Journey to the Manger: Celebrate Jesus!

On Christmas morning, Jackson and Lauren stand by our Journey to the Manger calendar, complete with Jesus!

On Christmas morning, Jackson and Lauren stand by our Journey to the Manger calendar, complete with Jesus!

Our Journey to the Manger has finally reached the stable, and we are celebrating the birth of Jesus this Christmas Day!

When we all woke up this morning, we gathered around our Advent calendar. Jackson reminded us that our Christmas countdown began with our Heavenly Father, and ends today with Jesus. Christmas is wrapped up in the blessings of God! God came to us at Christmas, offering Himself to us so we could personally know Him and feel His love.

Christmas is this:

God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

– John 3:16

Jesus

Jesus

We celebrate God’s presence today, His salvation and sacrifice! We believe not just that Jesus came for all the world, but that He came for us.

Before we opened our gifts today, we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and read the Christmas story in Luke 2. Later we will bake a birthday cake for our Savior!

This has been an amazing month of preparation, and now Christmas is here! We want to give special thanks to Focus on the Family and Thriving Family Magazine for the Journey to the Manger Advent Calendar.

May Jesus reign in your hearts this Christmas! It’s time to celebrate!!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas one month later

Lauren sleeps, along with all her stuffed animals.

Lauren sleeps, along with all her stuffed animals.

Every day beforeĀ nap timeĀ or after nighttime prayers with Lauren, she leaves me with these parting words: “Merry Christmas, Mommy!”

It is January 28, and she is still wishing us a merry Christmas.

December was an amazing month for our family! It was full of fun, activity and family time (click here to read about our adventures). Most of all, it was full of Jesus. That joy continues to impress Lauren’s heart.

That’s the change Christmas should make in our lives. Jesus entered our world to spend time with us, to be with us. His name, Emmanuel, literally means “God with us.” He came to rescue us and show us what it means to truly live. And, it began at Christmas.

Every time Lauren leaves me with her “Merry Christmas” exclamation, I have to smile. Her joy is contagious, and it reminds me of what great love my Heavenly Father has for me.

Yes, all the decorations have been put away for more than a month. There are no twinkle lights on the houses any more, and it is actually above 70 degrees today.

But, in case you need that dose of cheer and goodwill and the reminder that Jesus is there with you today, let me repeat my sweet daughter’s words:

Merry Christmas!