Celebrate a Delightful December!
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Welcome to December! While this can be one of the busiest, most stressful months of the year, with a bit of intentionality you can make it one of your most calm and celebrative seasons.
What helps keep me grounded amidst all the hooplah is that I am committed to reading an Advent Devotional every single morning and singing a Christmas carol every day. There are many wonderful resources out there and my new book “Dwelling Places” even has an Advent section. Click here for a free printable Advent 2016 Guide.
I also try to be realistic about my own expectations for the season. This year I am finishing up a new book so I only have time to go to work every day, come home and write, and spend one week focused on my visiting family. Yes, I will attend our Christmas concert and my Bible Study Christmas dinner, but have had to scale back other extras. This will help keep me sane and prepared to welcome everyone for a celebrative week.
If you love to read special Christmas novels, I recommend three new ones by dear friends: Restoring Christmas, the newest Christmas novella from Cynthia Ruchti is amazing and I was honored to endorse it. You might also enjoy God Bless Us Everyone by Eva Marie Everson and Red Pen Redemption by Lori Stanley Roeleveld.
If you live in the Hartford CT area may I invite you to my own church’s Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 18 at 4 pm? Our meetinghouse was built in 1761 and our Minister of Music and the Arts, David Spicer, will pull out all the stops (literally) that afternoon with Bach and Vivaldi (and it’s free) – so come for a glorious time of worship and celebration!
My greatest suggestion for having a Delightful December is that you keep your focus on the Holy reason for the season – the birth of the Christ Child. Read the Christmas story. Reflect on how Christ “moving into the neighborhood” has affected your own life. Pray. Be thankful. Reach out to others. Embrace loved ones. Be generous as you can be (without going into debt, that honors no one). And look forward on December 31 to God’s great gift of a Brand New Year – 2017!
“If you have arrived at Advent, at the coming, with doubts, dragging chains of disbelief, disenchantment, and discouragement, welcome. You are not alone. And if you enter this season with a harried heart and a furrowed brow, welcome. You are not alone. If your moanings feel louder than the quiet, subtle hope tucked behind the noise of the world’s Christmas season, then welcome. You are not alone. And that is the good news, isn’t it? That in this darkness, in this aching nighttime, we are not alone. Christ comes. This Advent, we face the shadows, and embrace the Light.” (Jane Rubietta in Finding the Messiah)
Have a peaceful December, full of reflection and delight.
under the mercy, Cindy
©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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