#ThursdayThings – Advent Resources

It’s my favorite time of the year! I have always loved Christmas time, but in recent years, my joy during this season has grown as I learned to celebrate Advent. Not having grown up in a liturgical tradition, I had no clue what Advent calendars or candles were or how the entire Christmas season could help me grow in my faith.

Advent simply means “coming.” In church tradition, the season of Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and represents a time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christ’s birth. The past few years, I have spent these four weeks focused on what God teaches us through the birth of his Son into the world. I have learned how waiting is a part of every human’s story. I have meditated on the fact that God is with us in every season. I have gained hope remembering what was accomplished through Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. Advent is a time to remember Jesus’ coming to earth in the past, but also looking forward to his second coming in the future.

You can read more about my love of Advent in my blog post from last year, but this year, I wanted to leave you with a few of my favorite Advent resources.

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#ThursdayThings — My Favorite Toddler Resources

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was excited to become a mother, but I was also terrified. My husband and I would be responsible for the discipleship of our daughter! While only God can change hearts, it is His will that parents should spiritually lead and nurture their children. What a high calling!

One truth that helped relieve my anxiety was the truth that discipleship is not complicated. While my Type A personality likes a plan, discipleship in the home is not about a 14-step Bible curriculum. It is about incorporating the Gospel into the everyday rhythms of the home. Jesus did not spend His three years of ministry at a desk writing a grand plan; He ate, walked, and lived with his disciples. And in that eating, walking, and living, He showed them who God is.

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#ThursdayThings — Prayer Tools I Use

Prayer is such an integral part of the Christian life, so it should come to us naturally, right? While it is true that the Holy Spirit helps us to pray, sometimes prayer is hard. Our minds wander. We don’t know where to start. We push it down on our priority list, forsaking the immediately urgent over the eternally important.

Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” For many of us, we wouldn’t know what to do with three hours of prayer! What do we pray for? How do we pray? What words do we use? I believe that to have truly effective prayer times, we must be strategic. We must learn from Christ how we ought to pray, and we must be intentional with every minute we have on our knees before Him.  

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