Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Comfort for Moms

The idea for this mini-retreat for mothers came to me at the beginning of November but first I had to locate the books I prayed would move mothers' hearts and churn their souls. I had just given my publisher at Hillside the books titles to order when various other picture books studies started to glitter around the blogosphere. They shine bright and warm with the love and generosity that I know reflects the giving spirit of the women who create this studies and share them so freely. I know these women. Their hearts are giving and generous and prayerful. We are all blessed and thankful for their servitude to our families.

Still, the sparkle of these studies gave me pause. I was unsure whether to share the reflections God had cushioned in my heart. I paused because there is so much out there already. The Internet (while a blessing and a privilege) has made it thus. It's a stressful time when it should be relaxing. It's an overwhelming time when it should be peaceful. That's not the message I wanted to share in my literature reflections. That's not the message any of us mean to share. Still...there's so much out there that it has quelled me from hardly writing anything in the past year or two. So I prayed some more. And I read Jennifer's wonderful post which spoke so clearly and beautifully my own thoughts and sharings how to Prepare the Way of the Lord!

I decided there was no practical reason for keeping my little book reflection to myself. I believe it will prove to be as wonderful and lovely and heart-warming as these other studies... and it is also free. The difference is that this picture book reflection is strictly for mothers. It is not a lesson plan, not a reading time and craft time with your children. It is only for you...the mother who might be overwhelmed and stressed...who might need a little tranquil time during the next 4 weeks of Advent to reflect and pray and seeks to reclaim the vision of who she is called to serve and what she is called to do. This reflection is meant to take you away from the hustle and bustle of the commercial aspects of Advent and give you a time and focus to recapture and meditate on the spiritual aspects.

I truly hope it blesses you.

Again, this reflection is not meant to increase your plans. It is meant to take you away from them. A weekly post will be shared on my blog each Sunday of Advent and discussion (if any) can happen here. One book will be opened each Sunday and examined throughout the week. If you do nothing else but listen to Christmas carols and leaf through the lovely pages of these books, this Christmas Comfort of reflective picture books will bless you.

The guide sheets will probably be only one sheet..unless I get extra creative and carried away...and will be stored at Hillside Education. They will guide you through the books, offering thoughts, prayers, suggestions, and quotes for you to ponder and breathe in. Journal writing is encouraged.

I know how busy you are...how busy we all are. It's almost scary...except that we are driven by love and service and charity for our families. That is a good thing. Slowing down for ourselves is a good thing too but much more difficult.

You will want to find (check with your library first...if they don't have them they can get them for you) the following picture books:

Hillside Education is making arrangements to have these books on hand for you to order as well.
In addition to these picture books, you might want to have:
  • a cheerfully adorned Christmas basket to hold your books and supplies
  • a pretty Christmas journal
  • favorite colored gel pen
  • a radio with a tape or DVD of soothing Christmas carols playing in the background
  • a candle with your favorite scent---peppermint, sugar cookie, evergreen, etc.
  • a cup of hot cocoa with a peppermint stick or a cup of holiday-flavored tea
  • a nativity set nearby
  • here is a lovely idea for an Advent/Christmas Notebook which is sure to give you candy loads of ideas and inspiration.

Again, this Christmas Comfort for Moms is not a study or a curriculum guide. It is a reflective time for you to break away from your other multitude of wonderful, life-giving plans and embrace the holiday season, reclaim the peace and joy that God desires for all wives and mothers this time of year. Hopefully, it will give you the motivation to draw richer meaning out of the other riches you find sprinkled around the Internet. As I have espoused in A Picture Perfect Childhood, sometimes we only need to capture 15-minutes to reclaim our vision of who we are called to serve and what we are called to do.

Blessing to you all for a happy and holy and sanctified Advent season!

3 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to this. It may just be what I am searching for. I think this is gonna be good. Thanks, Layla

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  2. What a gift, Cay- thank you. I look forward to coming here, reading your posts, and enjoying a peaceful, revitalizing Advent season.

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  3. I just made myself a nice Christmas themed notebook for this- looking forward to it :)

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