Seasonal Shift of the Heart

Post a Comment » Written on December 9th, 2014     
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By Denee Anderson

christmas-heartAnticipation, that word describes the Christmas season for most. We anticipate the to do lists, busyness, gift buying, party planning, big meals and the cards. There is always that buzz of excitement that hits just before December begins. That little voice that screams its warning every year, “Brace yourself, it’s going to be a wild ride until December 25th!”

Around mid November those feelings of Christmas anxiety began to creep in for me. I became determined to create a season that allowed for peaceful anticipation and wonder of Christ’s birth.

While enjoying a chaotic family dinner one November evening with my husband and three daughters (ages 4, 6 and 9). We made a list of ALL our Christmas traditions. I mean everything from driving around to see Christmas lights, opening new Christmas pajamas on Dec 1, house decorations, gingerbread house making, cookie baking, visiting Santa, our nightly advent readings, North Park University’s Saint Lucia pageant and on and on the list went.

We then talked about what was most important to each of us in that long list above and why. I shared my desire for the season and how important it is for our family to keep our eyes on Jesus. This was the place I had hoped to cross off at least a dozen activities and move into our peaceful advent season with less to do.

Well, a funny thing happened. Nothing was removed from that list, but a sense of intentionality was added and it has shifted my entire heart for this season. Just a simple conversation allowed me to see how my family felt about these traditions. It allowed my daughters to express themselves and the conversation reminded us all of why we do it, to keep our eyes focused on the birth of Christ. To anticipate the greatest gift given with childlike faith and wonder.

Advent is a season of waiting and preparing. For my family, deciding together how we want to wait has shifted me from anxiety to joy. This year will not be about anticipating the the holiday craze, it’s about being in awe of what God has gifted us with and doing it together!

denee_Denee Anderson is married to Kurt, and with her three daughters lives in the Chicago suburbs. She is the Covenant Kids Congo coordinator for her church, Naperville Covenant Church, and traveled to DR Congo with a team to learn more about CKC and to meet her sponsored child, Espe. She is a member of the Missional Moms visioning team, is active in Women of Vision, and teaches preschool part-time. You can meet Denee via video HERE.


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