Wishing You the Joy of Jesus!

Sweet friends,

Merry Christmas! What a beautiful and blessed time of year. I am lifting up your precious families and asking God to give you His joy this Christmas season. I am asking Him to be the healer of broken hearts, the provider of your needs and the lifter of your heads. May He fill your cups to overflowing today and everyday!!

I’m thankful for you!

xoxo,

Candace

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We Welcome the Prince of Peace

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There has never been a time in my life when this world seemed to need Advent more than now. We need advent, the arrival, the birth of the Prince of Peace.

The Advent season is upon us. The first day of the traditional Advent season is Sunday, November 27th.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. 

Isaiah 9:6-7

With the birth of Jesus we have the birth of grace. Through the gift of His Son, God shows us true love. We learn what true peace is because of our Prince of Peace. We have the hope of heaven because of Advent.

Now, more than ever, as believers we need to be fervent in prayer and the study of God’s Word. Let us fix our eyes on JESUS this Advent season. Let us remember WHY He came to earth.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible about Jesus is from Isaiah 61.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

This passage is a prophecy written about Jesus before He was ever born. We learn from this passage that through Jesus, every single one of our needs will be met. In Christ. He brings good news for the poor, He binds up the brokenhearted, He proclaims freedom for the captives, He releases from darkness the prisoners, He comforts all who mourn, He gives beauty for ashes, He gives the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair.

Every single need you are facing today…can be met in Jesus. He doesn’t always meet our needs in the way that our flesh or this world may seek to meet those needs. But He meets them with Himself. He gives us more and more of Him.

Lord Jesus, my Prince of Peace…I welcome You into my world, my home, my heart this Advent season.

Emmanuel: God with us. God with me. God with you. 

I talked a little bit about this passage the other day on Facebook Live…

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Tis the Season Journaling Kit 30% off

This beautiful Christmas Kit from Dayspring is 30% off for Black Friday. Use the code FRIDAY16

Prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus as Melody invites you to dive deeper into some really meaningful words during this 25-day Advent devotional.  Focusing on four special words—Hope…Love…Joy…Peace, Melody gives 25 daily prompts (along with Scripture), in hopes that you will connect with these four words, the prompts, and other details within the verse.  “May each day of this journey help build our collective excitement about the coming of Christmas day and the celebration of the Messiah!”  —Melody

Devotional message:
Tis the Season

Sample copy:
1.  Future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
2.  Glory.  (Isaiah 60:2)
3.  Freedom.  (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Plus 22 more!

Product Details:

  • 1 devotional booklet (25 prompts with Scripture)
  • 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

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Why We All Need Advent

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Advent: noun, a coming or arrival

This is advent. We celebrate a coming. We await an arrival. The arrival of a baby boy born in a stable. A baby, yet a king. The arrival of new life to a young, bewildered couple. The arrival of new life for you and me. The arrival of a new kingdom.

The arrival of grace.

The arrival of love.

The arrival of peace.

The arrival of joy.

Jesus didn’t come solely to give us a home for all eternity, He came to give us the abundant life we yearn for while still here on earth. Perfect? No. Abundant? Yes.

Everywhere we look in this world today we see a lack of grace, a lack of love, a lack of peace and a lack of joy.

We are all so desperate for Advent because we are all so desperate for Jesus.

More of Jesus, less of this world…less of me…less of this earthly kingdom we live in temporarily.

More Jesus, less politics. More Jesus, less divisiveness. More Jesus, less hate. More Jesus, less war. More Jesus, less revenge.

As we approach the season where we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us fix our eyes on Him…His birth…His life…His death and resurrection.

If Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly, let us look for that life here and now. Let us look for grace, love, peace and joy. May we be instruments of that grace, love, peace and joy.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. 

Let it begin in me.

Emmanuel: God with us. 

He is here.

First 500 Receive Free Christmas Stamp Set!

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{The new Christmas kit!!}

If you’ve been wanting to try a new Illustrated Faith Bible Journaling Monthly KIT, this is the month to try it!!

The first 500 who purchase the December Tis The Season kit will receive a FREE Christmas stamp set! These kits are so well done. I have shared about many of them and you can find those posts here!

Free Christmas Stamp Set

If you are one of the first 500 to order the NEW KIT for DECEMBER you will receive a FREE set of Christmas stamps! These stamps will be added to your cart automatically. While supplies last. Aren’t these adorable??

Go here to purchase the Tis the Season Devotional Kit from Dayspring! 

I will be back in a few weeks to show you a few pages that I’ve created using the Tis the Season kit! Can’t wait to dig in to ADVENT Bible Journaling!!

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Bible Journaling

To see all of the kits and posts I’ve done on Bible Journaling, head over to this page!

 

Advent in our Home

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The Advent season is one of my very favorite times of year. This year Advent starts on November 27th! We have had a few traditions over the years, however, as my kids grow older, our traditions change and evolve. This year my kids will be 14 years, 13 years and 11 years old during the Advent season.

So, I want to share some things that are traditions and just things I love about the Advent season in our home! You can find more Advent inspiration by scrolling down through these posts

Slowing Down

I love this time of year as our activities take a pause til the beginning of the new year. The weather lends itself to watching good movies and having hot chocolate. This slowing down of our regular activities is so very good for our souls.

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God’s Word

Time to slow down means more time for turning our hearts and minds to Christ and the true meaning for the season. Read lots of great books with your children, but don’t neglect God’s Word! Read and memorize Isaiah 9:6 with your kids! Discuss WHO Jesus is and WHY He came to earth.

If you’re looking for a FREE Scripture plan to use during the month of December, I have a few ideas for you here! Free WRITE THE WORD plans. Free PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES monthly plans! If you’re on Instagram, feel free to JOIN US by using the hashtag #PrayingTheScriptures to see what truths God is teaching us each morning!

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Lighting a Candle

Sometimes we look around us and see darkness and evil in the world and it hurts, we feel brokenhearted and we want to give up. We need the reminder that JESUS came to be the LIGHT of the world! Jesus came to earth to bring LIGHT to our darkness. In His presence there is NO darkness! Perfect love casts out all fear.

Light a candle at dinner and remind your children that Jesus is the light of the world! You could even read 1 verse per night at dinner that talks about LIGHT from God’s Word.

{Jesus, Light of the World: Praying the Scriptures through Advent is currently on sale for 4.99.}

Jesus: Light of the World, Praying the Scriptures through Advent

We also love the Advent Wreath tradition, you can read more about that and see 10 beautiful advent wreaths in this post

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{One of many memories of my dad, along with my son, sitting around the piano to sing.}

Singing Christmas Carols

As a musician, growing up in a musical home, singing hymns and Christmas carols is a favorite memory of mine. I absolutely LOVE learning the STORIES behind hymns! Learning about these amazing heroes of our faith who have been through the storms of life and wrote beautiful words to inspire hope and remind us of the steadfast love of God.

When I looked through this new resource that tells the stories of CHRISTMAS CAROLS I knew it would be a wonderful resource to have. Each day you can read or sing 1 Christmas carol, a Scripture, a short devotional, some discussion questions and a craft.

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Reading Good Stories

Another favorite thing that I love about the month of December is the time we have to read more. There are so many wonderful picture books and also chapter books with engaging stories written specifically for Advent!

Have you seen these books that are ongoing stories? You read a “chapter” or portion each morning or evening of Advent and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. These books have been some of my all time favorite stories. They are sort of a historical fiction type book in that the stories are fairly accurate for the time period when Jesus was born so it’s neat to hear about life during that time.

There are 3 stories in this trilogy. You would just choose ONE to read for this Advent season!

Jotham’s Journey

Ishtar’s Odyssey

Bartholomew’s Passage

10 Favorite Advent/Christmas Picture Books

If you’ve read my blog for long, you recall that I was a kindergarten teacher in my former life. I adore picture books!! I may or may not have continued reading picture books to my kids even at these older ages. I wanted to narrow down my absolute favorite picture books for this time of year! So here are ten of my favorite picture books for the Advent season!

Advent In Your Home?

I would love to hear what your favorite traditions are for Advent and Christmas with your family! Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite books or traditions!

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