Saturday, November 7, 2009

preparing for advent

so yesterday was november 6. noodle and i ventured into kohl's in the quest for the perfect brown shoes for me. we pull open the doors and are greeted with christmas decorations and christmas music floating through the air. did i mention it is november???? now, don't get me wrong. i L.O.V.E. christmas. it is my most favorite time of the year for so many reasons, but i sure do get aggravated how commercialism and consumerism start shoving it down my throat at the beginning of november!

while i was annoyed by this (but not too annoyed to locate and purchase some great clearance shoes!), i must admit it did cause me to want to start making christmas preparations myself. but the good kind of preparations. the timely preparations. mainly, preparing our advent reading and ornaments for our advent tree.

last year was our first time to do an advent tree at christmas. i posted about this experience here but wanted to update our plan for this christmas.

what is an advent tree? the idea of an advent tree comes from Isaiah 11:1-9, where God promises a discouraged nation that the glory they remember from david's time will come to them again. they will have another king from jesse's family, in whose reign the whole earth will know God. christians see that promise fulfilled in Jesus, and so we put up an advent tree and decorate it with reminders of how God prepared the world for that Kingdom. (taken from Darcy James' book Let's Make a Jesse Tree!)

each day last year, starting on december 1 and ending on december 25, i shared the scripture that we read as a family and the ornament that was hung on the tree with you in hopes that family and friends would join with us.

i've modified our reading plan a bit this year to perfectly coincide with our favorite chidren's bible, the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

if you have young kids and don't have this bible, you must walk out of your house, get in your car, and drive to your nearest bookstore to buy it. right now. seriously. and no, i am not being paid to say this. this bible is the sweetest one i've read. each story points towards Christ and is so good!

so here is our reading plan for this advent, along with what i think will probably be the coordinating ornament, though there are a few we might end up changing. the ornaments are simple, crafted from felt, that noodle and i made together last year while burrito was at school. eventually the plan is to buy "real" ornaments to replace the felt ones, but i imagine that might be a slow process (ornaments can be so expensive!).

so the reading plan is this:

dec 1 creation genesis 1-2 pgs 18-27 dove

dec 2 the fall genesis 3 pgs 28-37 fruit tree

dec 3 the flood genesis 6-9 pgs 38-47 rainbow

dec 4 tower of babel genesis 11 pgs 48-55 tower

dec 5 the promise to abraham genesis 12-21 pgs 56-61 stars in the sky

dec 6 abraham and isaac genesis 22 pgs 62-69 ram

dec 7 jacob, rachel and leah genesis 29-30 pgs 70-75 stalks of grain

dec 8 joseph genesis 37-46 pgs 76-83 a rainbow coat

dec 9 moses and the burning bush exodus 3-13 pgs 84-91 a burning bush

dec 10 moses and the red sea exodus 14-15 pgs 92-99 the split waters

dec 11 the law exodus 16 ff pgs 100-107 stone tablets

dec 12 joshua and jericho josh 3-6 pgs 108-115 trumpet

dec 13 david's anointing 1 sam 16 pgs 116-121 jar of oil

dec 14 david and goliath 1 sam 17 pgs 122-129 slingshot

dec 15 david the shepherd psalm 23, 51 pgs 130-135 lyre

dec 16 naaman 2 kings 5 pgs 136-143 black heart

dec 17 isaiah isaiah 9 ff pgs 144-151 crown

dec 18 daniel in the lion's den daniel 6 pgs 152-159 lion

dec 19 jonah jonah 1-4 pgs 160-169 fish/whale

dec 20 the prophets neh 8-10 pgs 170-175 party hat

dec 21 john the baptist matt 3 pgs 200-203 a shell

dec 22 mary and the angel luke 1-2 pgs 176-179 an angel

dec 23 journey to bethlehem luke 1-2 pgs 180-181 a scroll

dec 24 the shepherds and wise men luke 2, matt 2 pgs 184-188 a star

dec 25 jesus is born! luke 2 pgs 182, 190, 192-198 baby jesus

i would love for you to join us in doing this. it made for the best and sweetest christmas season ever for us last year. it takes a commitment of time, which just means less opportunity to be assaulted by consumerism in the malls. it takes a little bit of effort in making or securing the ornaments. however, it is so worth it and so rewarding! the boys loved taking turns hanging the ornaments on the tree, and the excitement and expectation builds as more and more ornaments fill the tree, until christ is born and christmas is here!

happy advent!


Leen said...

We loved our Jesse tree last year too :)

I am going to order that bible right now!

Jennifer Rutherford said...


Thanks for stopping by our blog. You will just LOVE that bible! Happy Advent!


Anonymous said...

I LOOOOOOOOOOVE this!!!!!! I think I may copy cat you and go look for that book this afternoon!

Kelli said...

I'm excited to use the stories you suggested, we love the Bible too. I have a question, what is the significance of the shell in the story of John the Baptist