What will you choose this Advent season?

Sometimes I wonder if I was born at the right time – wouldn’t I have been better off in the 1940s when Glenn Miller, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald were huge? Who wouldn’t want to be alive when Gone with the Wind was a hit, and when red lips and perfectly groomed brows were in?

In all seriousness, I do believe that you and I were born and designed intentionally to live during such a time as this: when options are endless, schedules are full, and the struggle is less about physical survival and more about spiritual survival.

I have forgotten how busy the Advent season can be because in recent years, my Advent has been consumed by a seasonal job or gig. I suppose that was freeing in a way since I didn’t have to choose what to do with my time because I literally couldn’t.

2017 is the first in five years when I actually am able to choose what to do with my time and energy this Christmas. It is quite thrilling but it can also be very overwhelming, as I find myself easily distracted, tempted to fixate on the less important things vs. the Main Thing.

So when it comes to decision-making this Advent season I’m asking myself, Does choosing this…

… create more space in my life?

… contribute to wholeness?

…bring me joy?

And most importantly, …draw me closer to God?

One Christmas tradition I’ve held fast to is Christmas Tea with girlfriends. My first Christmas Tea experience was way back in 2009 at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles with a huge beautiful prayer service and men dressed in tuxedos and white gloves, serving over 200 tables filled with giddy grown women who I believe in God’s eyes, were still beloved little girls playing dress-up, enjoying the wonder and beauty of the season.

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The first Christmas Tea that got me hooked back in 2009!

Since Nick and I moved to Nashville five years ago I’ve held a much smaller scaled down version of it usually in my home. It has looked different every year as the time I have to prepare for it is always fluctuating, but God has been faithful in allowing me to give and enjoy this sweet little gift whether it’s a fancy formal tea spread or literally sushi and pizza like we did last year (still on our china though LOL! So fancy, right?!).

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This year my friend Sammy and I co-hosted Christmas Tea in her beautiful clubhouse. Two really are better than one – a shared load is twice as fun and half the work! (Photo cred: Sammy)
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Sammy’s and my post-Tea-comfy-shoes-time-pic insisted by Mama Laura, Sammy’s mom (and I’m so glad she did!). 🙂

Though it may be one more “thing” on the calendar and it certainly does require quite a bit of preparation time both on the outside and on the inside, the time invested with the Lord and with one another is totally worth it. This year as we gathered around and crafted our sweet Baby Jesus ornament, we pondered His powerful names: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – and He faithfully filled our hearts with wonder, awe, reverence, hope and joy.

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My favorite part of Christmas Tea – opening God’s Word and welcoming Him into our hearts. (Photo cred: Mama Laura, Sammy’s mom)
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Amanda Mae Steele Photography
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Amanda Mae Steele Photography
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Amanda Mae Steele Photography

Lord, You promise to reveal your will when we ask. Please give us the wisdom and discernment to choose the things that will draw us nearer to You in this season.

❤ amanda mae

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