Lifting hearts to God in thanks and praise.

Christmas Eve

Last Sunday Ravinia decorated our map:

She hung her art to decorate our walls:

and I love the details in this one:

There are more pictures that she made, but these I wanted to share with you, gifts to be shared. Whatever your art is, please rejoice in the gift and love the Giver of all good gifts!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
James 1:17-18

How thankful I am that our curriculum assigned us a whole book of the Bible, James, to study and memorize this year. Then, when I was visiting a church in SF the thought came to me that maybe there’s a sermon series we could listen to while we study James and days later I found a new Beth Moore study we can download!

I rejoice in the Lord, my provider, who gives me things as I need them, add-ons to our curriculum like that, friends at the moment of need, a Bible verse that comes to mind when appropriate.

I thank him for my family.

Today I think of Mary: when the shepherds came she was worn out tired, and yet every moment was bright with afterbirth exhaustion-glow. So God sent her shepherds–people who spent their lives caring for animals, assisting at births, a certain loving people–to tell her that angels told them to come. Angels! What precious news for her to ponder, storing up in her heart.

While we have enjoyed the baking, shopping, making, giving, loving, partying, extra-joy of this season, I have sometimes felt lost, sometimes discouraged, rebuked in my heart. But a word from the other book I once tried to memorize comes back to me, and with this I will close, wishing you a joyous Christmas season:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. 1 John 3:16-24

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Comments on: "Christmas Eve" (4)

  1. The pictures are delightful and bring back memories of my daughter’s work 20 years ago! I am still smiling! The joy of your daughter’s angel is awesome! Thank you for sharing!
    Here is what my daughter is doing now… I believe it will bless you
    http://addingjoyandlaughter.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-season-fun.html

    Blessings to you and your family… and loads of joy and dancing angels your way !

  2. I love what she did with that world map! I’ll think of this now, whenever I see a world map. Many thanks to your wonderful Ravinia.

    • Oh thank you Monica! I have to take another picture of it for you because I didn’t get the manger on Israel and the star over Northern Turkey in the picture! Maybe a Kings Day post…

  3. I imagine homeschooling can be full of challenge and joy – one of the joys has to be decorating the classroom walls like this – that artwork on the map is magnificent – as are the Nativity scenes. The book of James? One of my favorites. James, brother of our Lord, it’s said of him that he prayed so long that his knees were like those of a camel – he was a doer of the word long before he wrote his letter. Thank you for this Christmas-y post – and thank you for being so nice Beth – and God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.

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