This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

>> Monday, December 1, 2008

I am alive and well and have had a wonderful holiday weekend. Thursday was spent with Mark's family, and we had an extra large crowd this year. We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family on Friday, a tradition we started last year that I hope will continue. I actually woke up early enough on Friday to hit one Black Friday location (only one....I'm not crazy). We live across the street from a JoAnn's and if you don't know this already....JoAnn is THE best place to stock up on all of your Christmas incidentals (wrapping paper, bows, tape, tissue paper, ornament hooks, extra strands of lights....etc...etc...) on Black weekend. Nearly everything in the store was marked at 60% off and I had my coupon for an additional 20% off my entire purchase. That made rolls of wrapping paper 80 cents! So I spent my Friday morning chatting it up with the ladies in line around me (the line went all the way to the back of the store) as we waited our turn. Then we headed to my parent's house and ate too much.

Saturday we decorated the house for Christmas so our home is festive and bright and smells fantastic, thanks to my new favorite candle. I love Christmas time with every ounce of my being. I do everything I can to surround myself with the sights, sounds, smells and joys of Christmas every December.

Yesterday was the first day of ticket sales for our Vibrant FAITH (Women's Ministry) Winter Wonderland Christmas brunch. We had fantastic sales and it's looking like we will well exceed our projected numbers. Since we will be sharing a gospel message, I have challenged all the women in my Thursday morning Bible study to buy an extra ticket to the brunch, even before they know who to invite. We are praying that the Lord will place on each and every one of our hearts someone who we can invite who needs to hear the message of hope our Jesus brought to us on that First Noel. After all of our services ended, the ladies and I stayed and spent a few hours arranging and rearranging tables, chairs and other decorations to come up with the best possible game plan for our brunch. Once I got home, I was so excited to show off our decorated home I invited my parents over for dinner, so they came over for pizza and my brother tagged along for a short time.

Now it is Monday and I can hardly believe we are officially in the midst of Christmas season. I want to pinch myself! The lights are all lit, the candles are burning and Bebo Norman's Christmas album is playing on my iPod. Instead of "Little Einsteins", the kids have been watching DVD's of Rudolph and Frosty, and instead of "Moosestache", we're reading "Mooseletoe".

Most of all, we're celebrating the Advent season. The season of preparation for the coming of the Messiah. As I've been making my way through the study of our Patriarchs this Fall, I've been reminded of how glorious it is that we have a Savior. The men and women of the Old Testament were living in constant hope of the Messiah, wondering when He would finally come and deliver them. The sweet baby boy born in the stable that night was the answer to their prayers. And to ours. We just don't have to wait for our salvation. It's ours as soon as we ask for it. One of my current favorite Christmas songs is "Born to Die" by Bebo. I tried to find a video of it to embed, but I couldn't. I urge you to go and find it on iTunes or Amazon or wherever you find music. I love it.

I hope wherever you are, you are preparing your homes, and more importantly your hearts, for the coming of the Child King. Joy to the World! The Lord is Come!

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