Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our Week Of Celebrating Advent...

In this post, I shared that our family is doing an advent calendar. The activities or messages in each of these boxes was some way of giving a gift back to Jesus. Our week began with celebrating our family. As the children get older- 11, 12 and an almost 18 year - old daughter (who is in school, works, and most importantly, has a social life), it's often difficult for us to have time together as a family. My hope was that through some of these planned activities, we could be really intentional about celebrating the fact that we are family - that it was all part of God's perfect plan. I would like to think there is a smile on His face when we are truly delighting in one another.

Behind one door, the children found a note that said:

Tonight we are celebrating the gift of FAMILY. We are going to watch a movie - which will also include a trivia quiz of how well you know the movie, play cards and games. Pull out your sleeping bags because we are also going to sleep in front of the Christmas tree.

So, here we are. Jammies and all...

All I can say is that sometimes things don't go according to the plan. You've always got to leave room for the unexpected and the unplanned as was the case for this particular evening. Jessica got home late from work and was exhausted. Knowing that she had to wake up pretty early on Saturday morning, sleeping on the floor just wasn't sounding too appealing to her. If there is one thing that Steve and I have learned through the teenage years, it's that you pick your battles. So, Jessica snuggled into her bed, and the rest of us cozied up by the lights of the Christmas tree.

At about 2:30AM, Sam and I woke up at the same time... with the same stomach virus. At that point we were celebrating the fact that we now have more than one bathroom compared to our old house. Steve and Ben were the only ones who made it through that night in front of the tree. That's all I have to say about that.

What could have happened with all these unexpected events is that I could have completely flown off the handle with things not working out the way I had planned. I didn't though. I wanted my kids to see grace in action, flexibility, and understanding. The night didn't end without telling each of them how much I treasure them, love them, and thank God that He made us a family. It was a night that in spite of the circumstances, a memory was made and I know that we gave a gift to God by how we loved one another and enjoyed each other.

Here are a few of the other surprises that were tucked behind the doors from this week...

Following our evening of what was supposed to be sleeping in front of the tree, the kids woke up to find this note...

God has given us the gift of rest. When we take time to slow down and rest, we can focus on Him, worship Him, and enjoy being in His presence without distractions. Today you get to stay in your jammies all day long. You can do nothing at all, or you can do the things that you love. Whatever you do, worship Him!

How fun was it that it ended up snowing almost the whole day. As I was laying in bed because I was still sick, I could actually hear the boys laughing outside and just having a ball together. I know that God was smiling down on these boys of mine too.

Another day included this message:

Ephesians 6:2 says, "Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise. Write a letter to Dad telling him what you love and respect most about him.

This reminder...

Behind another door was a note that encouraged them to do something thoughtful for someone today.

And finally, this:

The Bible is filled with promises from God. It is a gift to the Lord when we study His word. We grow closer to Him and it is a way for us to know that He is real. When we know His word and what the Bible says, we can also share it with others. Choose a Scripture to memorize and be ready to share it next week.

So, there are just a few highlights from our advent calendar this last week. I'll share again at the end of next week because I don't want to give away any surprises of what is behind the doors for this upcoming week. I hope that all of you are having a season filled with blessings. Knowing, celebrating and experiencing the reason we celebrate... Jesus.


  1. OH Christy...I loved this post! Sorry to hear that only two left under the tree. I too have worked on realizing that not everything goes as planned. If I get upset or mad than it makes it I have tried to let go of some of the "dreams" or "control" I want over things! I love what you put in your advent calendar..memorizing a verse..staying in pj's...just great!
    -sandy toes

  2. Christy,

    This is such a great post...what a great way to celebrate advent! It does seem to get harder as the kids get older to find these moments of meaning but you seem to have accomplished it! I am always working on my "control" issues :) I agree about choosing your battles and the best advice ever given to me...major in the majors, minor in the really helps me to put things into perspective when things aren't going the way I planned! Hope you are feeling better!


  3. Christy, you are such an encouragement to me, just in the short days it took me to get all caught up on your blog. This psot is such a good example of the godly mother the Lord is helping you to be. I'm so excited that the Lord is moving me so close to your sister -- I hope I get to know you both well and call you "friend." Thank you for blessing me today!

  4. This is such a great post! Thank you for the beautiful reminders about this season--may we never lose sight of what these days are about!

  5. Great post!!! I love these ideas. I'm sorry a few of you got sick and I hope everyone is bak to normal. Looking forward to next Friday's post!

  6. That is so fun! This is such a special way to celebrate the Advent season. I love that you have a "focus" for you family each day. We light our Advent wreath, read scriptures, and say a my children get older, I would love to do this kind of thing with them.

    I hope y'all that are sick are doing better!

  7. This is so wonderful! Our special family Advent night last week didn't go as planned either.

    Thanks for sharing what you did last week. I'm going to store that away and work toward something similar next year. And for this year... we'll try again this weekend. :-)

  8. Loved this post; thanks for sharing. Loved the photo below of "homework" ! : ) Music is much more fun.


  9. Christy, I am so sorry about the stomach thing..that is what kept Miles up all night as well! :(

    Sleeping under the tree, how sweet. I would need a ton of padding, I am a wimp when it comes to my sleeping habits.. :)

  10. I just love each and every idea that you have here! Wonderful!!!!!!!!!

  11. Christy~
    What a great example of putting "feet" to your faith.

    You truly are setting a GRAND example of how we need to be as Godly parents...and Godly Mom's.

    This season TRULY is about...serving...and thinking of "others' are instilling in your children a GREAT heritage. The birth of Jesus represents the greatest sacrific of all...and OH that we would desire to be truly walk in his footsteps.

    God WILL bless you lead your children to HIM this Christmas Season!!

    I can't wait to read next weeks activities!!!

  12. What a great post and what great ideas. You came up with some great ideas for older kids. However,When I read about the spending the night on the living room floor and everybody got sick, I was thinking that a whole box of chocolate might have been easier!

    Keep up the good ideas! I can't wait to read more.

  13. Great ideas! Where did you get your Advent "calendar"? I've been praying that all those with kids- of all ages- find ways to keep them focused on the promises that God has given us, especially the birth of the Savior. You have amazing ideas to accomplish that. Thanks for sharing!

  14. What a beautiful idea for Advent. And I love that you said it's never too late to begin something new, as my kids are older, too. I will have to tuck this idea away for next year. You have a lovely blog:)

  15. I do hope you are feeling better. What a wonderful week! And snow to top it all off! As I have gotten older I too have learned to let things slide if they don't go as planned! Most things rarely do. I just say to myself... well this must have been God's plan not mine! :)

    I am so enjoying you Advent messages!

    God Bless... hope you are having a great Sunday!!!!

    Love you...

  16. This is so wonderful. This helps actually love the season - thank you.My kids would love to stay in their pajamas all day.

  17. i will vicariously live through your advent time and try to cram in what i can in the next 9 days....
    this post was truly a beauty in the bedlam moment. :)
    Remember this one. In January I am going to do a Mr. Linky party for all of our bedlam moment posts (Kimba's idea :)

  18. This is beautiful!! Love your ideas, ours are a little plan jane, advent verses, calendar, wreath. I bet the Tigers would love this. Is there a schedule you can share - detail for those of us not so gifted in this arena. :) I'd love to try this next year.

    Blessings. and Hope you're all feeling better.

  19. This is WONDERFUL!!!

    Very creative, thoughtful, simple, and loving.


  20. I am new to reading your blog and I must say that I am so excited about this post. How awesome it is that you have blessed me and made me reflect on my own family, and given me ideas on what I can do with my daughter when she is older. My husband might not be so keen on the idea because he works at Walmart as an assistant manager, but thank you so much for this post. You are truly a blessing to me and what a gorgeous family you have! Thanks again and Merry CHRISTmas!! Love, Audrey

  21. Christy~ You are an amazing Mommy, teaching the best lessons in life!
    Hugs, Les

  22. Christy,

    I love all the thought you have put into this and so sorry that sickness had to happen.

    Why is it that when we plan things that they fall apart sometimes? I am sure though that it was memory. LOL


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