing with your Advent activities? So far - mostly so good I missed a day or two when we were sick, but I am working my way to catch up. The only one I have yet to do is the day of giving to a charity - but I will be taking care of that by Friday (I promise). Yesterday - was celebrate your spouse - that was super fun! Especially since we had a nice night away in Harrisburg with dinner and a light tour! One of the things that I am being reminded of this holiday Advent season is how blessed I am - I hope that shows in how I live my life!

Day #15 – A-Caroling we will go! Many churches still go caroling on a Wednesday evening as part of their midweek service, if yours does – go out and join them. I imagine it will brighten the night of a shut in who may feel lonely this holiday season. If your church no longer carols or never has – then call a couple friends and go as a group. This would be a great small group activity! Make a joyful noise to the Lord! If you aren't able to go caroling tomorrow - maybe you could do a caroling call - make a call to a couple people who may be alone this season and give them a carol on the phone or a schedule a visit for the weekend, if you aren't able to go today.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent Awesomeness - Day #14

Since I am posting this the day before so people have a little time to prepare for the Advent adventure of the day, it seems perfect that today we are celebrating spouses or significant loved ones in our lives. Today Joel and I celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary (December 13th).

Day #14 – Celebrate Spouses – I know not everyone reading this has a spouse or a significant loved one in their life, and if not – that is okay maybe today you can make a special commitment to praying about that area of your life. For me it was a long wait, but not nearly as long as my husband waited!

Today as a way to honor the union of marriage, which is a covenant picture of Christ and the church, I want to encourage you to affirm your spouse in their love language – for me it is words of affirmation, for Joel it is acts of service. Do something nice for them, let them know you love them, and also spend some time today sharing some special memories together.

Today I want to celebrate Joel – he is one of the most caring and compassionate men that I have ever met. His goal in life is to please other people and he exemplifies that daily in our marriage. He makes it a point to try to do special things for me….the other day we left 45 minutes early for a dinner just so he could drive me around to see Christmas lights – he knows how much I love them.

I can honestly say – these have been the best two years of my life! He is a great example of Christ in how he lives his day to day life and I am so blessed that He chose me to be his wife! I am one blessed woman and I am honored to be his wife!

It's hard to believe it was December! It was cold outside, but this is a favorite picture

Wedding Day December 13, 2008

This was so fun! My dad didn't like it, but Joel knew it was coming long before we were even engaged....I said - just an FYI if you marry me, I will put cake in your face! We just love to have fun together! Great memories!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #13 – Monday

A new week has begun and Christmas is just around the corner. How are you doing with your daily reading? It is hard to make it a priority but so far so good. I am reading the Chronological bible so I am still in Ezekiel. I may just have to break away and read the Christmas story just for some encouragement.

Day #13 – Lent Revisited – I like to joke around with my students when they offer me chocolate or something fattening by saying I gave it up for Lent and Advent and every day in between. Lent is a season that we focus on Christ sacrifice and Advent is the time that we celebrate his birth. What if in honor of his birth we gave up something to be reminded that we are thankful for his gift through His Son. Fasting is one of those spiritual gifts that are hard to do – to be honest I just don’t like it – but it is affective for sure. Today I want to encourage you to fast – it could be a TV fast, a food fast, a shopping fast – whatever it is that you can fast for a day to help you to remember what this season is all about.

Today I am going to fast from Facebook and my computer! If this appears on facebook – no worries I have it automatically linked. Today I am also going to fast from drinking anything but water. Sugar seems to be a nagging desire lately especially in the drinks I choose, so for today water it is!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent Awesomeness # 12 – Sunday

Before we get onto our Advent activity for today I wanted to highlight a story that I got from a friend yesterday... he was sharing his giving to a stranger. When he was at the bank the teller returned his money to him in an envelope, so he wrote her a note said Merry Christmas and gave her some of the money he just withdrew - Loved that story - never would have thought to do that. I would love to hear other ideas of what you have done to give to a stranger. As I have said before Christmas is about Giving – advent is the same, it is about giving – the giving of God’s Son to be born as a baby and given to this sinful world to save it! Thanks for giving yesterday!!!

Day #12 – Sanctuary Servant – Do you consider your church a gift? Your church can’t be perfect, because you are in it (by that I mean we are all sinners and you put one sinner in a church and messes up everything) – nothing on earth can, but despite the imperfections of the church, it is something we need to be thankful for. Within the church there are many people that labor to make the church function….the pastor, the youth pastor, the secretary, the custodians, etc. Find a staff member of the church to thank today. It could be a verbal thanks, a gift, or just a note in their mailbox. Ministry can be a draining thankless job (I know from experience). Do your part today to show your appreciation.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #11 – Saturday

What did you do for your random act of kindness? I wish you could catch on film the looks on people's faces when you surprise them with kindness. It is actually kind of sad that kindness is a surprise and not expected. Today you will have another opportunity to surprise a stranger through giving!

Day #11 – Season of Giving – Sticking with the same theme of yesterday and knowing that many of you will be shopping today, buy a gift for Angel Tree Ministries, or Toys for Tots or some organization that collects needed items for Children in need. In Luke – it says that those who are given much, much is expected… if we are honest – we have all been given much! So we are expected to do the same for others. Who will you give to today?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #10 – Friday

So what did you do for your Crazy Thursday? Well, my thursday was not quite as crazy as I would have hoped as I was stuck on the couch most of the day with the sinus yuck.... I did get to pull out the crazy socks for my appearance at play practice! Now onto todays Advent Awesomeness!

Day #10 - Give to a stranger – I love that God tells us to give in secret – I think he does that so we don’t get swellen heads thinking how great we are. I think sometimes we give because we want recognition or we want to be thanked by someone. Today I am going to challenge you to give – expecting nothing in return. How can you guarantee not being thanked – well if you don’t know the person you are giving to, they surely will have trouble finding you to thank! Pay for the person behind you in line at the drive through. If you are in a city with Tolls – pay the next person’s toll. If you are big spender pay someone else’s bill at the restaurant. Be creative! The sky is the limit! You may never know how much of a difference that will make for that person.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #9 - Thursday

Some of the favorites that made my list yesterday – Raspberry Iced Tea, Tucker’s soft floppy ears, the first snow of the winter season, rainy day early dismissals…. The list could go on – how did you do on your list?

Day #9 – Crazy Thursdays – Many years ago when I lived in Clearfield, I had a good friend named Aaron Garber. From his years in college he introduced me to the concept of Crazy Thursday. I mean really if you think about it – Thursday in and of itself is not an exciting day – it is not the weekend – it’s not the middle of the week – it is just Thursday. So by making it Crazy Thursday – we can bring to life a day that is typically boring or hard to get through.

When I was a teacher – we would celebrate Crazy Thursday by wearing crazy socks, hats, playing crazy childhood games (like Killer Red Light Green Light) yes I taught teenagers and yes they loved it! It was a chance for them to let loose and do something fun and crazy. I have to admit one Thursday we even went crazy mud diving out on the athletic field! No worries – the janitors knew ahead of time and all the girls had extra clothes, but that is a memory I will remember for a lifetime. Another fun activity you could try on Crazy Thursday is Ice blocking - we have the perfect weather here in Central PA to give it a try - all you need is a hill and a big block of ice from an Ice House - sit on top of the block and ride down the hill - you don't even need snow for this one! We love it so much - we started doing it at our church picnics in the summer.

Today is your turn to do something crazy in honor of advent – (make sure it is legal! Of course) Maybe it is just something out of the ordinary – but being spontanius can bring joy and laughter. I think God loves when we laugh and enough life - what better way to celebrate the season. So today get out of your stiff routine and so something crazy, exciting, backwards, whatever! After all – it’s crazy Thursday! Drop me a note and let me know what you do - I would love to hear all about it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #8 - Wednesday

Did you know that 8 is my favorite number – that really has nothing to do with Advent but it does have something to do with my advent blog for today! But before we get to the topic of today - I want to say what a blessing the past two days have been. I so enjoyed loving on my friends and "my kids" I have gotten many notes in return which has made my advent adventure all the more exciting and meaningful! God created us for relationships and in that area I am so blessed!

Day #8 – Favorite things – “Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens, snowflakes and sleighbells and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!” I love that song because it is all about favorites. What are your favorite things? Have you ever thought about making a list, if not today is your lucky day.

Start with ten, then keep going, maybe you can get to 25, or if you are really ambitious or bored you can come up with a list of 100 of your favorite things. Why is this important – I think we sometimes loose sight of the positive little things in our lives. God has blessed each of us with so much. Put the list on your nightstand or on your refridgerator as a reminder of the things that you are thankful for. And also make sure you take time today to thank God for each and everyone of those "little" things that make a big difference in our lifes....

Here are a few of my favorite things......

tiger lily 2.jpg

Tiger Lilies

Raspberry Ice Tea

Being a Red Shirt at Group Workcamps

Operation Christmas Child

Boo and Tucker

Sunrises in Nova Scotia (or anywhere for that matter)

The Fall Season

Monday, December 06, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #7 Tuesday

Yesterday's activity brought back such great memories to look back at how God has used different friends in my life to mold and shape me into the person that I am today. My hope is that I can be that kind of friend to others.

Day #7 – Celebrating Kids/Students– If you have children today is the day to celebrate them! Take time today to do something special for your children. Maybe a note in their lunchbox. Maybe a special dinner. Or a night out with your kids. Let them know today how important they are in your life! One of the things that we have done in years past over our thanksgiving mission trip is to have the parents write a letter of thanksgiving to their children – letting them know why they are thankful for them.

Since I do not have kids of my own – today I am going to write a note to several students of mine from the past that I am so ever grateful for. And the funny part is – some of the students that were the hardest to love have become some of my favorites to this day. Tough love is hard at times, but the end result is so rewarding!

If you don't have any children, find a young person in your church or community that has stood out to you, and drop them a note of encouragement - who knows what a difference your words will make in the life of a young person.

"Remember that the youth are not the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today!"

Below you will see just a few of the many kids that I have been blessed to work with that I believe will make a mark on our world! There are so many more than these pictured but these are just a few of the girls that I have been blessed to work with! Love you girls! And of course I love my guys too! The list of students would be too great to number, and I am sure I would forget a name, but if I have had the joy of working with you - please know that you are loved, prayed for - and remember - "to those who have been given much, much is expected!" To my my kids - be leaders! Let your life point to Christ! I know you will accomplish great things as I know you already have! Love you and miss you all!!!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #6 Monday

It’s a new week! For some of you that is a reason in and of itself to celebrate. Part of the season of Advent is about the anticipation of Jesus’ return. Are you anticipating how great it will be when Christ returns and renews and makes all things new!

In the first picture - Kristin, Jill (my sister), me, Christie, and Jeanne
The next picture, Bonnie, Lori and I
The third picture - Christianna, Jeanne, Abby(one of my students), and Christie.

Day #6 – A Focus on Friendship
– I strongly believe that God did not intend for us to try to do life alone. In fact there are countless scriptures in the Old and New Testament that refer to the need for Good Friends. Who are your good friends? You know the friends that when life seems to fall apart they stick by your side. The kind of friends that just show up to help clean your house when you are sick, because they know you are too stubborn to call. The kind of friends that will sacrifice their time and their finances to help you out.

Today – publicly affirm your friends! Whether it would be through a blog, a facebook post, a phone call, or even a letter if you have no other way to publically affirm them!

I would like to affirm several people that are “friends who stick closer than a brother” – these are the girlfriends that have walked through good times and bad with me and still like me (or at least pretend to J) I have countless friends – but these are a few that stand out.

Kristin W. – Our bike rides, walks, countless talks – you are to this day one of my best friends – though the miles separate us – and life steals our time to talk – you will always remain one of my best friends – I miss you greatly and pray for you often! Every time we talk it seems as though time has stood still.

Christie H. – College would not have been the same without you. You inspire me! Your love for adopting children is a pure reflection of God’s love. Thank you for all the great memories in college and as we continue to walk through adulthood. I hope we can get together soon! You are loved and missed.

Jeanne G. – God’s timing is so perfect and boy did he know that I needed a friend to cry with, to laugh with, and to do life with. You walked through one of my biggest challenges with me with unconditional love and care! I am forever grateful for your love and friendship.

Jacki R.– Seriously – who drives 8 hours for an afternoon visit. Who continues to make calls just to check in on me even when I couldn’t bring myself to answer the phone. You have cried for me and with me. And to this day I still have my comfort blanket and it goes with me to every camp. You have loved me with an everlasting love – thank you!!

Jess J. – It was one of my saddest days in Lewisburg when you left. It felt as though my family was moving. You always made a place for me in your home. You never made me feel like a third wheel. You stretched my eating habits, and you help me learn how many different ways you can use apples from the tree in your backyard. Your friendship is invaluable! Miss you guys! Including Goose!!!!

Meg M. - Since Meg and I both suffer from the disease MS - we were set up by members of our church to get to know each other - in both of our stubbornness, we reluctantly agreed and an amazing yet very beneficial friendship began. It was so nice to talk to someone who really understand and wasn't just trying to be nice. Though I pray and wish for healing for both of our bodies, I am so grateful that I have someone who walks through this with me!

God continues to bless me with great friends here in Richfield as well.

Jess W. – as soon as I move to Richfield – you move away! I will miss doing ministry with you. I appreciate your honesty and transperancy and your encouraging words. Can we do lunch sometime soon.

Lori M. – so glad to be part of your wedding in a flash! That was one of the craziest most fun weeks ever! I am so glad I only had to keep it a secret for a week., much longer and I would have had a really hard time.

Christianna M. - As a member of the Ninevite Wife's club - we both can relate to what it is like to go to a totally unfamiliar place to begin a new life with our husbands. It has been great to have another kindred spirit who understands what I am going through - which brings me to another shout out to Deborah P. - the other member of our fun club!

Bonnie, Brenda, and Amber - a special shout out to you fine ladies - I so miss our Bible study time together, I cherish your friendship - hope we can hang out soon!!!

These are just a few of the many friends that have impacted my life! Please know that whether you are listed above or not – I am blessed and today I celebrate you!!!!

Advent Awesomeness #5 - Sunday

This is the day that the Lord has made – we will rejoice and be glad in it! As we Celebrate Lent – we don’t want to lose sight of what we are Celebrating!

Day #5 – Celebrate with Worship – if you are regular attender of Church we often take for granted that we have a safe place to worship and celebrate with no fear of persecution – so thank God today for your Church and your freedoms. If you are not a regular attender – I want to encourage you to make it a point to attend church throughout the Christmas season – it may just change your life. And for those that may not attend at all – maybe you had a bad experience or maybe you just are not sure it is for you – I want to encourage you to give it a try – try 5 weeks of church and let me know your thoughts. Remember God works in mysterious ways and also remember you will never find a perfect church because all churches are filled with less than perfect people trying to do their best to serve a perfect God!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #4 - Saturday

Did anyone respond to your message about what Christmas means to you? Is so I would love to hear about it.

Day #4 – Festival of Lights – that just sounds like a fun title doesn’t it. I love white Christmas lights – some may think I am boring but for me – the plain white are my favorites. My neighbors I don’t think agree since they are all about the colored ones, that okay – we all have our own preferences. Anyway – I love Christmas for so many reasons, one of my favorite is the lights. I even think that one of the best inventions was the icicle lights! Okay and the bush covering lights! And the hanging star lights! Okay I am just a sucker for lights. Take some time with your family tonight and do your own little festival of lights tour. Drive around your community and look at the lights. It will be a fun activity, but also who knows it may even become a family Advent tradition! You could even play Christmas music in car while you enjoy your little Festival of Lights Tour.

To get you in the spirit here is a little video to get you in the Christmas mood.....

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #3 - Friday

Despite having a crazy full day I was able to write a note to Nancy and read my chapter, being intentional about this is so good for me. Knowing that someone might read this and ask me about it, is a good way for me to have accountability.

Day 3 – Facebook Frenzy – I know people have mixed feelings about Facebook and how much time some people spend on facebook, I know there are times it can consume me, however I also know that it is a great tool to connect and encourage others. Today post a message on facebook about what the Christmas season means to you. You never know who might just need to be encouraged this Christmas season by positive words about our Jesus!

Advent Awesomeness #2

Each day before I get to the current day I will take a little review of the past days or celebrate something good that happened….. today I read my chapter that I committed to – but I am not sure Ezekiel is the most joyous book of the bible J

Day 2 – Celebrate a Mentor Day – I have heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but what does it take to raise and adult? It takes a mentor, and encourager, someone who has been where you are and will push you to grow and move past that point. For me it was a woman that lived in Clearfield named Nancy. She was a spiritual mentor for me. She was a woman with a mission! She has the gift of praying for sure and she is one of the most devoted caring Christian women that I have ever met. We would meet together every other week and worked through the book Celebration of Discipline. Nancy made a huge impact on my spiritual walk, who has made an impact on yours? As a way to celebrate your mentor today – send them a handwritten note to let them know the impact that they have made on your life!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Advent Awesomeness #1

As I was sitting and thinking about my blog for today - I was thinking how can I steal a great idea from my husband without copying him...... so this is what I came up with (oh are you wondering his idea - if so then you should check out his blog everyday for the month of December, just click here Advent Awesomeness! For each of the 25 days of Advent I am going to blog about an idea to help you celebrate Christ, your faith, and your friendships. So sign up to follow me so you can be sure not to miss one day! Also feel free to pass this along to your friends. I know that you will be encouraged, as well as others.

Before you get started with day one - take some time before the end of the evening to find out the full meaning of Advent.... just to get you started it is a celebration of Jesus Birth and the anticipation of his return.

Day One - Through out the next twenty five days I challenge you to read your bible daily. Maybe you want to focus on a specific book of the Bible, maybe you want to focus soley on the Christmas story which is located in Matthew 1 & 2, Luke 1 & 2, you could even read a book of the bible that has 24 or 25 chapters Luke, Joshua, 2 Samuel, or one that actually has 25 chapters is 2 Kings.

We should always be reading our Bible however if you are anything like me, there are times that we forget, don't make time, or in all honesty choose something that seems to be more exciting at the time.

Will you like me commit to reading a chapter a day for the season of Advent in Celebration of our Savior? If you are going to join me, drop me an email or a message so I can encourage you as you encourage me!