Good morning, Mini-Women -- and a Merry 2nd Day of Christmas to you! Ever wonder what's up with the (long, annoying) song "The Twelve Days of Christmas"? It isn't something somebody just made up. There really are 12 days in the celebration of the Christmas season in teh church year, running from December 26 through January 6 (which, for obvious reasons, is called Twelfth Night). There's so much more celebrating to do, and yet a lot of people feel really let down by Christmas night and figure it's time to take down the tree and the decorations and get back to "normal."
Are you kidding? When there are still days and days left to continue the birthday party?
Of course, you're not going to have Christmas morning twelve times, complete with presents. But you can keep giving -- and receiving -- gifts that come from the place where all the best gifts come from. And that (which you've probably guessed by now) is God.
We're going to start with the gifts that are still waiting for you to unwrap them. Here's what to do between now and NEXT MONDAY when I will post again (I'm going on a little vacation).
* Make a list of the things that you feel are missing in your life right now. Could that be a better relationship with your BFF? Peace with your siblings? Feeling happier at school? Just somethig interesting to do because your usual activities have gotten boring? (Notice that these are all inside things, rather than physical stuff)
* Write or pray or draw God a lettter, asking for the gift of those things. You'll discover that when you're about to pray certain things, you'll think, "Wow -- I don't feel good asking God for that." That could be something like "I want to feel like I'm better than my BFF just for a day, because I'm tired of always feeling like she's better than me." Don't beat yourself up -- just see if you can rethink it so it comes out more like, "I want to feel like my BFF and I are equals, the way friends should be."
* Once you've prayed your list in spoken or written or art form (or any other way you like to talk to God), it's time to listen for directions, because there will be some. It's sort of like getting one of those presents that says, "Some assembly required:" you have to participate in receiving these gifts. Listening for God's instructions can be hard since God's voice is so often small and still (and we are so often busy and loud!), which is the reason for the next step
* Create a reminder for each of your Twelve Days of Christmas wishes. Maybe you'll write them on stones you collect and keep them in a box or jar. Or perhaps you'll write them on post-it notes and stick them were you'll see them. I like slips of paper in a box or jar (remember our prayer jars?) Be as creative as you want -- using Christmas stickers or candy canes with notes attached or decorated index cards in a gift bag. As long as you can take them out at least once a day and remind yourself to watch for what God shows you, you're doing it "right."
If you want to post, you can share some of your "gift requests" or tell us what your reminder system is. Since I'm going to be on vacation, I'm asking that you ONLY post on THIS subject and not chat with each other, since when I come back I'll have to read through everything in my Inbox, which will cause a delay in that next post. I know you like to check in with each other, but sticking to the topic will be your gift to me!
Have fun with this, my Mini-women, and know that I'll be doing it right along with you.