Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Counting down...but may keep it around...

Okay, by now you should all have realized I'm terrible at being a consistent blogger. I think my last post was back in June after I felt so good about my family enjoying our day at Pipestem.

This morning as I wait for Emma to come back home for an all-nighter at Aunt Indy's, and as Ethan is off doing some chores prior to getting back to school, I thought I'd give myself a few minutes to see what I could spit out.

I found this craft idea here and immediately thought it was a great idea to use for a craft on December 1st. My sister, Indy, and myself decided to get together once a week from now til Christmas to do an Advent craft. We both homeschool and knew it would help to have that accountability to make sure these neat ideas turned into neat crafts done on a neat day. So, on December 1st, our Advent Jar starting to come to be.

Even Sawyer enjoyed painting his jar! So, what is the purpose of an Advent jar? Starting on December 1st, each day they will pull out a good deed from their jar. Examples of what we placed in ours are : Call Aunt Jamie just to say I love you, make a card for someone not feeling well, pray for a family in our church, ask Daddy what he needs you to do today to help him out, pray for those who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior, pray the Lord will help to keep your heart thankful as you receive gifts from others this Christmas. Granted, I do realize that praying isn't necessarily a good deed, but teaching them to think and pray for others is a great way to get them to start thinking about others. You get the idea. Each day, they pull out a good deed, and that is our countdown to Christmas. So far, I have received a call from Raven telling me she loved me, Ethan has said numerous prayers, he and Emma have both made several phone calls to mawmaws and pawpaws saying I love you, Emma has said some prayers, Emma made a lady from our church a get well card and received a "thank you" home made bracelet in return! We are considering switching up the good deeds inside and keeping this around to be a daily thing all year long!

Some children have tender hearts. Some children do not have tender hearts. As Indy and I discussed this yesterday at her home, I was reminded of something she said a while back. We can try hard to be good parents, and we can do all the things we think will help our children become good, godly men and women. But the truth is, if they turn out halfway decent, it is just God's grace! Praying for our children, and praying the Lord blesses our efforts, are two ingredients that may get skipped out as we just try to be more disciplined parents that do neat little crafts to teach hearts to be tender.

But for the grace of God...

I know we probably have all heard that. But it is so true!

I am a blessed woman. I love staying at home and being Greg's personal chef/wife, Ethan's basketball opponent/mom, Emma's personal stylist/mom, and I love to serve my family as I feel God intended me to serve them. But I'm not good at these things because I'm a good woman. It is God's grace that has stilled my heart and reminds me I am truly serving Him when I do these things even when Greg has hurt my feelings, or Ethan is being obnoxious on the court, or Emma is acting a little too prissy when picking out clothes.

I did not have a tender heart growing up. But God is changing me more and more to realize what it is to be a real servant.

I pray that as I teach Ethan & Emma the reasons Christ came to this earth, and the reasons we anticipate His return, I will be able to see God's grace at work on their hearts as they learn to be imitators of Christ.

After all, if I had been Jesus' aunt over 2000
years ago, it would have made me smile to get a phone call from Him telling me He loved me...

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