Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

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Those who wait

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On November 27 I was calming laying in bed, with my big pregnant belly, on a Netflix binge. It was relaxing and chill. Suddenly everything changed. I felt a pop and then a drizzle that turned into a gush. My water broke.

Soon contractions started coming. My husband and daughter tidied up the room and arranged the birth supplies.

And then we waited…..

Night turned to morning.

And we waited….

Morning turned to night.

And we waited….

Night turned to morning.

And we waited….

Waiting

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Those Who Wait

On November 27 I was calming laying in bed, with my big pregnant belly, on a Netflix binge. It was relaxing and chill. Suddenly everything changed. I felt a pop and then a drizzle that turned into a gush. My water broke. Soon contractions started coming. My husband and daughter tidied up the room and […]

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Winter Cocktails for Advent – A Slow Down Approach to the Holidays (Cocktail #3 – Grown Up Hot Chocolate)

Blog | Recipes 1 Comment

[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.]

chocolate

Who doesn’t love a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winters night?  Go ahead and make a big ol’ pot of this hot chocolate for the entire family and make the grown up version by the cup. Read More

Haute Chocolate

[This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. The Provision Room is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.] Who doesn’t love a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winters night?  Go ahead […]

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Waiting Songs (a review and a giveaway)

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Is it Christmas already? By the looks of the shop windows, it is. Christmas is in full-swing. Except that it’s not.

We have something important to do before Christmas. Something that cannot be skipped. Before the Christ child and His Holy Family arrive, we have to get a few things ready. We have some readying of our hearts and homes to do. Thankfully it is not yet Christmas. We have Advent. This season of preparation, of learning to wait, of longing and desire, of pondering things in our hearts.  So, when that moment comes….you know that Christmas moment. Breathless, excitement, the anticipation at its peak, we know what that moment really means. We know that our Savior, THE Savior of the world has finally come. Come to make His home in our hearts and in our lives. He has come to stir things up and to bring us peace.  He has come to breathe new life into dead situations and to show us the meaning of our lives.

Advent is a beautiful time of year that often gets skipped over in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.  By the time December 25 comes around we are burnt out and already tired. Come December 26, we are more than ready to tear down the tree and be done with Yuletide cheer.  It was a long month since Thanksgiving.  Oh, but if we don’t skip Advent! Maybe things could be different.  During Advent, we need to pause, to reflect, to consider, to desire and even to pine for Jesus.

This is where Rain For Roots‘ new album Waiting Songs fills a very important need. Songs especially for Advent. Although filed under “Children’s Music,” I assure you this is nothing like the annoying music you dread to put on in the car. In fact, during the first listen there were tears in my eyes. It’s beautiful and compelling music, theologically sound lyrics, no pop-references or Santa. In a word, it’s lovely.

One of my favorites on the album is Mary Consoles Eve, inspired by one of my favorite art pieces.  It’s about Mary, undoing the shame of Eve by a long-awaited promise fulfilled. Beautiful.

Mary Consoles Eve

“Mary Consoles Eve” by Sister Grace of the Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey

There is just such richness in this album. So much that children will immediately understand. Concepts such as it’s hard to wait and while we wait we should be singing and sometimes you don’t have the right words yet your heart beats with the truth and all things will be made right in the end.  My kids (ranging in age from 2 to 14) already love this album. We listened to it all day yesterday and it never got old.

In this Christmas rush, we invite you (we implore you) to take time to prepare. Take time to Advent.  Light those candles. Read those Scripture passages. Listen to waiting songs….while you wait.

Rain For Roots has graciously offered a giveaway. A really fantastic giveaway.

Five runner-ups will enjoy a free download of the entire Waiting Songs album!

The Grand Prize winner will receive (get this!), THREE Rain For Roots CDs: Big Stories For Little Ones (which saved my life one time on a road trip from California to Texas with an 9 month old), The Kingdom of Heaven Is Like This (songs from the parables of Jesus), and Waiting Songs. But what! There’s more! The winner will also receive an Advent/Christmas Ornament. 

Waiting Songs

Four things that are all true about Christ’s coming. Almost. Not Yet. Already. Soon.

So enter below.  There are lots of ways to enter to increase your chances of winning! Some you can do every day! Winner will be announced November 23!  In time for you to enjoy your prize when Advent begins November 29. *wink, wink* How’s that for planning?!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Waiting Songs

Is it Christmas already? By the looks of the shop windows, it is. Christmas is in full-swing. Except that it’s not. We have something important to do before Christmas. Something that cannot be skipped. Before the Christ child and His Holy Family arrive, we have to get a few things ready. We have some readying […]

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Christmas in July

Blog | Preparedness 5 Comments

[This post contains affiliate links. Shopping through affiliate links will not cost you a penny more, but we may make a little commission. And that keeps this blog running for the two families who love to write it. Thank you.]

At the time I am writing this we are 165 days, 1 hour, 44 minutes and 32 seconds from Christmas.

**Cue some classic Hitchcock movie music** Read More

Insane. Let's not be.

[This post contains affiliate links. Shopping through affiliate links will not cost you a penny more, but we may make a little commission. And that keeps this blog running for the two families who love to write it. Thank you.] At the time I am writing this we are 165 days, 1 hour, 44 minutes […]

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A Merry Christmas Message

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Merry Christmas2014

 

Wishing you all overflowing blessings from the Lord!

Merry Christmas2014

  Wishing you all overflowing blessings from the Lord!

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Prayer for the Week Dec 22 – Letting Go Of Expectations

Blog | Prayer Closet 1 Comment

I’m not having a Pinterest worthy Christmas.  In fact I’m so off the mark that I’m feeling jealous of others.  I can’t possibly be alone.  Am I? Read More

Advent - Real Life

I’m not having a Pinterest worthy Christmas.  In fact I’m so off the mark that I’m feeling jealous of others.  I can’t possibly be alone.  Am I?

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Journeying in Peace This Advent (Week Four)

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There are a lot of messes in the Bible narrative.  Have you ever considered that?  Things are rarely tidy and wrapped up with a nice bow at the end of a story in the Bible–not like those cheesy television specials in the 80’s.  The Bible is full of enough violence, sorrow, betrayal, confusion and redemption to be good for us.  Excellent Prime Time material.

Peace in Advent

It strikes me that God is not in the least intimidated by mankind’s chaos.  During the twists and turns of life, God remains the Prince of Peace.  Although the Bible is clear that He is not the author of confusion, God is also not wringing His hands over what to do about mankind’s confusion.  In the mess, in the dark, in the unknown–He is the peace, the light, the revealed.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.  (Mathew 1:18-25)

This is the story of Peace breaking into chaos, of man’s plan gone awry, and God showing He is in control.

Mary was teenager found pregnant before she had come together with Joseph.  It was scandalous and she could have been stoned to death.

Joseph had to learn that there was a much bigger story going on in the universe than his own personal plans.  Think of it this way…  Joseph’s Plan “A” –  Get married to a beautiful young girl who has remained pure just for him.  Have children.  Work hard and live happily ever after.

Joseph had to learn God was in control.  Joseph’s Plan “B” – “I can’t marry this girl now that she is pregnant with another man’s child.  But I love her still so I won’t add to her shame.  I will send her away quietly.”  God had another plan.  He sends the angel as a messenger giving Joseph instructions and encouragement to take Mary home as his wife.  Joseph was not even allowed to name his son!  The angel told Joseph to name the child, Jesus.  Joseph takes us to the heart of the message of the Christian life.  He gave up his plans to follow God’s and in surrendering his plans, he found Life.

Our plan B or C or D is often the Father’s plan A.  For the Father’s plan A is to reveal to you His Son and in the process conform you to His image.  His goal is to restore to you Eden–where you were fashioned in His likeness and enjoyed unbroken fellowship with the Trinity.  The process in restoring Eden though, involved some bruising. The serpent’s head.  And a heel. A reputation. And a lot of expectations.

Rest in this, dear ones, in giving up our plans to follow God’s and in surrendering to His plans, we will find our very lives.

In this final week of Advent, as we prepare for the Jesus’ arrival, the hope of our redemption drawing near–cling to the Prince of Peace.  Jesus-incarnate.  God’s plan A.

Peace in Advent

There are a lot of messes in the Bible narrative.  Have you ever considered that?  Things are rarely tidy and wrapped up with a nice bow at the end of a story in the Bible–not like those cheesy television specials in the 80’s.  The Bible is full of enough violence, sorrow, betrayal, confusion and redemption […]

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Prayer for the Week of December 15 — Do You Have Room?

Prayer Closet 1 Comment

You’re baking cookies.  You’re wrapping gifts. You spent a lot of time online grabbing some hot deals.  You stood in line at the mall (and may or may not have eaten a Cinnabon) getting those last minute gifts.  You have a list a mile long that includes vacuuming and dusting and finally getting those lights up on the front of the house.  Your Christmas cards still need to be addressed.  And someone needs to call your Great Aunt and tell her you’re not sure you can accommodate her bringing her two cats to Christmas dinner on account of your second cousin being allergic.  Speaking of Christmas dinner, have you decided on ham vs. turkey?

In all the hustle and bustle, do you have room for Jesus?  Would be a shame if you forget to invite Him to His own party!  My mom once, famously, didn’t show up to a party given in her honor.  It was a baby shower.  And the ladies throwing it didn’t think to invite her properly.  So, she never showed up. Oops.

In the Christmas story, those who made room for Jesus, those who had the time or the patience or the grace to leave room, got to experience the gift of the Word Incarnate.  Mary received Jesus into the empty space reserved for God within.  Elizabeth blessed her and rejoiced, her baby leaping within her.  Joseph made room in his home to love and care for Mary and Jesus, guarding them and protecting them.  Whoever owned that stable, had a bit of room to spare and shared it.  The shepherds didn’t waste any time after receiving the invitation to see Jesus.  They came with haste, the Bible says.  Anna and Simeon in the temple were expecting Jesus and were nothing but mi casa es su casa when they saw the Child.  The Wise Men had nothin’ but time. They journeyed and didn’t look back.

Yet there were many who didn’t have room–in their homes, in their inn, in their schedules, in their cultural and religious paradigms, in their hearts.  And so the Miracle passed them by.

This is a cautionary tale.  Don’t let this happen to you.  We are a week for Christmas.  Remember to pause.  To invite Jesus to the party.  Jesus and His Holy Family are still looking for a place to stay.  Will they find the welcome at your door?

Room

Welcoming the Prince of Peace creates its own transformative miracles.  There is a Hebrew tale that says on the evening of the Shabbat two angels–one good and one bad–travel house to house.  They look in the window.  If they find the candles burning, the family gathered with love and good will, if they find peace and joy and the house prepared for rest, the good angel says, “May it be this same way next week.”  If when they look in the window they see discord and lack of preparation and people treating one another with unkindness and no candles burning, the bad angel says, “May it be this same way next week.”

Now while this is just a little story, the moral is this: You prepare for the transformation you want to manifest.

This week in Advent, let us prepare for joy! Let us prepare for love!  For peace! For hope!  May the Lord peek into our preparations and find a place prepared for Him.  Amen?  Christmas can be a time of amazing transformation and wonder that can last more than just the month of December.  Make room to manifest the transformation.

Sweet Jesus, we are busy in this season preparing our hearts and homes to welcome You anew!  May You and Your Holy Family find a place of rest here with my family.  We want to welcome you with joy, love, peace and hope. Grant us the grace to see You when You arrive and not miss the opportunity to show You the hospitality You deserve. Work in us Your transformation. Amen.

Room

You’re baking cookies.  You’re wrapping gifts. You spent a lot of time online grabbing some hot deals.  You stood in line at the mall (and may or may not have eaten a Cinnabon) getting those last minute gifts.  You have a list a mile long that includes vacuuming and dusting and finally getting those lights […]

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Your Holiday Reality Check

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So…..

An “opportunity” presented itself recently.  It was a good opportunity. Could have made us a little money.  But the timing was not perfect.  It was too close to Christmas.  But, we kind of wanted to do it.  It would have been fun.  So, Kristina and I batted around that pro-con list.  Reasons we should (money, fun, exposure). Reasons we shouldn’t (timing, timing, timing).  Finally what won the debate was this: It’s Christmas. Let’s not be insane.

To which the other one replied, “You should meme that or embroider that on a pillow.” Read More

Insane. Let's not be.

So….. An “opportunity” presented itself recently.  It was a good opportunity. Could have made us a little money.  But the timing was not perfect.  It was too close to Christmas.  But, we kind of wanted to do it.  It would have been fun.  So, Kristina and I batted around that pro-con list.  Reasons we should […]

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Encountering Joy On Our Journey of Advent (3rd Week of Advent)

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The third week of Advent, we remember how the angels brought the shepherds good news of great joy! Read More

Encountering Joy

The third week of Advent, we remember how the angels brought the shepherds good news of great joy!