Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to Have More Joy and Peace This December


December can turn into a treadmill of activities that leave your mind and heart too numbed to hear the words of the angel in Luke: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” 

The first week of December we had out of town visitors, our weekly English club, and went to a Christmas worship event. I had guests for dinner, and hosted a Women’s Christmas party at my house.  All were wonderful, blessed events, but I breathed a sigh of relief last Sunday and looked forward to a quieter, more restful week.  

Things didn’t turn out like I expected.
Our family prepared a song, and I gave a short talk for our English club Christmas celebration. Our team met to plan an upcoming outreach party, and alongside regular weekly commitments, family issues cropped up, leaving me exhausted.

A New Tradition that’s Bringing Me More Peace and Joy

However, I’m still smiling at a new tradition that has been the highlight of my December. What I’ve enjoyed most this month is waking up early while it’s still dark outside to turn on the cheery lights of our Christmas tree and Swedish advent candelabra and read the Word of God.

I’m following the Good Morning Girls Advent study. The theme of the study is keeping our hearts centered on Jesus during Advent. Each week the simple study focuses on a different topic: Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. I call it a new tradition because I'll definitely do this again next year.

Using the Good Morning Girls S.O.A.P. method, each morning I copy down a few verses of Scripture, jot down a few Observations and Applications, then Pray.

Something about copying down the scripture impresses it onto your heart and helps you to internalize it and remember it later during the day. Just yesterday during a snappy, blow-up home school moment, I rested my head on the microwave and prayed, “Let us let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,” which I’d copied earlier that morning from Hebrews 12:1. It changed the course of my morning.

I’ve been amazed to see how many times God has brought to my mind verses that I’ve copied. As I remember them, the Holy Spirit changes my attitudes and renews my thoughts (when I let Him!). I’m looking forward to this week’s advent readings and study on PEACE.

Anyone care to join me?

Week   4 PEACE (From goodmorninggirls.org)

Sunday Luke 2:8-21
SOAP
Monday Isaiah 9:6
Tuesday Zephaniah 3:14-15
Wednesday Philippians 4:4-7
Thursday Matthew 1:20-21
Friday John 14:27

What about you? How are you holding up this December? What are your ideas for a more peaceful, joyful Christmas?

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)

1 comment:

Annmarie Pipa said...

fabulous! and what a beautiful tradition to start!