Happy Thanksgiving! I pray that this week is a blessed one for you and your loved ones.
I want to share something with you. It is our family Advent Calendar.
When our children were little, they could answer the typical questions about the birth of Jesus, but beyond that and what they learned at church on Sunday, their focus was pretty much their Christmas list.
The countdown in our house was the same as it was when I was a little girl… Just 20 more days til Christmas! (Til I get to open my presents!) …15…10…5…1!
I knew I couldn’t replace that anticipation. But, I could enrich it – the OTHER anticipation. Anticipating JESUS.
So I designed this Advent Calendar. Our family has enjoyed using it over the years as a means to maintain (or gain) focus on Christ in preparation for Christmas.
This is how we use it:
1. Before Advent begins, fill in the “Pray for” as a family. Then explain how the calendar works. Share that the whole family is participating, but the only thing you’ll do together is the Bible verses.
2. On the first day of Advent (This year it’s December 2.), at the beginning of the day, read (or a child can) who to pray for that day. Agree to try to remember to pray for that person throughout the day. Give ideas for what to pray: God bless Nana. Help her have a good day… Heal __ … Help __ …
3. Also, announce the “kind deed”. At the end of the day, everyone can share how they “accomplished” the kind deed.
4. Bible verses: Do this at a time and in a way that suits your family!
Our family read the verses toward the end of supper (A couple of cookies after the meal helps!). Ask a couple of simple questions. Depending on their ages and the amount of time you have, attempt to enter into brief conversation about the verses.
5. Keep the calendar in a central place – like the refrigerator. As our kids got in a rhythm about it – or could read – they would check it themselves or ask “Who do we pray for today?” and “What do we do today?”
6. We made an Advent wreath and the children took turns lighting it at supper. (optional)
Throughout the month pray for God’s help:
for the children’s participation
for the devotional time
FOR ALL OF US TO PREPARE OUR HEARTS FOR JESUS.
Relax and have fun with this as a family. I pray that it will a sweet time to encourage, laugh and grow together in Christ.
Have a blessed Advent!