One of the greatest gifts…
“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot, yes a new Branch
bearing fruit from the old root, And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him-
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear or the Lord….
In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world.
The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.”
ISAIAH 11:1-2, 10
For advent this year I am reading through the book, “The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas” by Ann Voskamp. If you have not read anything by Ann, you need to put her book, “One Thousand Gifts” on your “to read” list for 2014. You can also meet Ann on her blog and see what she is up to on a day to day basis! She is an inspirational woman with a huge heart for sharing the love story of God and how we can be in constant communion with HIM through words of gratitude. I loved her first book and so I was so excited to buy this book to use as a daily reading through advent this year. You can hear more of Ann’s heart about this new release by watching “Christmas at the Farm.” It is 1 hour, so grab a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and sit down with Ann and Liz Curtis Higgs. Trust me, you will feel like you are sitting with some good friends, listening to them chat away! It’s wonderful!
“I DON’T WANT A CHRISTMAS YOU CAN BUY.
I DON’T WANT A CHRISTMAS YOU CAN MAKE.
WHAT I WANT IS A CHRISTMAS YOU CAN HOLD.
A CHRISTMAS THAT HOLDS ME.
REMAKES ME, REVIVES ME,
I WANT A CHRISTMAS THAT WHISPERS, JESUS.”
-Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
Ann’s book takes you from Genesis through Jesus’ birth and recaptures how the word of life is pointing to God’s Love and the Messiah along the way. Each day there is a small section of scripture to read, a poetic and thoughtful response from Ann, a daily application, 3 questions to journal and an ornament to put on your Jesse tree. The concept of a Jesse tree is not new. I tried to do the Jesse tree a few years ago with my girls and we didn’t make it through the whole month. I am loving doing it just for myself this year. I grabbed some twigs that we used for our thankful tree at Thanksgiving time and made them look all “wintery” with some white paint and glitter. When you buy Ann’s book, you get the code to download free ornaments that represent each day’s bible story. I printed those on card stock, added some ribbon and put them in a cute box next to my tree so they are ready for each day. I am LOVING doing this every morning! There are some mornings where it is just too crazy and I end up sitting down at night to read my daily portion, but it is just as effective. It is keeping my mind focused and in anticipation. I am such a visual person so to have the tree with the ornaments on them reminds me of what I have read so far. It also is a great talking point with my girls. They have been asking me about the ornaments and I retell the bible stories to them. They are catching on and so I try to point to an ornament to see if they can tell me the bible story!
Be sure to check out Ann’s book, it is not too late to get started. You can get it on kindle start on week 2 with me tomorrow!