Christ is Come

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We had our annual Christmas concerts at church on Sunday, and let me just tell you, I am a small part of a large worship ministries team (complete with choir, orchestra, tech, students, and young children), but it is such a joy and a privilege to be a part of these concerts every year.

This team makes me a better worshiper and a better Christ-follower.

And this year may have just been my favorite concert that I’ve ever been a part of.

After all the rehearsing and preparing and praying and leaving my all on the platform twice in one day, I’m exhausted, but in the absolute best of ways.

The truth of the Gospel and the promise of this Emmanuel, God with us, was boldly proclaimed in song and word, while the story of Christ’s coming was unfolded beautifully.

And I can’t stop reflecting on it.

Nor do I really want to just yet.

So I share these Christmas decorations with you today knowing that while they’re lovely, the peace and true beauty we all crave so desperately (not only this time of year, but always) is only found in the person and presence of Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace, the Holy One, the Comforter, the Counselor, the Great I AM.

And I pray that the sparkly lights and adorable vintage ornaments that my more-like-a-sister-than-just-a-friend-and-roommate decorated with this year serve as just such a reminder in the every day for the remainder of this season.

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“Christ is come.
Let all creation sing.
God’s own Son.
Oh, hail the newborn King.
The Word made flesh, now dwells among us.
Christ is come!”

- Christ is Come (from The Nativity Symphony)

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*linking up with The Nester’s 2013 Christmas Tour of Homes*

Glory to the Newborn King

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I love Christmas decorations in my home.

Even when the vision isn’t mine (my roommate, B, gets all the credit this year!), something about the lights and the extra specialness of it all reminds me…

to pause and reflect,

to slow down long enough to enjoy everything this season has to offer,

to find Peace in the inevitable crazy schedule,

to remember the ultimate Giver,

to seek His presence even when it feels like there’s just no time,

and to give glory to the newborn King.

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Hail, the heaven born Prince of Peace
Hail, the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

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*linking with The Nester’s 2012 Christmas Tour of Homes*

*and to see how we decorated the same space last year, check out this post*

Christmastime is Here

As I mentioned in this post, decorating the house for Christmas has been a process this year. In years past, my roommate and I have tried to set aside a day or two to get all of the decorating done in one fell swoop. This year … not so much.

But I’m learning to embrace The Nester’s motto, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” Finished or not, exactly how I envisioned it in my head or not, more-than-I-care-to-count broken ornaments or not, I so appreciate the beauty in Christmas decor …

The peacefulness of watching a Christmas movie by the light of the Christmas tree.

The happy memories of playing with a wooden nativity set while reciting much of the Christmas story from Luke 2 underneath the Christmas tree with my younger brother.

The moments of stillness experienced from simply enjoying the greens, reds, whites, and silvers.

The accompanying wonder and excitement that remind me of the gift, the miracle, the mystery, of the Incarnation of Christ.

Will you join me in slowing down and soaking in the beauty of this season?

These are all of the fun vintage ornaments we found in my grandparents’ attic over Thanksgiving. My grandfather remembered using them to decorate the tree when he was little. I was SO excited that we were able to use them as a centerpiece on the kitchen table.

We have several Christmas plates, but this little square reindeer plate is by far my favorite. It’s just so sweet and simple.

My crazy talented roommate, B, made both the tree skirt and the stockings this year based on some Pinterest finds we fell head-over-heels in love with. They turned out SO well!

The mantel was a challenge to say the least. My rather vague idea of what I thought I wanted ended up not really working out at all (except for the lanterns), but when I remembered that I had the “love has come to walk among us” poster, it started coming together quite nicely.

I even made a wreath out of some of the tree clippings to hang on the mirror.

I hope the rest of your Christmas season is filled with the love, joy, and peace of Christ, the promised One, Emmanuel, God with us.

To see more Christmas beauty, check out one of the following as well:

The Nester’s 2011 Christmas Tour of Homes

2011 Christmas Home Tours @ The Inspired Room

Jennifer Rizzo’s Holiday House Party

Kelly’s Korner: Show Us Your Life – Christmas Tour of Homes