Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anticipating Advent

 We've spent the weekend getting ready for Advent.  I wonder what you call the period of time before advent begins when you wait in anticipation and expectation for advent to start.  Tonight we'll snuggle up with the ones we love and begin this month-long journey of retelling the greatest story ever told.  We will tell of Jesus' birth to children who make sure the atmosphere is anything but holy.  I'll marvel that God's son was born in a manger.  The least likely of places.  I'll look around the room at little boys who are rowdy and distracted by the candle fire, and at the grownups who some times get a little frustrated with said little boys.  This scene will cause me to be teary-eyed thankful that God seems to surround Himself with misfits...the people who fail and fall short.

the book page garland was inspired by Shannan as well

We hung cousins on the tree cause our hearts ache for them.
Ashton burst into tears looking at this picture of KK.
I held him and cried too.

Inspired by this Etsy shop. 

Advent is a time of longing.  A time of sweet anticipation.  My soul is thirsty and eager to be reminded of Emmanuel, God with us.  We'll remind each other that though this world is broken it is not forsaken.  The same King that came as a baby, just like He said He would, is coming again to right every wrong, to break the chains of oppression, and heal the wounds of this world.  It's tempting to wait without hope when it seems as though it has been too long.  Will He come again?  There is so much pain.  So much sadness.  Why does He tarry?  We will tell the story of His faithfulness to the faces of our precious sons.  We will savor the story.  We will long for a savior.  We will long to believe.  Long for faith. 

We will sing of God's love.  His grace.  His gift.

inspired by Stephanie Lynn's website

 paper wreath inspired by Paper Craze
My sister-in-law, Lynsey found two of these perfect candle holders
at a thrift shop this summer.  Then she gave me one.
 She is the. very. best.

{{Advent Resources}}

"The snow may be soundlessly falling in piles of white all around you as you read these words. Or waves may be lapping up outside your door, a steady rhythm under palm trees. Or rain may be coursing in slow and silent rivulets down your windowpanes. But wherever you are on this tilted, spinning globe as you read these words, each of us, the whole planet, we are all sitting close — waiting. Waiting for Christ’s coming.

For this is the season of Advent, the four weeks before Christmas.

The word, advent, it comes from a Latin word. And it means “coming.”

Aren’t we, the whole of the globe, aren’t we waiting for the coming of Christ? For the God in the manger who makes Himself bread? The Saviour in swaddlings who makes Himself our robe of righteousness? The Christ who makes precisely what none of us can — Christmas. 

It is only Christ alone who can make Christmas.

We are waiting for the glorious coming of Christ. Sometimes the heart yearning for the gift— is part of the gift!"

-- From Ann VosKamp's free Advent Study

Perhaps you'd like to wait with purposeful longing this holiday season.  Perhaps your soul needs to hear this story again and again.  Advent starts today, so maybe you'll be tempted to throw your hands in the air and declare,  "All is lost, there is no hope, I'm too late."  I have good news.  The baby we celebrate came for the late, the lazy, the slackers, the hurried, the ones with good intentions, the busy, the ones who forever struggle to get it together.  What a relief!  It is never too late.  Grab the ones you love and whisper in their ears this rich story.

tree topper inspired by hostessblog

inspired by Ucreate

{{December Activities}}

For young children:  Countdown to Christmas with books.
Kids open a book every day in December.  Review of Kirby's favorite books.  You can check these out from your library or grow your own collection over the years.  

Tahoe Express:  Take your kids on a special night to see Christmas lights.  Such a cute idea. 

Two really cute ways to create an advent calendar.

Gingerbread Nativity

Popcorn bar paired with a Christmas movie will make for a sweet night.  This popcorn bar is over the top cute.  We will go with a more lame version.

Cute mason jar lanterns.  Jar + tissue paper + glue + votive candle = instant wonder at bedtime

Shepherd's Pouch - a great way to teach kids about giving gifts to Jesus in December.

More links to come...


Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I just placed my stick thingamajigs. I'm pleased to see that you're carrying out the blue/green theme. Muy critical.

I hope you handle tree decorating better than I do. I got grumpy. Lame.

Your words on Advent echo the sermon I heard this a.m. God WITH US. So amazing, so ungraspable, so undeserved, so humbling. I'm off to check out the AV study...

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

PS - Your treeeeeeeeeee skirrrrrrrt! Love.

Anonymous said...

Your links with resources are so appreciated by this mom reconnecting with God. Bless you!

mandi said...

Everything looks so lovely! So excited Advent is here! We are doing the AV study this year. Tried it last year and it was a bit over little mr's head. Hoping this year works out better!