Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello, December ...

Honestly, I didn't have big plans to anticipate the celebration of Jesus' birth with any advent activities. This month of December is packed with traditions and gatherings and moments that point to Jesus being born in a manger.

I love the season. I love the parties and gifts and trips and stories and our real tree.

But I do not love the pressure from society to buy more and bake elaborate dinners with desserts and have Pinterest-perfect activities awaiting my kids each morning for the next 24 days. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the links of how I could incorporate advent in our daily December lives. I'm perfectly happy not to do it all, so I was tempted not to do anything about advent.

I want my kids to know Jesus.

I want my family and friends to know we love them dearly. And gift giving happens to be my love language.

I want to seize the opportunity to talk about Jesus' birth this time of the year because that event and that baby sent from heaven are talked about more openly this month.

'Tis the season. And that's what matters.

Everyone celebrates differently. Advent may be marked with tiny pieces of chocolate or homemade ornaments to illustrate a passage of scripture. Or maybe advent is an intentional mindset of anticipation and preparing our lives for the coming King.

Whether or however you mark advent doesn't matter as long as you seek the One we're celebrating. And don't just seek him in December. Seek him the other 334 days of the year too.

While looking online this afternoon, I happened upon an advent reading plan from The Jesus Storybook Bible on various websites. That's already a favorite book around here, so I'm intrigued to prepare my kids for Christmas with it. {Side note: If you don't know The Jesus Storybook Bible, you and the little ones in your life need to.} My mother-in-law also gave the kids an advent calendar that has a chocolate piece and Bible verse for the next 24 days.

So today on the first day of December, I decided that's what we'll do for advent. It seems doable yet meaningful. And that's just what we need right now. The kids ate their piece of chocolate this morning when I explained how the calendar worked, but we're going to have to double up today's reading with tomorrow's. Just keepin' it real around here.

What {if anything ...} are you doing anything for advent?

Apparently this year's theme of embracing imperfection is overflowing into the busy holiday season. God knows I need repetition to fully grasp truth. Here we are in the last month of the year, and he's still driving this point home. Other recent holiday-related posts that keep it real are right here about traditions and our tree.

I'm linking up with Jen Ferguson's Soli Deo Gloria party, where people gather with their real-life words. Edited on Wednesday to link up with Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory because this is the story he's speaking to my heart in this season.

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  1. kristin.. i loved this.. what powerful insights on advent. It doesn't matter how you celebrate-- it's about who! :_)

  2. KristinHillTaylor12/03/2013 3:18 PM

    Thanks, Jenn! And thanks for visiting here - it's good to see your name here!

  3. Holly Solomon Barrett12/04/2013 8:44 PM

    Loved this: "Whether or however you mark advent doesn't matter as long as you seek the One we're celebrating. " Great post, Kristin!

  4. KristinHillTaylor12/05/2013 8:12 AM

    Thanks, Holly! It's good to see you here. I appreciate your encouragement.

  5. I do not have the Jesus Storybook Bible. I think that needs to change this year. I've heard awesome things about it.

  6. KristinHillTaylor12/06/2013 5:17 PM

    You and your girls would absolutely love it. I have no doubts. :) Hope you're doing well and settled back in from Haiti. I've loved your posts and I'm so glad to see your lovely face here.