#8 THANKFUL/GRATITUDE

If you’ve followed my blog long enough then you will have seen my Photography52 Challenge where I post once a week reflecting on what I am thankful/grateful for that week.

But what is THANKFULNESS?


thankful
adjective
expressing gratitude and relief.
“an earnest and thankful prayer”

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

-Melody Beattie

Be thankful, take delight in thanking others. And most of all… WATCH THIS VIDEO (from our family favourite Christmas film!!) XXX

#7 PRAYER

Today’s theme is prayer. I only have one prayer of mine that I want to share with you in this particular moment. My prayer is this;

Lord,

You are the lord of love. The lord of joy, of peace, of hope and of happiness.

You bring us into this world to live life to the full, to cherish one another and to treat eachother as family.

As we journey to the celebration of Christmas, please guide us to those who are struggling. Please guide us to those who are heartbroken, poor, lonely or unwell. Please bring us closer to one another at this time of celebration, so that we may brighten someone’s day. Bring a smile to someone who may have forgotten what the true meaning of Christmas is really like.

Amen

And please guys, watch the video below, educate yourself and go make someone smile xx

 

#6 CHILD

The gift of a child, a life changing, awe-inspiring child will be given unto us soon… xxx

 

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!

Shout in triumph,

O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your King is coming to you.

-Zechariah 9:9

#5 LIGHT

Hello World!

Today I thought I would just leave this quote here (since we’re journeying to the celebration of the ‘light of the world’)

XXX

The word gave life to everything that was created,  and his life brought light to everyone.

-John 1:4

#4 HEART

It’s day 4 all ready!! Today’s theme is ‘heart’.

Today I have chosen to leave you with a quote from one of my favourite novels that I used to read every Christmas. It is called ‘Treasures in the Snow’ by Patricia St John. Definitely worth a read…! Xxx

 “Grandmother, what does it mean when it says that Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts [Revelation 3:20]?”

“It means,” said Grandmother, laying down her knitting, and giving Annette her whole attention, “that the Saviour sees that your life is full of wrong things and dark thoughts. He came down and was crucified so that He might bear the punishment of those wrong deeds and those dark thoughts instead of you. Then He arose so that He could come into your life and live in you, and turn out all wrong thoughts, and think His good, loving thoughts in you instead. It is like a man knocking at the door of a dirty, dark, dusty house and saying, ‘If you will let me in I will clear away the dust and the darkness and make it beautiful and bright.’ But remember, He never pushes in—He only asks if He may come in. That is what knocking means. You have to say, ‘Yes, Lord Jesus, I need You and want You to come and live in me’—that is what opening the door means.”

#3 COMMUNITY

Hi guys, welcome back to day 3 of advent. Today’s word is COMMUNITY.

Community is such an important theme of Christmas. For today I have chosen to use an image I took recently of the food donations we have made to the local foodbank from our Church. Taking care of others and providing eachother with simple things such as food and toiletries is so incredibly important. Jesus taught us that we should love one another and take care of eachother and our communities, helping those in need.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

-Matthew 5:16

#2 FAMILY

Hello everyone!!

Welcome back to the #adventchallenge (Day 2!!)

Today as I carry on through this advent period I am reminded about the key concept of Christmas. Supermarkets produce adverts all around the family coming home to eat together, shops put family board games and films on display. Christmas, for so many people, is the one time of year that their family all meets up. Some people love it, others not so much… but this seems to be a core Christmas value and tradition shared all over our country.

However, this is exactly what Christmas is and always should be about. Christmas Day we remember Jesus’ birth, him being born into a imperfect human family. His birth symbolises the coming together of people, the Christian family and all the values that come with it. He teaches us to love eachother, to be kind and look out for those in need. We are all one big family, and nobody should be left out. Christmas often symbolises what many of us forget in our day-to-day lives.

Share what you can, do what you can, care for whoever you can. Treat everyone as family. If we all treated eachother as family then we would have much less hatred and suffering in this world.

-Tara x

#1 PREPARE

Today as we PREPARE for the start of our journey through advent I feel it is important to remind myself why we do this every year.

Now I’m not daft by any means. I, like most people my age am aware of the story of Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem on a donkey (we all sang ‘little donkey’ at primary school!!) and the whole story of Jesus being born and placed in a manger, being worshipped and praised by angels and shepherds alike. And again I am certainly no stranger to the whole Christmas festivities, the idea of going to Church as a Vicar’s daughter is certainly no biggie to me. But each year I am fascinated by the vast amount of people who celebrate this incredible part of my faith, with no real clue why it is so important to me.

Now if you asked people on the street, or in a busy shopping centre what Christmas is about for them I’m sure you’d get many of the following:

  • “I’m celebrating being home with my family.”
  • “I’m celebrating the fact that I got a good Christmas bonus this year.”
  • “No school..!!”
  • “Christmas films shown everyday on tv.”
  • “An excuse to meet up with friends and exchange gifts”
  • “A time to be happy and spread joy.”

As a Christian I find nothing offensive about non-Christians celebrating Christmas. Surprisingly a couple of my friends have asked me this recently. For me Christmas is a time of peace, a time to relax and to focus on joy and happiness. Christmas in my house is when the family all try and meet up together, when we exchange presents and just spend time with eachother, eating and talking and having fun. This routine is probably pretty typical of many families around the world, whether Christian or not.

But for me, what makes me truly smile, is that a Christian festival that for me reminds me of God and his ultimate gift and show of love to us, is shared by so many. So maybe they don’t have a nativity set up. Maybe they don’t go to Church. Maybe they don’t pray around the dinner table, thanking God. But they do share love and joy and happiness with others. And that is what Jesus came to teach us about. Sharing the love, helping those in need, being a good friend and neighbour. So yes many may not be remembering Jesus, but I see him in all the festivities, whether other people see it or not.

So as I embark on this journey through advent, preparing for the biggest birthday bash of the year, I am reminded to just look around me and see Jesus.

-Tara x

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