No More Manufactured Moments

christmas-ideas

Laura
Laura

Here we are smack in the middle of the Christmas season and I’m wondering if I haven’t done enough to really emphasize what this time of year is all about! I know we talked about creating space for moments to happen, but December is half over and I’m not sure we have had any “moments” over here!  How about you?

Laura
Michelle
Michelle

Oh, I hear ya. I am just trying to keep up right now. Yesterday my hubby had to work late and so my girls and I were sitting at dinner and I thought, “Oh this will be the perfect time to do a little reading in our Bible for Advent.” Well, you can imagine how that went.😳

Michelle
Laura
Laura

I’m picturing it… It probably wasn’t pretty.

Laura
Michelle
Michelle

Messy and loud would probably be the words of choice.  😜 Ellie started throwing food and Sophie started singing the ABCs and running around the table. HA. So I mean, I’m trying to create some moments but they’re not exactly Hallmark-movie moments. They’re our real life moments.

Michelle
Laura
Laura

Oh, Hallmark!  Always setting our expectations too high!  I guess you’re right!  If I  take time to think about it, maybe the little things we do in the midst of chaos is more of what it’s all about.

Laura
Anna
Anna

I totally know what you mean, Michelle! My ten-year-old is the only one who is really listening and responding to Advent. The other two are still squirrelly… Still, I see that they are loving the tradition of lighting a candle together, and just having the wreath out on the table all the time is a great reminder of why we celebrate.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

Oh wow, you do the candle and everything! I am not that brave yet. 😉

Michelle
Anna
Anna

Don’t worry, there is plenty of time to start that.

Anna
Laura
Laura

I might not EVER light candles with 4 boys nearby!  But we did get our tree the other day.  The 6 of us hunted together at a Christmas tree farm.   I told them that Mommy got the final say so that way there would be no fighting.  The boys got to work that tree vibrator that wiggles all the dry needles out and the place had FREE popcorn!!  Everyone was happy!  It was lovely.

Laura
Anna
Anna

Yay for lovely!

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

That sounds like a magical moment! 🎉

Michelle
Laura
Laura

Yes!  I’m going to hold onto that memory because while the tree did make it into the house and the boys only broke 3 ornaments decorating it, I decided somehow that it was a good time to have our carpets cleaned yesterday!   So Christmas decorating and setting the mood of beauty and peace in our home took a backseat  because I have stuff hidden under and behind every last bed and chair and had to move it all!! #packratandproudofit

Laura
Michelle
Michelle

HA. Well, I can relate. Last night , Ellie pooped in the bath. 😳  So yeah, in my spare time, I am not thinking about how to create Christmas meaningful memories, I am just trying to sanitize my bathtub!!!

Michelle
Anna
Anna

Oh…that’s the worst.

Anna
Laura
Laura

And I beg to differ… You ABSOLUTELY created a Christmas memory… just not the one you were hoping for! 💩

Laura
Michelle
Michelle

Haha! That is true! 😂

Michelle
Laura
Laura

You know, maybe we just need to let go (again) of our perfect plans and dreams of “what things should be” and realize that God is already creating moments for us – we just need to look up from our expectations to find Him.

Laura
Anna
Anna

I think the key word there is AGAIN. 👆 Letting go again and again and asking God to open our eyes to see the moments He has given us and let Him lead, even in the middle of the chaos.  

Anna
Laura
Laura

True! You know, there was one magical and probably chaotic moment so many years ago that happened in a MANGER.  

Laura
Anna
Anna

And I’m guessing that Mary and Joseph didn’t feel it was very magical. All of the circumstances probably felt wrong! But still, they allowed God to lead and there was a special moment (the MOST special moment) in the middle of it all.

Anna
Laura
Laura

Right.  They “allowed” God to move. I’m sure Mary had to let go of her  perfect plans and expectations. I mean, who plans to have a baby in a stable?! 😜 But then again, they still had to pay attention to what God was up to.

Laura
Anna
Anna

True! So with the thought of making space for memories, the other day Libby and I had about 20 minutes before I needed to pick up the other kids, and so I told her she could point in any direction she wanted to go, and we would drive around and look at the lights. She LOVED that. Then we saw a Nativity Scene and we stopped to talk about it. It was a “moment.” Totally unplanned, but precious.

Anna
Laura
Laura

Hmm, that’s good. watching my boys, especially Peter, take in the lights is one of my favorite things about Christmas right now!

I love what we’ve been saying about recognizing the everyday moments we are having and staying present in them…but I also realize that Anna, you were aware of the moment and took it.

Laura
Anna
Anna

Yeah, I guess if I was rushing off to the next thing, I would have missed it. And tonight we had our first snow. I picked her up and we looked out the window together. I just enjoyed her smile. I realized I don’t usually stop to cherish these things as much lately.

Anna
Michelle
Michelle

I am realizing the same thing. I bet Libby loved that more than any other type of holiday fun you would have planned. Sometimes I wonder – am I planning these events for me or for them? I mean, I think going on all of our outings and things are so, so fun, but I think what my girls most want is for me to be PRESENT. And honestly, I feel like Sophie is a different child when I put down my phone for a bit, stop worrying about the to-do list and play with her.

Michelle
Anna
Anna

I think you’re right, Michelle! I see the same thing with my kids. So what if for the rest of December, instead of rushing our kids to the next Christmas event because we’re trying to make it magical for them…but we’re forgetting to take in the lights on the way…we slow down and stay present in the moment?

Anna
Laura
Laura

Yes! And on that first Christmas Jesus’ gift wasn’t complicated. He wasn’t born already doing miracles or preaching…His first gift was His presence. That’s what we get to celebrate this time of year.

Laura
Michelle
Michelle

I think I actually just breathed out! So basically you’re saying let’s soak in what Jesus gave us on Christmas–His presence–and out of that truth, we can give our presence to our children. Now that sounds like a magical Christmas. 🎄

Michelle

truth to inhale

 

Soaking in the Truth

 

Scripture to encourage you:

  • “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Music to inspire you:


truth to exhale

 

Living Out the Truth

Resources we love during the Holiday Season:

These resources aren’t meant to be one more thing on your to-do list.  God doesn’t want us to just “DO” things if they’re not bringing us closer to Him. Use these resources as a tool to start conversations in your family about who God is.  You are invited to use them as a way to bring some intentionality to the space you make for God.  

Advent Readings:

Fun traditions with meaning:

  • The Kindness Elves – a fun spin on The Elf on the Shelf but with a focus on kindness. 
  • Truth In the Tinsel – each day the study leads you through a short passage from the Bible, discussion questions to present to your kids, and instructions for a handmade ornament that goes along with the story.
  • Find a Live Nativity in the area. Churches and Christian schools will often offer these to the public on certain days.

Favorite Christmas books:

One idea: Build a collection of Christmas books to read to your kiddos at bedtime.  Wrap the books and place under the tree and your child can unwrap a new one each day.

Here are a few we love with the story of Jesus’ birth as the focus:

Other Favorite Christmas products with meaning:

About Michelle Warner

The truth about me is that I love spending time with people–whether it be with moms in MOPS, students in writing camps, friends in my supper club, or family on our patio. And if you combine people and words, I am definitely in my happy place. One of my most favorite moments is sitting around a table with the people I love sharing deep conversations about life. Inviting people into our home and pulling out my fancy dishes invigorates me, though tackling the hand-wash pile in my sink does quite the opposite. (Sorry, Hubby. I’ll get to those soon!) I’m learning to enjoy the people in my life without feeling the need to prove myself or always make them happy. God continues to teach me that when I find what I need in Him rather than the perfectly-cooked chicken or the perfectly-timed word, I have a security that can’t be shaken. And that’s a good thing since my hard-working husband and I have two very determined little girls who keep us on our toes!

One thought on “No More Manufactured Moments

  1. Great resources, ladies! I especially love Chris Rice’s “Welcome to Our World.” It always remind me to slow down and pay attention to how I welcome Jesus to my world today.

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