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Advent Reflections and Recipes

Mary treasured up all these things

Merry Christmas to you and your family. I want to thank you for joining the Advent Reflections and Recipes. I am grateful you joined us. I have an announcement to make in the next blog post that will be coming your way in the new year! The first Holy Pause Retreat is coming soon! I can hardly contain my excitement for creating a space for women to experience more of Jesus together. I hope you have a blessed Christmas and New Year! Grace, Tracie

Pause and Reflect

  • Amidst the excitement and exhaustion, take a minute to breathe. Allow God's spirit to meet you where you are. He sees you. He holds you. He loves you. He cares for you. We hold so many tensions this time of year. Jesus came to meet us right where we are. To save us, to redeem us, to invite us into a kingdom that the world had never known.

Pray and Listen

  • Jesus, I am in total awe and wonder at the miracle of your coming and your birth. You are fully God and fully human. You came to reveal a love like I have never known. Grace that I have never tasted. Mercy that I don't deserve. Yet, you came to be with us. I want my heart to move closer to you this Christmas. I want to hear your gentle whispers. I want to see you and be transformed by your coming. Advent has been a time of waiting for your coming. You came to do what I couldn't do for myself. I fall on my knees and worship you, my King and Savior. I love you, Jesus.

  • Read Luke 2:16-20. Pause and read this out loud a few times. What stands out to you?

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

  • What treasure(s) do you find in these verses? What are you pondering? Invite Jesus to speak to you? What is He saying?

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?

Look back over the past few weeks of doing the examen. What do you notice?

Follow where He is leading.

Family Advent Devotional

As you gather today, light the white Christ candle together. Christ the light of the world. Share together what this Advent has meant to you as a family. How can you be a light to those around you this coming year? Write down two people that you all will pray for, encourage and share how much God loves them.

Ask each person what each candle in the Advent wreath symbolizes. (Hope, Peace, Joy and Love) Share that this is the character of God the Jesus modeled for us. He is Hope. He is Peace. He is our Joy. He is Love. What part of God's character does each person in your family want to experience more of this coming year? What part of God's character have you experienced most this past year?

End with a prayer of gratitude!

Recipe Favorite

Cookie Kisses

These are one of our favorite treats to make!

All you need is Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough, a bag of Hershey Kisses and a mini cookie sheet.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) . Cut dough into 9 slices. Cut each circle into 4 pieces.

  2. Lightly spray mini cookie sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Place one piece of dough into each cup.

  3. Bake 10-12 minutes. Place a chocolate kiss in each cup.

  4. Let them cook for 15 minutes.

Reach out to learn more about spiritual direction in 2024. It might be your best yes!

Holy Pause Retreat coming soon!

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