Cultivate a Life You Love
8 Simple Ways to Cultivate a Joyful Christmas Spirit
- Instead of elf on the shelf, we are placing the star from our nativity on the wall, then we have our son find it, then he moves the wise men to that spot. Once Christmas day comes, the wise man and the star will find their place in our nativity.
- We read portions of scripture that tell the Christmas story. We use portions of stories from The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories and our own bibles.
- Sebastian’s December book is Glenys Nellist’s book, Christmas Love Letters from God: Bible Stories. This book has become a favorite for me. Glenys is so creative in her writing style. She uses such vivid words to describe the Christmas story from the perspective of each individual. I love that there are simple poems too, because I love to sing these to Sebastian. Also included are open–the–flap personal love letters from God that Sebastian can flip open! I’ve searched for a book like this for some time. It draws upon all aspects of a child’s learning—imagination and wonder, it incorporates scripture in a simple and easy to understand format, and it has a personal element to engage the heart and hands of your little one. **I highly recommend this for the Christmas season**
- We take what seems like ordinary moments, and instead use them as ways to cultivate wonder in Sebastian. Like the other day, we were helping with laying down straw in the bull shed. Oh the benefits of living on a farm! I took the moment to ask Sebastian, “Do you think this is how Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus felt?” Even though he is only two years old, I’m beginning to help him to see things beyond just tasks because there is more to the story than just a baby born in a stable.
- When purchasing our gifts, we think purposefully. We literally ask the question, “How can this gift create a memory or a moment, rather than just be a check mark on a kid’s wish list?”
- Recognize what you have, not what you don’t. This is a hard one, for sure. It has been especially challenging this year for me in so many ways. Especially as we wait for our new home to be built. My heart has been tuned to be so grateful for a place that we can actually call home. Right now our home meets our needs, but as someone who loves to entertain…it doesn’t exactly fit my dreams! Imagine those Pinterest looking Farmhouse Style Living Rooms with the Oh so cute decorated Christmas tree, twinkle lights, cheerful fluffy pillows. If you want some ideas about what I mean, just check out my Pinterest board, Christmas Joy!
- Embrace moments to rest. I enjoyed having a couple of moments this past week where I just allowed myself to be present. It was so peaceful and free–ing to just sip a cup of coffee and to not think about where I should be or what I wanted to be doing or what is on my list of things to get done for the day. I allowed my mind to be at peace.
- Be honest with your heart. Just a few days ago, I was reading to Sebastian when I surprised myself with a question. I showed Sebastian the wise men and then I asked, “What do you want to give Jesus for His birthday?” Talk about being hit with your own words! What do I want to give Jesus for His birthday? I don’t think I’ve even asked myself this question before now. In the moment, my thoughts reminded me of a time when I really didn’t like Christmas. For years I dreaded this time of year. While the world was busy hustling and bustling about I was wanting to be noticed and celebrated. My birthday falls just two days before Christmas and although I always had cake and presents, I often would feel like an afterthought. Just like all of those years ago when I wanted others to notice and celebrate me—Jesus wants the same thing. He doesn’t want to be an afterthought. Jesus Christmas wish? He wants my full attention.
The Key to Thriving
Stress can sneak up on us so easily during this most wonderful time of year, but I am so very grateful that God is so patient with me and so purposeful. Isn’t it just like Him to use my own journey in parenting—to really teach me? Just as we are made in God’s image, our desire to be more purposeful is the key to thriving in this life. It’s how we were made.