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Advent Reflections and Recipes




Waiting


Pause and Reflect

  • Take a few minutes to pause. Take a deep breath. Inhale and exhale slowly. Inviting God’s presence into your time. He is with you. Name the emotions you are bringing to Him. Allow Him to meet you right where you are.

Pray and Listen

  • Lord, I am not good at waiting. When I name where I am sometimes, it is impatient, tired, and lonely. Meet me where I am. I want to find the treasure in this waiting. Let me turn my heart posture to 'acceptance with JOY'. You didn't promise an easy path. You said, 'Count it ALL Joy when you face trials of many kinds." James 1:2.

  • Read James 1:2 NIV. Step into the story. Grab your journal. Imagine what it would have been like for Mary.


"For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:37-38


  •  Is there a word or phrase that sticks out to you? Underline, Highlight and offer it to God in prayer and listen. Sit with this word or phrase. Open to the Holy Spirit speaking and inviting you in the midst of your waiting.

  • Is there an area of your life that He is drawing you to repentance and to receive the forgiveness of Jesus?

  • Carry this word or phrase in your heart today. Look for how the Holy Spirit wants to continue speaking.


One of my favorite songs this time of the year is Amaryllis Prayers Song by Christy Nockles. (The link is below.)

An Amaryllis sits on my coffee table as a beautiful reminder of what God is doing in the waiting.


Follow His Invitation

  • We will continue the examen this week!

  • The Examen is a transformational spiritual practice. I use this practice on a regular basis to help me become more aware of God's presence and the work of the spirit in me and around me. The more we become aware of our inner world, the more we can open ourselves to God for healing and wholeness. Transformation is the goal, to love God and love others as ourselves more and more every day. We look to Jesus, the Word, as our teacher. This is a great discernment practice.

  • For the next two weeks, keep an examen journal. This is a Holy Pause in your day! Reflect at the end of the day.

1. What gifts did God give me today?

2. Where did I sense God's presence today?

3. Where might I have missed God's presence or action or felt resistance?

4. Where is He inviting me to respond to His invitations?


Family Advent Devotional


Make a simple advent wreath. Materials needed are a wreath, 3 purple candles, 1 pink or red and 1 white candle.  Light the 1st purple candle together. This is the HOPE candle. Light the second candle together. This is the PEACE candle. Light the third candle together. It is pink and it is the JOY candle.


Pause and Reflect

  • Ask each person how they are coming to Advent time? (This might take a few times of practicing if this is new.)

Pray and Listen

  • Lord, thank you for sending your son Jesus to be with us. I want to learn to love Him and worship Him and love Him. It is really hard for me to wait on things. I want to learn patience so I can be more like you. I love you, Jesus.

  • Read James 1:2 NIV. Step into the story. Grab your journal. Imagine what it would have been like for Mary.

"For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:37-38


  • What word or phrase stands out to you?


Follow His Invitation

  • Let each person share what they notice in these verses? What word or phrase stands out to them?

  • Why is it hard to wait? What does God want to teach me when I have to wait?

  • What are His invitations today?


Recipe Favorite


Cheesy Christmas Bread


A great appetizer for the family to help make together!


Ingredients

  • 13 ounce canned refrigerator pizza dough

  • parchment paper for lining baking sheet

  • 6-7 mozzarella cheese sticks

  • 1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash

  • 3 tablespoons butter melted

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese divided

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped

  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped

  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic grated

  • 1 jar marinara and/or pesto for dipping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400° then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  • Cut the dough into 30 approximately equal squares then cut the mozzarella cheese sticks into 30 bite size (1 inch) pieces.

  • Add a piece of mozzarella to each square of dough then form a ball, rolling with your hands to smooth and seal the edges.

  • Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet seam side down in the shape of a tree (see photos) - so the balls are touching. Blend the egg and water in a small bowl and lightly brush each ball with the egg wash.

  • Bake 16-18 minutes or until golden brown. While the bread is baking, microwave the butter until melted then stir in half of the parmesan cheese and all of the grated garlic and herbs. Brush onto the rolls, then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese over the top then serve right away with marinara and/or pesto for dipping.

Enjoy!!! Merry Christmas!


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