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Advent {Joy} ~ Week 3

Every year on Christmas day we get together with my extended family. Before the presents are opened, we read the story of Baby Jesus to the children. Each year we try to be creative. One year we used a birthday cake. Another year we used a poster and stickers to tell the story. Some years we do a skit. Though we did not use costumes, each child had a role and even some of the adults were innkeepers turning away Mary and Joseph. The above picture are our little actors getting warmed up!

Another tradition is for the paparizzi to show up!
Count them…that’s 5 cameras capturing this moment! lol!

Joy.

As one generation teaches the next generation about the Christ child born on Christmas day – there is deep joy.

But when we forget the reason for the season…

and we get caught up in the ribbons, bows and twinkling lights -

come December 26th we feel empty.

This video below is about one way my family fights for Joy in this season.

(If you cannot see this video – click here)

 Last week I talked about doing random acts of kindness.  I remember one year I was a recipient of one.

My children and I were in the meat department of Aldi and the children were buzzing around this poor woman like bees swarming a hive! I asked the children to please stand by the cart.

The woman smiled and said “it’s okay, I have 3 of my own, I know how hard it is.” I apologized and said “well, you are here without them so you deserve a moment of silence. Enjoy your moment.” We both laughed and smiled and then I finished my grocery shopping.
 
When we got in line there was long row of poinsettas by the cash register. This same woman happened to be in line in front of us and she continued to watch my interactions with the children and smile at me. And I watched her as she picked up one poinsetta after another. I admired them and said how beautiful they are.
 
She checked out. I checked out. And as I began to bag my groceries…she walked up to me with a poinsetta in hand and said “this poinsetta is for you. I can see that you sacrifice a lot for your children, you need to do more for yourself. You deserve this.”
 
FLOORED – completely floored!
 
Never had a stranger done something like that before for me.  I didn’t deserve it. I hadn’t done anything special to receive it. And there I stood holding a poinsetta – humbled by her words of praise.
 
I wanted to give her something in return – but I had nothing to give her (offering her some bagels or green beans didn’t seem appropriate! lol!)
 
So I received her gift with joy and out the door she went and the children began asking 100 questions:
 ”Why did she give it? Do you know her? What did she say?…” I just smiled from ear to ear and said, “She’s a kind woman, we need to be like her.”
 
I took a picture of the poinsetta when we got home to remember it.
 
 
When Jesus sent his disciples out in Matthew 10:8 he commanded them “Freely you have received, now freely give.”
 
That poinsetta whispered this verse to me. I did nothing to receive it. I received it freely.
 
This Christmas season, you have received the love of Jesus freely. Now we must give it away. It starts with a smile, a kind word, a hug, maybe even a gift. Not just to those you truly do love in your family and friends – but even to strangers. Freely give the love of Jesus to everyone around you!
 
Hebrews 13:1,2 says “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
 
Spread the joy of CHRISTmas!  Who knows as Hebrews 13: 2 says, you may even bless an angel!

Walk with the King!

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Comments

  1. Actually, its 6 cameras if you count the one which took the picture that was posted on your site!

  2. Charity – oh my word you are right!!! I didn’t even think of that – that is so funny! We are one funny family…my husband always says – why doesn’t one person take the picture/video and then you just email a copy to everyone? That is just too practical for us – we all like to get our own shot lol!
    Courtney

  3. Love!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  4. Ohhhh I remember you telling me that story right after it happened! Thanks for the beautiful reminder…..you are an amazing mom!!!

  5. What a great idea to encourage those with Christmas nativity lights to leave them a note! We will have to do that some year. Well, we have had some things happen that are trying to steal our joy, but I’m continuing to be in God’s Word and rely on his JOY to permeate my life and not let these things get me down.

  6. Courtney…you are so right! There is a lot of spiritual warfare around at this time of the year. I see it every day in road rage and people’s attitudes towards each other. Right here in my own home. As I have stepped up my efforts to keep the focus on Christ, the devil comes waltzing in trying to steal my peace. I have even had strange things happen like my gas burner being left on (when I hadn’t used the stove all day). God is great! Greater than the enemy and I just keep putting him back where he belongs.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful message today. I pray that you and your family enjoy your Advent and Christmas preparations with much joy and love.

    God bless!

  7. I love this video, Courtney! What a wonderful idea!!

  8. Courtney,
    I just love you! Christ’s light shines through you so beautifully. Every time I watch one of your videos, I am smiling when it’s over. I loved your story about the nativity scenes. What struck me is that you are doing this wiht your husband! How wonderful that must be! My husband is not a believer and we have a very difficult marriage. Just visioning your family glorifying God in this way brought joy to my heart! Joy to the world, the Lord has come!!
    Melissa

  9. I love that you celebrate the nativity scenes. What a fun idea….and I’m sure you notice them so much more now that you have looked for them. I also love what the lady in Aldi did to give that poinsettia as a gift to a worthy momma. I love when people ( myself included) listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It always blesses the giver and the recipient. Merry Christmas…and thanks for sharing your heart for Jesus!

  10. Thank you!

  11. Every week my heart is warmed from the love I see from young moms
    for our lord . Thank you for encouraging me to do better in celebrating with joy!

  12. My new husband and I drove through a popular neighborhood in our area that does a huge displays of Christmas lights. We drove through 6 different streets, all lined with lights, and not one Nativity scene. My heart was so sad! What an opportunity to witness to the world what Christmas is all about! The neighborhood is widely known for Christmas lights, and thousands of people would see! Very sad indeed.

    I must admit that as I say this, I have no Nativity scene up myself (nor any Christmas lights up outside at all) :-).

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