Christmas Thoughts

design (3)There are other things I need to be doing at the moment. Things mostly related to making our family Christmas a joyful and restful day, filled with the warm-fuzzies that come along with a hugely blessed life.

But I took some time out of my day to continue my Advent study. I attempt to do one every year and this year am finally succeeding (although I will go a few days past Christmas, I struggle making this a daily habit). I am blown away at what I am experiencing.

This small study is taking me through many of the prophecies about Christ and their fulfillment. There are so many amazing specifics spoken in the Old Testament that come true in the New that firmly convince me of God’s greater plan. I love reading about the prophecies of Jesus, many of which focus on his birth. This year has been a little bit different.

Generally at Christmas I like to think of the happy stories in the Bible. The story of Jesus’ birth and the miracle of his arrival. The glory of God wrapped in a small babe here to save the world. The heavenly angels singing to proclaim His coming. It gives me joy and happiness to think of Jesus here as a human, experiencing life as we know it.

But the Scriptures that are really hitting home are quite surprising to me. Not that I haven’t read them before or dwelled upon them, but for some reason they are really heavy on my heart. And that is hard for me to admit. I don’t like to share my emotions, especially if they are negative. I tend to keep them hidden, even from myself!

Have you read Isaiah 53? The Suffering Servant? The clearest picture of Christ painted in the Old Testament? It has me in tears. I’ve been reading it every day for almost a week now and I can’t stop the feelings! Besides that portion of Scripture there are many other’s that tell of the suffering that Christ endures.

Christ came to earth as a tiny baby, lying in a manger, born to poor parents that were nearly outcasts. He starts humbly and continues to keep that attitude throughout his life. If you know the story, jump ahead to the end of his life.

Jesus KNOWINGLY faces the most trying experience that anyone could face and he does so with humility and grace. He is rejected, betrayed, illegally tried, falsely accused, abandoned, mocked, beaten to disfigurement, spit upon, and crucified.

This is not just the Jesus of the nativity scene that we admire at Christmas. This is the Jesus that loves us so much that he would endure complete and total rejection from us to save us from death. Wow. I mean, can you even imagine all that? This is not the warm fuzzy story I want to dwell on at Christmas!

But the birth of Jesus is greatly to be celebrated because he is coming into the world to deliver us from death. And there is of course the most amazing ending to the story. Jesus lives again. Although he suffers more than anyone can bear, he conquers the grave and brings us new life.

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His glory shines through the story from the beginning to the end. It is spoken of throughout the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New. You can see how God’s Plan is greater than we can imagine. He loves us SO MUCH.

As I continue to think this week about what Christ did for me on the cross, I am going to celebrate his humble beginning all the more. He truly changed the course of history so we could live with him one day. I am so thankful he bore the burden that I couldn’t bear and saved me for a glorious life everlasting.

 

Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker

This post contains affiliate links.

As homemakers, we can easily get overwhelmed, discouraged, or a little weary with our never ending to do lists. I know that there have been many days when I’ve made it through my day, but feel so utterly drained that I wonder how I’ll survive the next.

Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker eBook Launch & Giveaway

Even with doing my best to live simply and naturally, there is a lot to pursuing the abundant life that leaves me worn out, especially when things don’t go as I planned. It’s normal to get overwhelmed with the to-do list, chasing littles, and serving real food meals. But we don’t have to stay discouraged or weary. There is hope in the Lord!

I want to share a new resource with you today that’s just been released, and it’s perfect for every Christian homemaker, homesteader, and pursuer of an abundant life who could use a little boost of strength from time to time. It’s called Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker: A Devotional Guide for Your Homemaking Journey.

In this 100+ page digital resource, author Kristen Smith of Smithspirations offers insight, hope, and encouragement with beautiful printable Scripture cards and journal pages, as well as devotional sections that cover many areas of homemaking.

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Homemakers fulfill many roles, and that’s why Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker offers thirteen sections of encouragement, each featuring one major area of homemaking. You’ll find sections for

  • General Homemaking
  • Caring for Yourself
  • Health & Wellness
  • Food & Cooking
  • Pregnancy & Babies
  • Motherhood & Parenting
  • Marriage
  • The Homemaker’s Faith
  • Faith for Children
  • Homeschooling
  • Finances
  • Working from Home
  • Special Events

For thirteen areas of homemaking, you’ll find

  • 4 decorative printable Scripture cards
  • 1 printable journal page
  • 1 devotional guide featuring reflections and questions to consider

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This practical resource can be used in a number of ways, making it really flexible and useful to the mom or wife who may only have a few moments to herself daily. Numerous ideas are suggested in the introduction, but you may come up with your own way to use Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker’s printable Scripture cards!

Celebrate the Launch of Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker with a Huge Giveaway!

Because we’re so excited about the release of Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker, we’ve gathered together an incredible giveaway set that is going to knock someone’s socks right off! These products are perfect for busy homemakers and are sure to bless you in your home!

Even better, there are two prize packages, so you’re odds of winning are even greater! Both packages are worth well over $100, making these really incredible sets.

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Thursday’s Thoughts – Never Lacking Zeal

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Several years ago, I came across a verse while studying the Bible that really struck me.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12:11 (NIV)

I couldn’t get it out of my head. I wondered why it would stand out to me so much. Maybe it’s the unique words that aren’t used in our everyday vocabulary? Or maybe it’s something deeper? I decided to commit it to memory. Since then it has become my life verse. It encourages me to pursue my life in a way that is intentional. There is a lot to it, but at the same time it’s simple to grasp.

Starting with the first part of the verse we find zeal, as defined in the dictionary:

noun

fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence; ardor.

That word, in and of itself, is loaded. Other translations of this verse use in place of zeal, not lazy, not slothful, fueled and aflame. Obviously its an action word. (even though its technically a noun) The verse tells us to not lack in it, meaning that we are to be full of fervor, eager desire, and enthusiasm.

The next strong word is fervor:

noun

great warmth and earnestness of feeling: to speak with great fervor.

Having spiritual fervor is to keep your faith real and genuine. It’s not just lip service and an outward allegiance. It’s truly a way of life and a purpose to what you do and say. It’s believing with all of your heart what Christ has done for us.

The last part “serving the Lord” encompasses every aspect of my life. Everything I do ought to be in service to the Lord. I’m not meaning that I should spend my entire day as a monk, singing psalms and chanting prayers. (although an attitude praying with out ceasing is demanded of us) It means that my actions and words (even the little things) are done for Christ. My attitude should match my Savior’s attitude. All that I do should point toward my heavenly Father.

Reading the solid words of this verse, encourages me in everything I do. As I am serving the Lord with my actions, words and attitude, I should be enthusiastic and authentic. I should pursue the things God has placed on my heart with passion and purpose to please Him. Now, I must admit that this has not always happened. There have been times when I fail to remember to be full of zeal and I just go through the motions of life. There have been times when I have tried to hide from serving Him. But somehow, after I have attempted my own way at life and things get hectic or I fail miserably, I am reminded of this verse. Not just to be passionate in my actions, but more importantly to keep my eyes on Christ and to always be serving the Lord in my enthusiastic pursuits.

This verse has really stuck with me. I’m not good at memorizing scripture, and especially keeping it in my heart for long. I figure there must be some reason for it. So far it has helped me stay on track and has prompted me to give a hoot when I’m not feeling like it. I find that having a life verse gives me something to keep me going. It’s Gods Word. His living, breathing word. Written to teach and correct and to help us do His work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) I’m so thankful to have embraced the complex, simplicity of this piece of scripture.  I encourage you to find a verse or passage that you can rely on to keep you firm in your faith. We don’t always feel like sticking to it when times are tough and sometimes it’s easy to forget the complete sacrifice that Christ made for us when the blessings abound. It is good to have a reminder that He is always there and we are to always pursue Him.