Brian and I took interest in a fabulous website called Advent Conspiracy. I have to admit, I really dug into it a little late. I wish I would have discovered it earlier in the season. Nevertheless, Brian and I really fell in love with the message of this site and decided to work towards incorporating it into our Christmas Celebrations. There are four concepts behind Advent Conspiracy; Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All. This year we focused our energy on trying to spend less and give more. We hope to make all four concepts a part of our Christmas Celebrations (and every day life), but needed to start by taking one step at a time. It's a work in progress. I am a gift giver. I like to buy and give, especially at Christmas. I admit, it was challenging for me to change my way of looking at Christmas, but I am so thrilled that I took a stab at it this year. My parents came to visit us for a week over Christmas. Instead of spending a lot of money on gifts for them, (we bought them a couple of small items), we took them places. Our Christmas gifts to them were relational gifts that we enjoyed together. We had a marvelous time and made memories that will last forever. Brian and I also decided not to spend a lot on each other. We did fill each others stockings with some goodies. We then went to a Christmas Concert together, a concert that we have been wanting to see for several years and one we will not forget for many years to come. It was amazing! We have also decided to give a gift of money to Samaritan's Purse for medical equipment to help newborns in other countries. We have done that since Zachary was born.
As we look towards 2009, we are trying to bring the Advent Conspiracy concepts into our new year. As Graceway Church gears up to begin meeting weekly, we are hoping to worship more fully. There is nothing that fills my soul more than worshiping our Savior. We are also hoping to spend more time volunteering with community organizations we have come across. Loving others is a desire of our hearts that we hope to put into practice more this new year.
It really is a different way of looking at Christmas, but it's not all that unfamiliar either. As a child of God, there is a longing deep within me to Worship Fully, Spend Less (especially on me!), Give More and Love All. I am thankful for Advent Conspiracy. It has brought into focus what is important in my life.
I think Advent Conspiracy speaks in different ways to different people. What Brian and I decided to do and hope to do may not be the same for others. I hope you will dive into this site and let the concepts speak to your heart. It's wonderful to read about what others have done and are doing through Advent Conspiracy. I'd love to hear your stories as well.
Grace and Peace to you this New Year! May you Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More and Love All.