Sisters in Spirit: Focus

December 28th

mother full of grace

Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives.  They each agreed to carve out a space on their blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation.  The topic this month is: Christmas traditions — how to keep Christ in Christmas and the New Year?

Bianca suggested this month’s topic: how do we stay focused on our faith, especially when this time of year is rushing to the rush? Never mind, most of the hustle and bustle has to do with celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus. (I can’t say “baby Jesus” without thinking of Ricky Bobby. Anyone else?)

Our family Christmas traditions are mostly focused on food, not faith. We have an orange in the toe of the stocking. Cookies and milk left out for Santa. Sticky buns first thing Christmas morning. A roasted ham or turkey mid-afternoon.

Mozambican nativity

When I have children, I’ll expand this to include an empty seat at the Christmas table, always available for the passing stranger. And I think baking a Christmas birthday cake makes sense when trying to teach little ones the symbolism of the day. We’ll also attend Christmas Eve services, celebrate Advent with a countdown calendar, and spend time reading the Christmas story.

{If you haven’t heard, I am a great theoretical matriarch. Mini tells me I’m the best mom without kids she’s ever met. Ahem.}

How do you refocus now that we’ve thrown open the doors to a new year?

I typically make a resolution list that would impress a 15th century martyr. Not this year. There will be no push to read a certain number of books, or lose a certain number of pounds. There will be no self-loathing exercises entries, or complaints about all that I haven’t achieved. Instead, I’m following my new favorite cheesy American advertising campaign and focusing on what I hope to gain in 2013.

1. Spiritual discipline. This year’s Bible study is the NIV One Year Bible. I’ll continue to study with my friend Tina weekly and am more than a bit excited about learning from her.  Hey! Maybe this year I won’t get scared off come, October, when things start getting dark and headless-horsemanish. (I’ve read up until October 4 years in a row and subconsciously quit each year. Come to find out, Revelations scares me. A lot.) Joshua 1:8

2. Financial discipline. Like keeping off that extra weight, keeping extra pennies in my pocket takes constantly telling myself, “No!” My mom had a stern conversation with me mid-2012 about how adulthood means learning when to tell yourself, “No,” or at least “Not now.” I’ve since found budgeting to be an entertaining game thanks to a needed shift in perspective. 1 Chron. 29:11-16

3. Finish that book! Novel numero dos is due for publishing the first week of April. I have, oh, a LOT of writing to do between now and then to meet this deadline. Matthew 7:7

4. Spend less time online and more time engaged. I’m cutting back on social media and posting here in 2013; ideally this will mean more quality writing, and more thoughtful sharing. Matthew 15:11

Here is to a 2013 where all of our goals are surpassed!

Blessings to you and yours in the new year,

Kelli

 

Rebekah is a blogger, amateur photographer, and missions volunteer with Adventures in Missions. A lifetime of being a pastor’s kid, attending church regularly, and a private Christian school education gave her a lot of knowledge about the nuances of theology without a lot of faith. Now she’s trying to figure out how faith and theology applies to her relationships and daily life. You can find her online at www.honeysucklelife.com.  (on leave)

Sarah is municipal attorney, mom to a toddler boy, and United Methodist’s pastor’s wife.  (She does not play the organ.)  She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice.  Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler.  Sarah blogs at www.beautyschooldropout.net 

Bianca is a newlywed Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband are expecting their first child in late summer. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com.  

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses

  1. There isn’t anything I don’t like about this post. Love it! Inspirational as always! I have decided to make 2013 “wild and free”…ahem, not in the way you might think. I am more interested in being the real me and feed my soul instead. I wish to be free to embrace life in all its spiral twists and turns and enjoy the ride. As a planner this will be challenging, but I think you are never to old to adapt and adjust. I look forward to the amazing moments 2013 will bring and “plan” (hee-hee) to slow down just enough to enjoy them to the fullest!

  2. Looking forward to #1 and I love the scriptures cited to inspire 2013. May it inspire everyone who takes the time to read them, or in the words of tiny Tim, “God bless us, everyone!”

  3. This is a beautiful post. My goal is to be more grateful and joyful with what I have. Sometimes we don’t realize when we have enough and I want to be happy that I have enough. Life is really about loving God, our family & friends.

  4. I’ve always been baffled by Revelations as well. One person’s prophetic vision doesn’t have to apply to everyone. You can only get what you can get out of the bible. I read through Revelations every time I read the bible which takes me a couple of years, but it has always held little meaning to me.

    Every year though I find new passages that stun me with relevance to my life. Something that reminds me to be kinder, more focused, to help me keep God in my heart.

    There may be a time when Revelations hits me in the head, but it has not done so yet.

    Maybe the lesson in Revelations for you is, what is it that scares me so? Is there something that I am avoiding or denying in myself that this part of the bible reminds me of?

    I generally avoid religious posts and certainly refrain from commenting on them, but I felt compelled this time. I love your blog and appreciate your perspective that you share with your readers. Thank you.

  5. Kim Campbell January 8, 2013

    I love this post. The ideas are amazing. My aunt always had an “Indian” at Thanksgiving…meaning non family members to share in Thanksgiving. Reading the Bible is still on my to do list. I seems to peter out.

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