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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The tree is decorated, re-usable Advent calendar filled with treats, and a cinnamon bayberry candle is scenting the air with the smells of Christmas.

I'm actually amazed at myself, because this hasn't been my M.O. for the past few years. Normally by the 1st of December I'm just starting to think about those types of things. But this year, I wanted my family's Christmas experience to be filled with more than Mom's frustration at not being able to get things done.

So I set some priorities in November for what I wanted to see happen in December. One of them was creating a cozy home for my husband and children. Truth is, I'm more at peace when things are in order. So that's a priority for me because it removes a frustration trigger.

I also wanted to enter into the season of Christmas being able to focus more on relationships and less on the getting ready part of it.

I tend to look at December in the rear view mirror with more regrets than I want. And my regrets center around three things:

1) Not focusing on Jesus enough.

2) Not spending time with my family enjoying the season.

3) Not showing His love to others.

My goal this month is to eliminate those regrets by planning ahead. To help me do that, I put together a calendar, which you can see here. With God's help, here is how I plan on prioritizing the most important things:

1) Focus more on Jesus

I found Advent Devotions online for free. My goal is to read these as a family every day. Our Advent calendar holds two candies for each day. These will be given out to those who show a spirit of Christmas . http://www.adventdevotions.net/ & http://www.d365.org/

2) Spend time with family enjoying the season

I've added a few events which we will do as a family. Only one has a charge.

3) Reach out to others

I've always wanted to invite a few friends over who are without family - so that's on a Saturday night. I've also wanted to bless my neighbors and pastors with some homemade treats. I grew up next to a family that made cookies and candies every year and then delivered a plate to us. Finally, I've got a cookie decorating afternoon scheduled for children. There are some kids in the neighborhood I want to invite, plus some family friends.

If you'd like to receive a copy of my calendar, just post a comment sharing one goal you have for this Christmas season, and how you want to accomplish it. If you leave me your contact information, I'll send you my calendar in a PDF or in Publisher 2007 (or an earlier version) - whichever you prefer. If you get it in Publisher, you can just delete my events and add your own.

My prayer for you is that God leads you to set some priorities that are right for you and your family.

In His Love,



Jennifer said...

Today you have brought tears to my eyes as I think about the Christmas season. However, this time of year always brings tears to my eyes. I feel so much love in the air. I usually don't see my family until Christmas eve and I feel so alone the rest of the time. My family does many things during the Christmas season with their friends. I have one sister who will do many things with her kids and husband. Knoing that friends and family are doing so much to prepare for the Christmas season like decorating their houses makes me feel very lonely and left out. I still love this time of year. I love watching all the Christmas movies that come on T.V. I love the love that I feel and I'm glad God loves me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I would love a copy of the calendar.

Julie Gillies said...

I LOVE this, Glynnis! Though our decorating is always delayed because we are gone the entire week of Thanksgiving each year, I can still focus on Jesus, my family, and reaching out.

I think my number one prayer, however, is joy in the midst of it all, even when things seem "behind".

Would love a copy of the calendar. You have my e-mail. :)

Kristin Early said...

Hi Glynnis, Your Advent Calendar seems a bit more focused on Christmas than the Lego Advent Calendar we gave Matthew! He loves it but it's a real strecth to make the Jesus connection. Robb and I were just talking about needing to come up with a more traditional, (I guess some might think Lego is traditional!, advent calendar so we would LOVE to read yours.
Big Hug,