Season of Thanksgiving

Yesterday was America’s national observance of Thanksgiving. Now observed on the fourth Thursday of November, it has become more about stuffing our faces with a protein of choice (typically turkey but some do venison or ham), lots of side dishes and desserts galore. Then many people settle in for a nice, long afternoon nap or an afternoon of TV watching. However you chose to observe this national day of thanks, I hope yours was a bountiful one in all aspects.
As a family, yesterday was a wonderful day for me as it was the first day in a long, long time that I was able to spend the ENTIRE day with my husband and children with absolutely no concrete plans. This was important to me because Jeff and I have been working extra hard in the last three months. He has had to work a lot of OT at work, and I’ve been working two jobs plus we’ve both been working hard on keeping our humble abode clean (or somewhat clean on our busiest of days!)
To have a day with no plans, no jobs, nothing but spending the day together was so exciting. This is what I am truly thankful for-my family. Take away everything else, as long as I have my precious boys I have more than I could have ever asked for. I have Jesus in my heart and this means I have absolutely everything I need. My verse of meditation this week has been Psalm 107:1 – Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Oh what an amazing verse to remember every moment of every day. God truly is good all the time, He is holy all the time and He deserves our praise and adoration ALL THE TIME! This is what this season of thanksgiving should be about as we enter into this time where commerciality (yes I just made my own word) reigns. Jesus is the one who reigns, and let us always remember this and give thanks! I hope as you tread into this Christmas season this year, you are touched deeply by the One who takes away the sins of the world!

Remember as you gaze at these lights this season…

the true reason for our Christmas season is the light of the world, Jesus!

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. -John 8:12

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The Jesse Tree

In lieu of having a traditional Christmas tree, we have decided to do a “Jesse Tree” with our boys this year.  It has been such a pleasure, not only to do a Jesse Tree craft for each lesson, but to share my faith with our boys.   A Jesse Tree, for those of you who are unfamiliar (as I was before this year), is basically a family tree that celebrates and instructs on the family heritage of Jesus from the beginning to when He was born.  I have always been a lover of family heritage anyways, so this fit perfectly into our plan for a non-traditional Christmas this year.  We wanted our boys to focus on what Christmas is REALLY about, and to think of others before themselves.  I myself wanted to focus on this, too, as usually I spend more time on buying gifts than I do focusing on WHO this season is really about.  I was very convicted this year about making Jesus the main thing.  Some days I have failed, as we all have those days.  Thankfully, God has given us grace upon grace to keep on keeping on.  So before I begin, let me sing my praises: Jesus I thank you!  You are the lover of my soul, and it is my heart’s desire to praise you and give you thanks!

Tonight’s lesson was about Ruth.  One of my favorite books of the Bible, because I have always resonated personally with Ruth.  She was a Moabitess, a foreigner, who married an Israelite and when he passed away her mother-in-law Naomi was her only family.  Ruth adored Naomi, and loved her deeply.  Because of her love for Naomi, and Naomi’s love for the LORD, Ruth told Naomi in 1:16 that “your people shall be my people, and your God, my God”.  I am moved every time I hear that.  Ask me sometime, and I’ll tell you why that resonates deep within my soul.  I’ll save that for another post, perhaps.  Naomi and Ruth traveled to Bethlehem where Ruth went to the fields of Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi’s, to glean from the fields.  Ruth worked very hard to provide for her and her mother-in-law.  Boaz saw this, and was touched by her love for Naomi.  He provided a way for Ruth to glean even more from the fields, and eventually Boaz and Ruth were married.  They had a son, Obed, and it is from this family that King David will come from, and eventually the King of Kings – Jesus!

Our memory verse for this lesson was Ruth 1:16b, which I mentioned earlier.  We had the boys make the sheaves of wheat which you see below out of pipe cleaners and embroidery floss, and we hung them on our Jesse Tree.  I have put two pictures below, one of tonight’s craft, the other of our tree.  I made it myself from supplies I bought at Hobby Lobby.  We wanted it to not look like a traditional Christmas tree, so we can continue to leave it up all year long.  We are trying to expound on each night’s lesson, and I’m hoping that by continually going over the OT leading up to Jesus will help the boys to see the beauty of God’s plan from Genesis to Revelation.

I hope that you are blessed by God’s story as well, because it is truly the greatest story ever told!

Merry Christmas!  -Jaime

John 1:16 “And from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace”

Ruth 1:16 “But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.'”