Our family participates in the [Advent Conspiracy]. The four tenants of [AC] are Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, and Love All. For the past few years, we’ve been trying to find creative ways to give Christmas gifts that are gifts of presence, not just a present. In the days leading up to Christmas, I’ll be sharing some of these ideas with you.
Each morning, my alarm goes off and the sound of the city’s Christian radio station fills my room. I turn on my bedside lamp then I grab my phone. I read a scripture text that my neighbor sends me every morning, then I turn to my Jesus Calling app and read the day’s devotion from Jesus. The Jesus Calling book and phone app have changed my morning quiet times with God. I feel like He is with me, more tangibly that I’ve ever felt.
When I find something that works so well for me, I can’t help but pass it along to someone else. Recently, I bought a copy of Jesus Calling for a friend of mine. I flipped through the pages, found some of my favorite devotions, and wrote a note to my friend on that day’s page. I also looked up other important days in her life (like her birthday), and wrote a note about my love for her on those days as well. I’ve been doing the same thing for years as a Christmas gift for my sister. I buy her the coming year’s Daily Guideposts, and I write a letter inside the front cover and sometimes add notes on different days throughout the year.
Back to this Christmas… Some mornings, Katie crawls in to bed with me and lays beside me while I read my devotion. Once, she told me she wanted her own Jesus Calling. So for Christmas, guess what’s she getting?
I bought Katie a copy of Jesus Calling for Kids, and did the same thing for her that I did for my friend. I opened the book and wrote notes to my girl, in hopes of encouraging her on her own walk with God.
This gift is a gift of presenCE because it lets Katie know she is thought of and cared for every single day – by me and the God who adores her.