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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I have to admit, I'm thinking ahead. Oh yes, I'm going to fully enjoy the day tomorrow. I've been intentionally cultivating a heart of thankfulness this week. But I'm really ready for Christmas this year.

Just this past weekend I walked into my local Starbucks and felt a surge of joy. Not just because a gingerbread latte was waiting for me on the other side of the counter. But because I LOVE the promise it holds for the spirit of Christmas.

I've learned the season of Christmas is what I make it to be. I can choose to put Jesus first place in my life each and every day - or I can put Him somewhere down on my to-do list. The difference is huge.

The past several years have been very hectic for me. Two years ago I never got the Christmas tree decorated. It had lights ONLY because it was a pre-lit tree - but no decorations. There was lots I didn't get done that year, but the most painful admission to make is what else I missed. I missed the joy of Jesus' birthday. I missed the sweet presence of my Savior.

Never again!

This Christmas I've already made a list of priorities - and it isn't long. But it highlights the most important things to me this year. It's manageable and it's Christ-focused. I'm not one of those people who schedules every moment - but I've realized there is more peace and joy when I plan for the important things.

This weekend is a perfect time for you to do some prayerful prioritizing for the upcoming month. Consider what is most important to you and your family, and make a list. Then take your list and put it on a calendar. Make "appointments" that you don't want to miss!

If you are looking for some ways to bring more Jesus-focus to your Christmas, I'd love to recommend a resource my friend Marybeth Whalen wrote, called "A Recipe for Christmas Joy."

It is wonderful! She has filled it with the perfect balance of spiritual and practical components. For instance, she's included a week-by-week countdown, recipes and gift ideas. But she also has devotions on how to make Jesus the centerpiece of your holiday, how to be intentional and how to reach out to others.

I'm going to try one of her recipes tomorrow for Monkey Bread. It's oh so easy, and I know my family will love it. Then for Christmas morning, I'll be trying her breakfast casserole with grits, sausage and cheese. I'm also going to put together some of the food gifts she recommends. I'm particularly interested in one involving pretzels, Hershey's kisses and M&Ms. The kids will love helping me make those.

What I love about Marybeth's guide is that it's not all about formal lists and forms. It's about inviting the Maker of Joy into your heart and home at Christmas, and then sharing that Joy with others.

If you want to read more about it, visit Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Happy Thanksgiving ... and an early Merry Christmas!!

In His Love,



Marybeth said...

Glynnis... in this season of Thanksgiving I am thankful for you. Your words touched my heart. That ebook is truly a labor of love and it really does emanate from what God has taught me (is still teaching me) about the Christmas season.

If you have a chance, please post your list of priorities and how you are scheduling it in. I would love to read it so let me know if you do write that post!

MrsProverbs31 said...

Glynnis, I want to thank you for your P31 devotional on the 23rd. I am stuck in a place unknown to me or my family. I find it stressful, but God has been good and finding your devotional piece is an encouragement to me. God bless and Happy Thanksgiving.

Melissa Taylor said...

Happy Thanksgiving Glynnis!!!! You have inspired me to take time this weekend to list my priorities for the next month, making most sure I keep my eyes on the celebration and love and Jesus.

Hope you and your beautiful family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Love You,