[Please excuse the fact that this post is several months late. Life happens.]
But then I came across this: 25 Ways to #LightTheWorld This Christmas. I printed off the advent calendar service idea cards and put each one in its pocket. Perfect fit!
|Our "new" advent calendar|
"Many of our memorable and enduring Christmas traditions include different kinds of lights—lights on trees, lights in and on our homes, candles on our tables. Indeed, light has significant meaning as we commemorate the humble birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
. . .
"May we increasingly learn and more fully understand that Jesus Christ is the “light which shineth in darkness.” In every season of our lives, in all of the circumstances we may encounter, and in each challenge we may face, the Savior is the light that dispels fear, provides assurance and direction, and engenders enduring peace and joy. May the beautiful lights of every Christmas season remind us of Him who is the source of all light."
Now I want to share what we did each day to try to "light the world" during this Christmas season. We definitely were not perfect, but we I think we all enjoyed the daily challenges.
[click the images to enlarge]
|Normally she doesn't smile like this but she insisted that this was her smile. Poor, sick girl.|
I guess I served by continuing to take care of Tevia (to a small degree, since I wasn't feeling good either) and Lucas served by being there for us before and after work.
The Book of Mormon Reader on the iPad with Tevia of Christ's birth and visiting the Nephites.
I will detail my study for that day of Mosiah 4:19-27.
"For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
"And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
"And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
"And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
"I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world."The rich have a responsibility to give to the poor and needy, mainly for the reason that God has given us so much and what we have actually belongs to Him.
"And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.
"And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.""I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give," is the mentality to have if you are in a position where you barely have sufficient for your needs. If you are greedy or would still "deny the beggar" even if you had substance, that is a sin. Perhaps also wishing to be the one receiving more is also a sin here...
"And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."We are to serve our fellowmen temporally and spiritually - but to be sure we are not overdoing it. Be wise: give where it is needed and wanted.
I need to keep in mind for myself that if I'm not in the position to give of myself, whether temporally or spiritually, that I must do what I can to stabilize my situation and work on gaining a surplus until I can go and help others - and to not feel guilty about it!
"Feed the Need" box in Lethbridge. This is a cupboard of sorts next to the sidewalk of a busy street where food, toiletries, and hats/mittens are within easy access of anyone in need. I heard about this a few months previous but hadn't had a chance to do anything about it, and I'm glad we did! There was hardly anything in the one we went to. Our donation did contain food, but it was mostly hats and mittens, etc. It was a very cold day (around -20 degrees Celsius)!
Service is not necessarily meant to be convenient or comfortable. Mother nature made sure of that with the frigid temperatures and blowing snow. We intended to visit someone lonely but the weather combined with other circumstances made that impossible. My mom said we could count her as being lonely though when we Skyped my parents, so... check!
But on the spiritual side of things, I noticed a post on Facebook that said, "Jesus Christ healed those who could not walk and helped them rise physically and spiritually," which reminded me of the song, "I Will Rise" by Alex Boye. It talks of us being resurrected with Christ and of the removal of pain and sorrow when that day comes.
That night we went to Handel's Messiah and two women sitting on either side of us commented afterwards about how well behaved Tevia was for her age, how we are so gentle with her and that it is so wonderful to have another one on the way since we are such good parents already. I felt honored to hear such words, especially since we considered leaving early because Tevia was getting fussy (in our opinion).
Moroni 7:45-46). After all, "are we not all beggars?" (Mosiah 4:19, above). Aren't we all in need of something we can't give ourselves? When you serve, do you have the mindset of: "I can't believe you can't provide that yourself, but here you go anyway -- and you better return the favor!" or: "I'll help you until you can do it yourself and not ask for anything in return"?
I also want to share a song I love (though a slightly different arrangement) called, "He Is Born" by BYU Vocal Point. Lucas and I have been working on a duet arrangement to sing at church hopefully next Christmas. (We would have tried for this Christmas if circumstances had been different.)
Although the day was about loving our mothers, Tevia kept talking about our entire family being together forever and that we can love each other by singing "Ring Around the Rosie." I printed off and mailed a postcard to my mom of three things she did for me and why it matters. And Lucas... I don't know what he did for his mom.
I wanted to work on putting together emergency 72-hour kits, but that didn't work out. I think I help to calm storms by being aware of others around me, especially of their social, emotional and mental states, to see how I might be of help to them.
Family Devotional: the Thank You Jar... except we didn't actually follow the routine that day! But we often talk and pray about the things we are grateful for throughout the day, so I wasn't so concerned about missing just one day.
What a fun Christmas season we had! Tevia is still telling us, "We forgot about the advent calendar!" She really enjoyed the routine of reading each day's assignment at breakfast time. I suppose we'll have to figure out another "advent calendar" to do outside of the holiday season...
|Merry Christmas from the Ogrins Family!|
Bumpity, bump, bump, bumpity, bump, bump...
Do you have any ideas of other "advent calendars" to do during the year? What kind of advent calendar do you have for Christmas?
Next topic: [TBD]