Friday, December 7, 2012

advent: the jesse tree

I started this post on Monday.  It was 65 degrees outside.  I had just finished running in a t-shirt and Mark was outside hanging our Christmas lights.  It's now Friday, 36 degrees and raining.  I'm not sure where my week or the nice weather went...

Last year I really wanted to do an advent calendar or countdown that meaningful.  I wanted to prepare my heart and mind for the celebration of Jesus's birth.  I desired to quiet myself and my family before this holiday.  I didn't do anything more than think about it last year. 

This year, I decided in October that I was going to do something this year.  Thankfully, at the end of November I was asked by a friend to participate in a Jesse Tree ornament exchange.  Basically, a jesse tree devotional is a walk through the bible, the old and the new testaments, that prepares our hearts for the birth of Jesus by starting at the beginning of the story in Genesis.  There are a ton of great resources and blogs out there that have ideas and patterns for your own jesse tree (just google it).  And if I had posted this before December 1st it might have actually helped someone start their own.

So I was assigned to make 25 of the same ornament and then bring it to the exchange, where I would leave with one ornament for each of the 25 days.  I'm really glad I did this because I know that I wouldn't have made all 25 on my own.  You can use any tree you want for your jesse tree.  I used, as you can see, a really tacky silver tree.  I was going for small since I only want my jesse tree ornaments on it but I think next year I'm going to go with a different tree.  I also think I'm going to remake some of the ornaments  for a more uniformed look.

The person who organized the ornament exchange gave us each the scripture for that day and the story to read to go along with it.  We are using the Jesus Storybook Bible, which our family has read for years and we LOVE.

In all honesty, we are a few days behind but are enjoying our daily reading and following the story of the birth of Christ through the old testament. 

How are you preparing your heart for Christmas this year?  Do you find yourself with the desire to slow down and quiet yourself during this busy time of year?  If so, I encourage you to turn to God's word.  Also, if you want the verses and stories we are using for our Jesse Tree, just let me know in the comments and leave me your email, I'd be happy to share them with you.



Ellen Keepers said...

I love your blog!!! My Mom actually mailed us an advent devotional that we are trying to read each night. At first I was excited for Aiyana, but now I'm excited for Jason and I, as well. We are making such great melories! Every couple of days they give a craft activity to go along with the ascent and excitement of counting down the days til Jesus' birthday. We have drawn pictures of angels, painted, made an advent chain, and tomorrow will tie bells to our shoelaces. little activities, but the time we spend, together, talking about what God did for us is so amazing! This year I'm in a completely different mindset than last year! I thought this would be a fun family tradition for Aiyana, but I think I'm getting the most out of the waiting in expectation! :)

Gardenia said...

Anne, the ornaments for your Jesse tree are delightful! We've been doing a little something different this year, with the same idea, only the twelve different names for Jesus. I hope to do the Jesse tree next year -- I've got all the ornaments. Merry Christmas!