Focusing On More Than What’s Next

It can be hard focusing on Jesus during Christmas. Who am I kidding, it can be hard to keep our focus on anything but ourselves on most days. Do you know why I know this? On Thanksgiving day, when we had all filled our plates so full we would need to repent, we ate all that craziness and…forgot to bless the food. I can’t remember when we last forgot to bless our food as a family. I mean, for the love of Pete, where was mine and Lary’s mind at? Where were our hearts? It was Thanksgiving! When I realized we had forgotten, I was heart-sick. Disappointed.

Lary gently reminded me that God knows our hearts. It isn’t about our words, it is about everyday actions. I still repented about fifteen times that day, but I know he is right. Jesus came to offer us grace. Grace for this girl can sometimes be hard to grasp. You know, the simplicity of it. How it’s unearned and freely given.

This month I have been following along with the Christmas Scripture Writing Plan . I am praying that starting each day with scriptures that speak of Jesus and his arrival will keep this wandering mind focused on more than what I need to do next.  You want to join me?

The scripture writing plan is new for me this year but there are other traditions that I try to hang on to that speak Christmas to me. Do you have activities and traditions that help you stay focused on Jesus and less on your next step? 

One of mine is watching Christmas shows on t.v..  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)  is one of my favorites, “How could it be so? It came without ribbons!… it came without tags!… it came without packages, boxes, or bags! He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!”

Isaiah records a beautiful calling statement for our Savior – Jesus Christ. It reminds us of that “little bit more”.

Soak in each wonderful, promising word.

Advent Wk 1-2015


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  1. Hi Carmen, thank you for sharing this writing plan. I saw your post on Facebook about it and loved the idea. I completed the Christmas one and now doing the January one from Sweet Blessings. What a great idea. I too love to write….with pen and paper, especially Scripture. Happy New Year!

  2. Maybe I will try that scripture writing plan next December. I’ve done something similar in the past and find it helps me get more meaning out of those Christmas passages. I hope you’ll have a joyful celebration and walk in peace this week, friend.

  3. Beautiful, Carmen. God’s words have such an elegance about them, don’t they? Love the scripture you used. The kind of grace that knows our hearts…is there anything sweeter? We’re so blessed. Merry Christmas, Carmen. ((Hug))

  4. Carmen,
    Those words in Is. 11 hit with such power. I LOVED reading them this morning. Oh, we praise God that Jesus is coming. We love him so. Thank you for setting my heart on gold this morning! Love you dear one!

  5. Carmen, I’m doing the scripture journey too with a group of friends. And for the last few years I’ve done an advent study. Each year ice picked a different one and bought it for myself and few friends so we could be studying together. I love the way that lends itself to discussions and keeps our hearts on Jesus. This year I’m doing my best to say no to over decorating, over buying, over scheduling. I put away the boxes yesterday and said enough. It ok. It’s soooo ok. Love sharing the common journey of being a Jesus gal with so many beautiful women. It helps me know that we are certainly not alone :)

  6. We love watching Christmas shows, too. We do that almost every night of December! I love the scripture writing idea. I love to hand-write. There’s something satisfying about scribbling things down on paper – and it helps with memorization, too! Thank you for sharing this idea, Carmen. Merry Christmas to you!

  7. Thank you for being so honest, Carmen. You’re not alone. Sometimes even when I do thank God with my lips, I feel guilty that I didn’t feel it in my heart. Or I’m praying and fall asleep. That unearned and freely given grace is hard for me to grasp, too. Isn’t it amazing that there is no condemnation in Jesus? He is so patient, loving, and grace-giving with us.

  8. What a great post, Carmen! God’s grace is sufficient for all of our inadequecies. Sometimes we get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and we forget to focus on the Reason for the Season. Preparing the atmosphere of my home, knowing I’m celebrating a Special Guest, helps me keep my heart focused on Christ. We bake cookies for Him, decorate for Him, and wrap gifts from Him. When people come to my house at Christmas, I want them to feel Him.