Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth recently took time to reflect on the Advent season and to share her holiday traditions with the Revive Our Hearts team. We thought you would enjoy her encouragement as well. Ultimately, Nancy wants you to look beyond her to wonder at the arrival of a babe who would one day redeem a rebellious people. But for a moment, let’s sit across the table from Nancy and receive counsel from a trusted friend . . .
Preparing Our Homes for Advent
- I love Christmas decorations—and I’ve collected a lot of them over the years! Robert and I fill our home with multiple nativity scenes and several small Christmas trees with different themes, including one devoted to the names of Jesus. We hang a large wreath on our front door and mount a lighted evergreen cross above the fireplace mantel. I especially cherish a set of white ceramic angels holding musical instruments that I’ve owned since I was a teen. We start putting them throughout the house during Thanksgiving week and leave up until the first or second week of January! Robert and I also like to have twinkling lights and candles scattered throughout our home. It makes things so much cozier during the long winter months.
- We usually keep our home fairly quiet, but from Thanksgiving through Christmas we have Christmas music playing in the background. Our favorites are mostly instrumental music—reflective or celebratory songs that draw our hearts toward worship.
- When children come to visit, we let them open one of the days on our wooden Advent calendar. They love finding the wooden piece inside that adds to the unfolding Christmas story.
- As Christmas cards arrive in our mailbox, Robert and I open them together and pray for the well-wishers. Sometimes, we’ll snap a photo of the card and text it to the person to let them know that we just prayed for them.
- We try to be intentional about practicing hospitality during the Christmas season. While Robert and I invest time and effort into hosting friends and family in our home, we keep the preparations simple so we can enjoy the people and fellowship most of all.
Preparing Our Hearts for Advent
- Regardless of how hard we try, we know it’s going to be a fuller-than-normal season. So, we remind ourselves to breathe grace in and breathe grace out.
- To tune my heart to Jesus, I devote focused time and attention to reading one or more Advent devotionals. I also appreciate attending Christmas concerts in my area.
- If we travel during the holidays or are with family, we always join them for a Christmas Eve service.
- In years past, we sent a jillion Christmas cards and gifts, but now our practice is more simple. We send notes or small gifts to people who’ve blessed our lives, often at Thanksgiving. Robert and I are intentional to carve out meaningful time to spend with the people we care about rather than adding to people’s stuff.
- We give financially to Christian ministries and workers throughout the year, but we love seeing how much more we can invest in God’s kingdom work at the end of the year. We look for new opportunities to spread the gospel.
Preparing for the King of Advent
When asked to share from her new 31-day Advent devotional, Consider Jesus, Nancy encouraged us to intentionally fix our eyes on Jesus. She says that as we behold Christ and become more like Him, “the things of earth really will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
If we don’t consciously turn our thoughts and affections toward Him, Nancy says, we risk being overrun with lesser things—things of this earth, like the “cares, riches, pleasures” that choke out the Word and make us unfruitful (Luke 8:9–15). When we turn to Jesus, it keeps us from growing weary as we run our race.
Finally, Nancy reminds us to never stop looking to Jesus—we need Him more than breath and life itself.
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