48 more Days until Christmas… Really!

Preparing to Seek Jesus this CHRISTmas. SmellingCoffee.com

I don’t mean to alarm you, but are you aware that Christmas is in just 48 days?  Halloween is over, fall decor is on discount, and the store shelves are now full of red and green, toys, and advertisements for lay-away plans.  Where, oh where has the time this year gone???

I certainly don’t want to skip over the wonderful Thanks-giving of November (I’ll post about that soon), but we all know that Christmas takes a little more time, money, energy, and planning.  So today,  I want to challenge you (as I challenge myself) with some early encouragement to decide right now that your Christmas holiday is going to be different this year.  Not so rushed.  Not so stressed.  Not so commercialized.

How can you make your Christmas different this year?  My friends, I know that I don’t have all of the answers, but I do have a few things God has shown me to do/not to do in order to have a truly Merry CHRISTmas.  

I’m processing through these things myself as I’m working on a few resources that God has placed on my heart to pull together and share here on the blog with you dear readers.  God is also giving me the privilege of sharing some of these things in person this year at FBC in Cleveland, MS on Wednesday nights beginning November 18 at 6 pm, and any local lady is welcome to join us!

With that being said, I sure could use your prayers over the next several weeks!  Jesus and I are finishing up writing an 8-week devotional book called “Abiding in Advent – The Secret to Navigating this Holiday Season with Fullness, Peace, and Joy.  This will consist of simple daily guided times with Jesus and His Word, which will fill us with the PEACE & JOY necessary to carry us through the entire holiday season.  Beginning in mid November, these devoted times will draw us to rest in Jesus as we enter the busiest and most stress-filled weeks of the year – from the week before Thanksgiving into the first few weeks of January. (You know… those times that are “supposed” to be about Jesus, but we’re often too busy “celebrating Him” to spend much time with Him… and/or when there usually aren’t any organized studies going on at church to keep us accountable during this time…?)

This year I’m publishing the books myself (Can you say DIY at the last minute – of course?) and the books will be available locally in our church office after November the 18th (waiting on pricing info now). But my prayer is that by next year, the book will be truly edited and published “for real” and ready in plenty of time for the November/December/January holiday season of 2016!!

Soooo – If you’re in the Cleveland area, on Wednesday nights beginning Nov. 18, except for the week of Thanksgiving, we’ll be having an “Abiding in Advent” Ladies’ Bible Study class where we’ll be doing some practical preparation for our Hearts and Homes in Seeking Jesus this CHRISTmas.

Abiding in Advent Bible Study Class. Jennifer Crawford Walker. SmellingCoffee.com
(We may even be doing a little crafting here and there… but shhhh – that might be a surprise!)  This class will be a combination of discussing what we’ll be working through in our daily times with Jesus in our “Abiding in Advent” books as well as some of the practical strategies from “Keeping Christ AS Christmas – Preparing Hearts, Households, and Homes for PEACE this Christmas Season.

So, come if you can, and when you can.  You’ll be welcome. 🙂  {There will be a small cost to participate if there are crafts and a cost for the book, just still working that out.  But please don’t let that deter you.}

And for all of us… here are a few steps to get us started in the right direction for the next 48 days.  {Except… of course, there are some of you out there who are already finished preparing most of your practical things for Christmas… your gifts are purchased and wrapped, your meals are planed… yay for you! We congratulate you.  Please just kindly pray for the rest of us.  Okay?  😉  We love you and thank God that the world has people in it like you.  So you dear ones will have lots of time to focus on your beautiful hearts and Jesus.  May we all be like you one of these days.  I mean it! 🙂 }

But for the rest of us:
1.  Make a determined decision to Keep Christmas about Jesus Christ.
 
As the days get busier, don’t neglect your daily time with Him.  Plan NOW to keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ as you prepare for both Thanksgiving and the celebration of His birth.  Every Friday between now and Christmas, I’ll be posting something that can help us stay focused on the REAL meaning of the holiday ~ Jesus Christ.

2. Start now.  Don’t wait any longer to plan, shop, and do.   Like many of our blog buddies and Pinterest pals, I’ll be passing along lots of ideas I’ve gleaned from experience and from others.  We’re all in this together, right?  Lets make our lists and start asking God what He would have us put on them.  He is a great Idea-Man and Creative Shopper!  Let’s invite Jesus to be a part of all we do, and He will help us!  He promises us that He will:

 “Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.”  Proverbs 16:3, AMP

3.  Get YOUR copy of the e-book, Keeping Christ AS Christmas (or re-read the one you purchased last year or years ago) ~ written with the help of the Lord by yours truly ~and use the simple strategies to prepare your heart, household, and home for PEACE this Christmas Season.  ChristASChristmas.com  $4.99 for Kindle, Nook, any other e-reader, or as a PDF.

To me, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But I’ll be honest…Sometimes the frantic thought of expectations and lists that must be accomplished between now and then robs my Christmas joy and leaves me feeling drained and exhausted. How about you?  Does thinking about Christmas seem a bit overwhelming?

 If your plate is full, your money is tight, and your Christmas expectations seem impossible, this book was written for you!  Keeping Christ AS Christmas is not another volume of “to do” lists for the holidays. It is a fresh approach to familiar traditions through simple strategies and sanity savers.

 With practical and inspirational ideas, information, and instruction, Keeping Christ AS Christmas will help you and your family both seek and find Jesus in every Christmas activity. As you put into practice some of these simple strategies and sanity savers, your Christmas will be meaningful in a new and treasured way.

Keeping Christ AS Christmas: Preparing hearts, households, and homes for PEACE this Christmas season.

What some said about the book:

“Keeping Christ AS Christmas will be one book I will read and reread every Christmas season. It is jam packed with practical advice, ideas, worksheets, and helpful resources. Jennifer writes in a beautiful conversational style. Everything focuses on the gift of Jesus, including the motivation behind gift giving. Jennifer includes the history behind many Christmas traditions. I loved the questions asked at the end of each chapter to help make it personal for each family. And, I loved how Jennifer outlined how to spend 10 minutes with Jesus in the morning. She writes, ‘10 minutes with Jesus will make a world of difference in the next 23:50 hours of your day.’”

“I would highly recommend Keeping Christ AS Christmas as the perfect gift to give to yourself, your friends, and your family. I know this Christmas will be different for my family after reading this book.”

Debbie Petras, www.HeartChoices.com

 

“If you can buy only one book this year it should be Keeping Christ AS Christmas. This thoughtfully written book provides both encouragement and inspiration for celebrating this very special season. Using some simple strategies, Jennifer Crawford Walker details how she began to prepare her heart to have a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. As she shares in her book, that sweet fellowship with Jesus produces a heart and a home filled with CHRISTmas every single day of the year!  If you are searching for the path to that PEACE, you can find it here.”

Janice Dulany
(This is a precious sister who is now spending Christmas with Jesus – and what a celebration it is for her!!!)

 

“Jennifer’s e-book Keeping Christ AS Christmas is filled with ways to live the holidays honoring the real reason for the season – Jesus. The book is informative, inspirational, and entertaining. It has been a privilege to read the book and plan with renewed conviction to have the most ‘Christ AS Christmas’ holiday season my family has ever had.”

Janie Arnold Allen Bradley, Ph.D.

 

Keeping Christ AS Christmas is a book that will literally change the heart-attitude toward Christmas of every person who reads it. If you know Jennifer Walker then you know that she has a true, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ which guides her in everything she does. What I love about this book is that Jennifer gives practical, tangible, and realistic ways to develop our own relationships with the Lord day by day. She then shares how to keep our hearts focused on Jesus in the midst of the worldly distractions during the holiday season.

Keeping Christ AS Christmas will bring us back to the true spirit of this precious season and make a lasting impact on our hearts that will last the whole year through.

Kim Kopp

There is also a Keeping Christ AS Christmas Facebook page where we can all share ideas on how we keep The Lord’s Peace during this hectic season.  Hope you’ll join me there and share what works for you!

A give-away:  IF you have read (or when you read) this book, would you please go here and write an Amazon review?  And here and write a Barnes and Noble review?

On NOV. 20, I will have a special give-away chosen from those who leave reviews of the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Please????  It would mean so much to me!

How are you going to use these next 48 days?  Let’s decide today that this will be our most intentionally Christ-focused Christmas yet!

With love~

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About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com