I am absolutely delighted to bring you this message from my good friend, Lori Schumaker. As a momma, I want nothing more at Christmas than to plant the love and hope of Jesus in the heart of my little boy. But, I confess sometimes this seems challenging. Today, Lori is sharing how we can turn our everyday activities into “hope” lessons.
Welcome to our series, Lori!
They really are supposed to go hand-in-hand, aren’t they?
After all Hope was born, not only in the darkness of night, but amidst the darkness of a torn and hopeless world.
In humbleness, He was born in a manger bringing light and hope to the world. And hope to us today.
It’s a hope I want to share at Christmastime with my children. I want to make sure they know hope at the core of who they are. Praying they have the ability to keep it front and center as they walk through this life merely one moment away from a situation bearing the potential of hopelessness.
As parents, hope is a precious gift we all desire to plant within the hearts of our children.
But how? How do we plant the seeds and fully share hope with our children during the Christmas season? How do we make hope shine brighter than the rushing and the to-do lists?
Hope isn’t an isolated lesson. It isn’t something we abandon at other times of the year; it is something shared in the everyday moments. The planting, watering, and cultivating takes place every single day.
But during Christmas, we have the opportunity to wrap all our everyday lessons and our heartfelt moments together into a beautiful gift of hope.
And, from one Mama to another… It doesn’t have to be another addition to your to-do list!
It’s simply about the intentional conversations we have with our children during the activities we are probably already doing! And, it’s about the way we live our lives as their observant little eyes take note.
When picking out or making that perfect present for a very special loved one, a door is opened to discuss the depth of God’s love for us. He created and called us wonderful and marvelous. Because of His love, He gave us the best gift ever on Christmas! His precious Son! Just like Him, we can give gifts out of our great big love.
As we buy even the “obligatory” gifts we can talk about the joy found in blessing another. We can pray the receiver’s heart fills with the love and hope of Christ as they receive the gift. God uses us as His hands and feet in giving presents that can share His hope.
While participating in an Angel Tree or other outreach opportunity, we can talk about the difficult situation in which the family or child may be living. It’s a great place to explain the truth of our hope. It’s not about life being fair because it isn’t. God’s Word tells us that it won’t be easy. He tells us we will have troubles. But He promises He is with us every step of the way. Immanuel means “God with us”.
Make gratitude a priority. I love keeping a Gratitude Jar on the counter. I cut up note-sized pieces of paper putting them in a drawer near the jar with pens and pencils. As the kids are standing around the kitchen, I remind them to write out at least one unique thing they are thankful for today (not the same thing every day). It doesn’t have to be a jar. It can be a journal, a daily conversation, or anything that keeps us actively noticing good! Gratitude is a powerful weapon protecting both our joy and our hope.
During dinner or drive-time, sharing a hope-filled scripture is a great way to teach our children how the Word of God is filled with truth and hope that impacts our daily life. One child reads the verse followed by a discussion as to what this verse means to our family. How does it apply to each of us today? This week? This year? In life? You can download and print my favorite hope-filled Bible verse cards just by signing up to join Searching for Moments and Raising an Arrow! Click here to go to Lori’s site where you will find more details!”
When our children say, “I hope I get _______ for Christmas”, we get to smile and share their excitement alongside them. An extension of that moment is stepping into conversation about a greater hope! We hope for these fun things right now, but we have something even bigger we get to hope for because of Jesus. Reminisce the times God showed His faithfulness to us and our families. Maybe share a story from childhood. My children love to hear those “long ago” stories! Because of His hope, we need not fear whatever we face. Our hope in Him says Jesus is fighting for us. It says He is with us and He is making a way.
Let our children witness our hope in Christ. Sharing our (age appropriate) struggles allows them to see us leaning into that hope. We communicate the reasons behind our thoughts and actions. Explaining financial responsibility of a budget and how it honors God. Explain that even in the struggles we know God will hold our family tight and Christmas will have treasured moments. Let our children see us give our worries to Him.
This list is only a beginning! Now that your mind is spinning in the direction of intentional conversations, what would you add? I’d love if you would share your thoughts in the comments below! Your idea may be just the one another Mama needs!
And friends, may your Christmas holiday be filled with hope. The hope that was born that night!
“You can download and print these hope-filled Bible verse cards just by signing up to join Searching for Moments and Raising an Arrow! Click here to go to Lori’s site where you will find more details!”
As a wife, mom, teacher, friend, and writer, Lori seeks to encourage others to embrace hope. Pointing others to Jesus brings her joy. Writing about the hope of Jesus is her focus. It’s because of this that she is excited to welcome you as a friend as you struggle through brokenness, celebrate life’s joys, and grow to know Jesus more and more. Find her blog, Searching for Moments, at www.lorischumaker.com or visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagam.