Friday, December 26, 2014

Our Tree Of Hope


Remember this post? Well any how, if you don't feel like re-reading it; it was all about the depression of the empty after math that Christmas leaves us with. All that glitters isn't gold for us deep feelers and thinkers and Christ Followers. So I did in fact vow last year that things would be different this year, that this year I would be the change I wish to see in the world. So many times I have declared so many things and so many times I fail, but not this year; this year I really meant it! I've truly had enough of the false empty hopes of Christmas. Watching so many gather together in warmth and love and gifts and glitter, while so many go without. It's just WRONG. Remember the story of how our King of Kings was born?; He was born in a lowly manger, in a stable filled with animal manure! Even I can say that I was born in a better state than He was! So in a crazy way God spoke to me and said; "Tanya: What are you going to do for my lost sheep? They have strayed so far from me. I love you all exactly the same, just as you love your children. Is Christmas for you? Or is Christmas for ALL?" You see, I find that God really only ever asks me questions and then it's really up to me to answer these SUPER HARD questions! So in my humblest and smallest attempt; along with my family, we tried to RIGHT THIS WRONG. This year we welcomed our TREE OF HOPE. This magnificent tree bared not a single gift for us; but for the hope of humanity. We rallied together as a family, we hit the pavement and we asked our friends, families & neighbors to help us make up these gift bags for our homeless and displaced neighbors. We rallied together for JUSTICE and PEACE and HOPE and LOVE and all of the goodness that comes along with the birth of CHRIST. Christ gave us holy hope and our joy as believers; is to pass along this holy hope to the suffering. My God; my heart has only ever sunk during the Christmas season and now I know why; serving the flesh with empty gifts are hopeless, serving other's with gifts of God's holy hope are filled with the promise of His unending love and grace. I get that now. I get it. It's not complicated or hard, it's holy hope; to the hopeless. My job is to EXTEND His holy hope into the darkness. We are to spread His joy and peace out into the atmosphere, not just at Christmas; but EVERY darn day of our lives! God bless us ALL, Everyone of us!!! Merry Christmas! 

Thank-you Lord; The lessons that you are teaching this little caterpillar of yours, are shaping me into the butterfly that you intended for me to be! I have to admit that it's a VERY SLOW AND PAINFUL PROCESS for me but I can say, that it's filled to the brim with your HOLY HOPE!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Christmas Wish For Janie

Dearest Janie,

Perhaps I have no place in saying so, I certainly don't want to cause any more grief or pain in your heart, but I have a Christmas wish for you;

I don't know what you're going through, or how heavy the weight may be; but I'm holding a space in my heart for you, in hopes that it helps you breath. This must be a hard time of year for you, or so I would think it would be; to remember her face all a glow on many a Christmas Eve. Please know that I sit in silence with you, as tears stream down my face; for I am a mama too and I can't imagine your pain. I am holding a space for you; it's right in the nook of my heart, it will stay here on earth with me, while you are both apart. My Christmas prayer for you; is to exhale the heavy weight in your chest, give it to God Janie & let Him give you some rest. You can pick it up again and you can hold on to it tight; but every now and then my love, lay it down with Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. 

Always & forever remembering you in my prayers!

Love,
Tanya xo


Monday, December 1, 2014

Advent


Today marks the first day of Advent!

What is your family doing to prepare His way? 

I've seen so many amazing advent calendars, but they have all been a tad too complicated or time consuming for me to pull off.

I went on Pinterest and had to combine a few ideas to simplify what would suit my family. I came up with this Popsicle stick advent calendar. It's not fancy but we're not fancy either, so it suits us well. I put 24 coloured, Popsicle sticks into a jar and tied a ribbon around it (DOABLE!) On each stick there is an activity for us to do & a bible scripture marked on the back, for us to look up about the birth of our King! The activities can be ANYTHING that you already enjoy doing together as a family, during the Christmas season. 

This advent was simple and fun to make. My kids all woke up this morning and ACTUALLY REMEMBERED ADVENT! We read and prayed over our scripture this morning and we'll be doing our activity together when they get home from school. Activities will be prepped in advance so that when the kids get home from school we'll be ready to go!

Have fun with Advent, the possibilities are endless. Everyday will be marked as one day closer to His glorious birth. 

I'm trying to simplify our Christmas so that we're truly celebrating Jesus, the reason for the season!

Here are a few activities to get you started;

Make an ornament to place on the tree

Make homemade hot chocolate

Go look at Christmas lights

Sing carols by the tree

Bake for your neighbours

Make your Teacher a present

Eat a party platter for dinner

Go visit Santa

Act out the Nativity

Hide baby Jesus & pretend to be the wise men who have to find Him. 

Decorate a gingerbread house

Bring gifts to a shelter

The possibilities are endless. Be creative and have fun! 

Also; please share with me your family advent activities & traditions, I'd love to hear them!