For this season ahead!
I have asked my friend Sheri Graham, who is organized (I'm not
especially gifted in this area!), to
share with us some holiday organizational tips and other inspirational
ideas so we can prepare for the holidays and season ahead.
I am beginning to think
through and do some holiday planning….yes, in October! I am finding
that when I plan ahead I am less stressed and more focused on the
things that really matter. That goes for meal planning, school
planning, house cleaning…and yes, holiday planning! As the seasons
are changing and shifting gears to cooler weather and falling leaves,
so my focus is beginning to shift towards preparing for His Coming
celebration ~ Christmas! I don't want my holidays to be so full and
busy that I don't have time to enjoy my children…to minister and
spread the Gospel to others…to focus especially on preparing our
hearts for His Coming! It was with this in mind that I began putting
together my own holiday planner.
Check out the 12 Week Holiday Planner here
I recently finished up my
The 12-Week Holiday Planner for the Christian Family, and have
eagerly plunged into the beginning stages of planning for the holidays
using this resource. My desire in putting together this eBook was to
provide a tangible way for me to plan out our holidays so they are
enjoyable, less stressful, and more filled with the things that really
Are you new to
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HOMESCHOOL WITH CONFIDENCE!"
I thought others may also
benefit from such a planner. Many have enjoyed Marilyn Moll's (www.urbanhomemaker.com)
holiday timetable over the years, helping to plan out the holidays.
What I have done in this eBook is provide dozens of forms to go along
with Marilyn's timetable, some holiday tips, "To Do" lists for each of
the 12 weeks, craft ideas, favorite recipes and MORE! Also included
are Jesse Tree devotionals by Ann Voskamp (www.holyexperience.blogspot.com)
for the month of December! These devotionals will lead you and your
family in true worship as you anticipate the celebration of His
Coming! This eBook includes EVERYTHING you will need to plan out your
holidays…giving you instructions and all the forms you will need to
very own Holiday Planner!
Below is one of my "tips" included in the
"When making your Gift Ideas List for your kids, please take some time
to evaluate what kinds of gifts you want to buy or recommend for your
children. In a day and age where materialism is rampant, it is so
easy for our children to get caught up in all the "things" they want.
I was listening to a radio show last holiday season and the speaker
was giving some advice on Christmas shopping for our children. He
said that their family has chosen to only get their children three
gifts: one item that they need (such as clothing), one educational
item (such as a book, educational game, etc.), and one item just for
fun (this is what most children end up getting the most of). The
speaker said that it has provided balance so that their children
receive gifts that are "good" for them and not just all for fun.
Plus, this helps prevent parents from overspending on their children
when it is really not necessary…thus keeping our focus on what
Christmas is REALLY about ~ Jesus!"
TIPS FOR KEEPING JESUS AT THE CENTER THIS HOLIDAY!
I would like to share a few things that the Lord laid on my heart as I
prepared this holiday planner. These are the "heart and soul" you
might say of why I put this planner together.
1. Prepare Your Heart For His Coming
Will you have room for Jesus this holiday season? Amidst the
busyness, the concerts, the family get-togethers, the gift giving…will
there be room for Jesus? Prepare your heart NOW for Him. Set
yourself apart for Him…set time apart for Him… I am reminded of an
old song sung by Evie:
"Have you any room for Jesus, He who bore your load of sin.
As He knocks and asks admission, sinner won't you let Him in.
Room for Jesus, King of Glory. Hasten now His Word obey.
Swing your heart's door widely open…bid Him enter while you may."
2. Evaluate What The Lord Wants Your Holiday Celebrations To Look
Like For Your Family
Take some time to sit down as a family and talk through what you want
your holidays to be like. Pray together asking the Lord to show you
what you should and should not participate in. He will guide your
family into a very special holiday season…one that is focused on Him!
3. Plan Ahead
Even with our focus on Him during the holidays, there still will be
some planning to do. This is where
planner comes in. By starting in October, you will have things to
do each week so that when December comes you have the bulk of your
planning and shopping done. This will relieve much of the stress that
comes from a lack of planning. You will be able to enjoy the
holidays, knowing that you have made time for Him first, time for your
family, and then time for others.
4. Share His Coming With Others
One of the benefits of planning ahead is being prepared to minister to
others. Christmas is one of the best times to share Christ with your
unsaved family, friends, and neighbors. Gather the children around in
the kitchen, bake up some plates of treats, then attach a homemade
Christmas card with the message of Christ's coming…His coming to seek
and to save that which was lost!
I pray that as we head into the holiday season that you and your
family will keep your focus on Jesus…for He truly is the "Reason for
More Christmas and holiday
help coming your way next month. Stay tuned by subscribing to
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God bless you and your
Terri Johnson is the creator of Knowledge Quest maps and timelines.
Her mission for the company is to help make the teaching and learning
of history and geography enjoyable for both teacher and students. She
has created and published over 15 map and timeline products. Her
Blackline Maps of World History have been widely recommended in
the education community and published in The Story of the World
history series by Susan Wise Bauer. Terri and Knowledge Quest
recently won the “Excellence in Education” award granted by The Old
Schoolhouse magazine for best geography company of 2003 and 2004.
Terri resides in Oregon with her husband Todd and their
children whom she teaches at home.