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Week 3 ~ Embracing Advent—Christmas Survival Guide for Adoptive and Foster Parents

Advent, means arrival and is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ. My hope is that each week leading up to Christmas I will help point your heart toward hope, faith, joy, and peace as we prepare for the arrival of Jesus.


When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary,

and they bowed down and worshiped him.

Then they opened their treasures and presented him

with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Matthew 2:10-11



This week I invite you to join the wise men and experience supernatural joy.



Supernatural Joy

After a busy week of winding down homeschooling, finishing up the shopping, starting the baking and wrapping, and helping my dad get settled in his new facility—I needed some soul care. So, I made myself a cup of real hot cocoa topped whipped cream and curled up by the Christmas tree.


As I pondered the Christmas story, the Wise Men drew my attention. Little is known about them other than they were a group of gentile scholars who studied stars. The wise guys, as I like to call them, saw the miraculous star announcing the birth of the King and were overjoyed. So overjoyed, in fact, that they stopped everything, dropped onto their camels, and rolled into Bethlehem bearing gifts to worship at the feet of the newborn King—Jesus!



The Wise Men demonstrated intentional worship. Let’s follow their example and stop, drop, and roll into His presence. In His presence is where we find joy no matter what is going on around us.


Picture the wise guys rolling into town with their entourage. They step down from their camels, gather their gifts, and leave the busyness of Bethlehem outside. Inside, a hush of humility greets them as they enter the modest dwelling of Joseph the carpenter, the young mother Mary, and their son—the Christ child.


Something profound happened there and we often miss it. We merely give the Wise Men a passing glance once a year as part of the Christmas story. But they provide a life-lesson for us—stop, drop, and roll. Leave the chaotic world outside for a few moments each day and fall at the feet of Jesus.



Joy can be defined as a feeling of pleasure and happiness or as an emotion of great delight. We can’t navigate life based on our feelings. Feelings are based on outward circumstances. Joy is supernatural. We can experience joy no matter what is going on around us because we have Christ in us. When we seek first the Kingdom as Matthew 6:33 tells us, joy is one of those things added unto us.


If you are an adoptive, foster or kinship caregiver—stop, drop and roll should be your survival strategy not only at Christmas but all year long. Daily time-in with Jesus will fill you up so you can stay the course. And experience joy on the journey.


Survival Guide

Throughout December, each Advent blog post is a companion to my Orphans No More podcast Advent series. Wrapped up in each post and episode are three gifts for you:

• An Advent Assignment

• A worship song

• A prayer for you


Advent Assignment

This week as we prepare our hearts for the arrival of the newborn King—stop, drop and roll into a quiet moment to worship Jesus each day. I challenge you to kneel by your bed or lie face down on the floor and just worship Him. I promise, it will be life changing.



Worship Song

This week worshipfully listen to Joy to the World, whatever version you like. As you listen, mindfully prepare your heart for Him. Intentionally receive your King. Ponder the wonders of His love. Celebrate with joy. The Lord has come!


Prayer

Heavenly Father, YOU are our source of joy. Thank you for the gift of Jesus, the gift of salvation, the gift of redeemed lives—ours and our kids’. This holiday season, help us to unwrap your gift. Help us to take the time to stop, drop and roll into your presence. The chaos of a commercial Christmas tends to apprehend our peace on earth. Forgive us for getting consumed by consumerism, and distracted by our never-ending to-do-lists. Help us to intentionally step out of the hustle and bustle and into your presence. Like the Wiseman who traveled from afar, help us to travel to our bedroom or car to spend a few minutes focusing on YOU.



The more time we spend with you, LORD, the more joy we will experience. Help us to share that joy with our spouse, our children, and our neighbors. As your joy helps us to regulate ourselves, our kids will be more regulated. As we seek you first, you will work out all the cares and concerns of our hearts. You are the gift that keeps on giving. You are the only One worthy to be worshiped and adored. We love you, Lord, and give you all the glory, praise and honor. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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