Category Archives: Dayspring

Keep Searching

I can hardly believe it is almost Christmas. I don’t know what happened really, I blinked and December was gone. The reality was that late in November our son was sick, then I got pneumonia which wiped me out for days and days and then he was sick again. We had a weekend stuck indoors because the straight temp outside was -25 degrees and now here we are a few days away from Christmas and all the plans I had to slow down and seek God through this month feel a lot like defeat.

And I guess there may be many of you that have found yourself here as well.

We start the season with the best of intentions. This year will be different and then, well LIFE happens, and we come through Advent just hoping to survive until the new year. Can I just say that we should all take a collective deep breath and relax?

I still have gifts en route that will need to be wrapped by Saturday morning. I have cookies to frost and clothes to organize. Our kids are still in school (I KNOW, WHAT IN THE WORLD?) and we have meetings at our office through noon tomorrow.

Yes, Christmas will come and go just as fast and I will wonder what happened there too…but I realized something this morning that helped me to accept where I am at today.

Just because the season will be over in a few days doesn’t mean we have to stop searching for the One, the Gift, that we celebrate during this time.

The story didn’t end with Christmas, we know that. And while we make attempts to focus and slow down during Advent it is still important that we keep seeking Him all year through.

I shared back in November about the Shepherd on the Search kit that I received from Dayspring. I knew it would be something fun that I could use to be intentional with my kids in December. I was excited about the daily activities they had on their web page and had plans to take even 15-20 minutes a night to be engaging in the Christmas story with them.

And then, you know….LIFE.

But like I said, the story doesn’t end after this weekend.

Yes, it is important to teach our kids about the significance of Christ’s birth at Christmas…but they need to keep searching for Him throughout the year as well. I want my kids to seek Him in all things. In all seasons!

Using these recipe cards is one way that I can do that. Day 15 is a lesson on the importance of giving to others. Day 21 encourages us to find ways to bring Joy to others, our neighbors or friends. And throughout the month you will find memory verses that will help place the Christmas story on our hearts over and over again.

I am learning more and more that if I want to know God, I have to seek Him out. I have to spend time with Him, learning about Him, being His light to others. Not just at Christmas but always.

It was a challenge my own heart needed this morning. I could feel frustrated that my Advent season didn’t look like I thought it should….or I can celebrate that the story is ongoing, and so is my search for Him.

My prayer for you friends is that you will be able to give yourself grace today. Enjoy time with your family this weekend, celebrate the Christ child and then continue to seek Him throughout the year! Merry Christmas!

Original Photo Credit: Dan’l Burton

Looking for Him this Season

shepherd-on-the-search

We have had an unseasonably warm fall here in Minnesota, something that has been such a gift this year. So it has been hard for me to get in the “Holiday” mindset. Maybe it is the impending blizzard watch we are under for later in the week or the fact that every store is decorated for Christmas, but thoughts of Christmas were on my mind this morning.

I was remembering the times we spent at my grandparent’s home and how before we opened any gifts on Christmas Eve my grandpa would pause and read us the Christmas story. As a child, I was filled with the excitement and anticipation of what was in the packages under the tree …not of the miracle of Christ’s birth.

But my grandpa recognized something that I now understand more deeply myself…the season should be a celebration of the amazing gift God sent for all of humanity. 

I try and put myself in the place of those we read about in Luke 2. How must Mary have felt, carrying the Son of God inside her? What was the journey like that the wise men took to travel incredible distances to bring gifts to Jesus?

Or the shepherds, have you ever thought about the shepherds?

Typically the shepherd was kind of the low man on the totem poll. They spent their days and nights out in the field with sheep. And yet God sent His angels to the shepherds so that He could announce the coming Christ child.

Luke 2 paints a beautiful picture for us:

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

As a parent, I would love for my kids to see the wonder of Christmas in the birth of Christ and not just in the gifts laying under the tree.

With wish lists and toy guides and elf-on-the-shelf, often Christmas loses its focus on Christ pretty quickly.  So we have to be intentional during the Advent season to bring things back into a right focus.

One of the ways we will be doing that this season is with Dayspring’s Shepherd on the Search kit. In the kit is a book, a small shepherd doll and a box that creates a manger scene. The book tells the kids the journey the shepherd will be on throughout the month of December.

Inviting the kids to go on a journey of their own, each morning the kids will search for where the shepherd might be. His final destination is the stable on Christmas Eve. One of the things that I loved about this kit was that Dayspring has a website specifically dedicated to sharing ideas on how you can incorporate this kit in your day to day life.

This is a fun, yet focused way that you can incorporate the anticipation and celebration of Christ’s birth every day during the Advent season.

Dayspring also has a Christmas CD that features kids singing some of our favorite Christmas Carols! What a wonderful way to create a worshipful environment all season long!

The excitement of presents and new toys will always be something our kids will have, but my hope is that with a daily focus on the miracle of Jesus, we will help establish them a love for the true meaning of the Season.

What are some of the ways you keep Christ present in the Christmas season for your kids? I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

I was provided the Shepherd on the Search kit for free from Dayspring in exchange for my honest review. All stories and opinions are my own.

Bible Journaling – Illustrated Faith

Journaling Bible

My husband bought me an ESV Journaling Bible for Christmas in 2014. I have loved having the space to take notes when I am at church. So often I can’t remember all the nuggets of wisdom that my pastor has to offer each week and by writing it down I can go back and look through it at a later date and remember.

When I got the bible I did some research about the best pens, highlighters etc. that I should use on the delicate pages. Searching unearthed (at least for me) the new trend of people illustrating their faith in the pages of their bible.

The work that these artists are doing is so incredible, I had to share a few of my favorites:

Illustrated Faith 2

Beautiful work by Tiffany Zajas. Simple, yet that tangible reminder to bloom where you are planted.

Illustrated Faith 7

Jaime was featured over at the Illustrated Faith website and I love that she uses stickers, colored pencils, washi tape and her own {amazing} handwriting to make this page her own!

Illustrated Faith 8

And finally this from Bekah, also featured at Illustrated Faith has used watercolors and paper cutouts to add whimsy to her page.

I will be honest with you when I started seeing all these beautiful pictures I was a little overwhelmed. I am more of a paint by numbers kind of girl and my handwriting leaves much to be desired. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to create something so beautiful in my own bible.

And then I heard about the Illustrated Faith line from Dayspring.

Initially I purchased some stickers, I thought that it would be a place to start. Then when I had the opportunity to review a full Illustrated Faith kit, I jumped at the chance!

The kit arrived and was packed so pretty. I received the Blessings or Lessons Illustrated Faith set.

Illustrated Faith 5

Here were the Items in the kit:

    • 1 devotional booklet (14 devotionals)
    • 1 stamp pad
    • 1 clear stamp collection with 1 sheet of cut outs enclosed
    • 1 roll of washi tape
    • 1 package of 3 Scripture sharables
    • 1 sticker
    • 1 bow clip

I love that the kit came with a devotional, I hadn’t expected that! Each month a new kit is available and has just enough to get a novice like myself started.

I decided to start by just placing the Scripture sharables in my bible where the verses are found. This way I have them with me and can share them as an opportunity arises.

I tried a couple of the stamps out, but they do recommend that you use an acrylic block to fix the stamps to before you use them. I didn’t have a block so I tried to wing it. One of the stamps slipped a little when I was taking it off the page. The block would have prevented that…so it is on my list of things to purchase.

Illustrated Faith 6I told you I am a novice at this, but it is fun! I want to get some colored pencils and maybe color around the stamp featured above. There are endless possibilities really with what you can do with just 1 kit!

I am even more excited to start using the sticker sets that I purchased but was afraid to try. Maybe this brings me back to those days when we decorated the covers of our notebooks with NKOB stickers and pictures (maybe that was just me, ha!)…it was fun to create then and I guess I had forgotten how something like this is fulfilling for a creative’s soul!

If you haven’t ever tried this form of creative journaling…maybe now is the time to start!!

For more information about the woman who designed this incredible collection see the video below! Email subscribers click here.

YouTube Preview Image

I was sent the Illustrated Faith kit in exchange for my honest review but even more exciting is that the lovely people at Dayspring have a kit to send to one of my readers! I am telling you that you want this!! To enter leave a comment sharing your favorite item from the Dayspring site or tell me if you have done any Bible Journaling yourself. Share this post on FB or Twitter for additional entries, just leave me a comment saying what you have done! 🙂

I will pick a winner on June 13th!

Photo Credit: Kit picture compliments of Dayspring

Christmas with Dayspring!

I am a HUGE fan of Dayspring products. You will find their things scattered all throughout my home. They are timeless pieces with a beautiful message.

Dayspring 2

This lantern is sitting on my fireplace hearth. It is a part of Dayspring’s Love Came Down Collection.

Etched on the front door of the lantern is this verse: “The light will dawn in your souls and Christ the Morning Star will shine in your hearts.”  II Peter 1:19

I love that!

There is something about having God’s Word written and displayed all over a home that is so appealing to me. Little reminders that He is present in ALL things.

Dayspring 1

I have a feeling that this lantern will be a permenant part of my hearth year round.

God calls us to be a light in this dark world.

The only way we can do that is by having His light within us in the first place. My prayer for each of us as we have entered the Advent season is that our hearts and minds will be filled with His peace and presence.

We can be light, we are called to be a light and because of Christ we are!

Is there something in your home that reminds you to be a light for Christ? I’d love to see them! Share a picture or a link below!

Recently Dayspring contacted me to offer me the opportunity to purchase an item from their Christmas shop at a discounted price, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...