Self on a Shelf: Challenge #4

This week’s challenge: Share your faith.

This week may be crazy for you, but it’s all the more reason to find some quiet moments to contemplate matters of faith. Since your kids will be home, this week’s challenges will involve them.

This is important because your spiritual self may sit on the shelf all year. You may struggle with sharing your faith with family, friends, or neighbors. There are many understandable reasons for this:

  • You worry what people will think of you.
  • You don’t feel you know enough of the Bible.
  • You know you’re not perfect and don’t want to seem like a hypocrite.

Even still, there’s probably a part of you that really wants to be a more bold witness. You want to be known as a Christ follower, a woman of God, a servant. When we look at the lives of Elizabeth and Mary, we see women who went down in history as strong mothers of faith who were used mightily by God.  Though we may not transform the history of mankind, we can certainly transform our little tribes at home.

So if the spiritual side of you is on a shelf, too afraid to speak openly about Christ or live for him, Christmas is a wonderful time to ignite a fresh flame of faith. Like the shepherds, we have such good news to share with others. And this time of year, the hearts of people are quite open to matters of faith. Let’s seize this opportunity.

Each day this week, I’ll offer some simple and creative ways for you to share your faith. You’ll be able to include your children in these challenges too, making it an automatic opportunity to read the Bible with them and teach them about Christianity. I encourage you to set aside time each morning and help the children focus on what matters. Each day they can wake up to these new challenges.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Monday: A roll of wrapping paper, markers, or crayons
  • Tuesday: Gift tags, index cards, or slips of paper; pens
  • Wednesday: A gift for your neighbors (baked goods; a store-bought item)
  • Thursday: A baby blanket (preferably one used when your children were newborns)
  • Friday: 1 candle for every family member. These do not have to be new candles, but each candle will need to have a stand or votive container.

Below are the challenges, which include devotional time with Jesus daily and writings on fresh pages of your self-care journal. I will also repost these lessons each day throughout the week.

May your faith find expression as you worship Christ with your family. And may these ideas offer new traditions for your tribe.

Monday – Share your faith by reflecting on what Christ has done for you.

  • Devotional Reading: Luke 1.1-25
  • In your journal write out this entire verse: Luke 1.25 at the top of a clean page. List the many things the Lord has done for you in 2015.
  • Share: Tape a roll of wrapping paper in a prominent place in  your home, blank side facing out. Write Luke 1.25 at the top and encourage family members to share what Jesus has done for them this year. It’s okay to write in large print. Or if you prefer, use post it notes to stick onto the paper. See how long the roll will get. Read them all at dinner.

Tuesday – Share your faith by serving one another.

  • Devotional Reading: Luke 1.26-56
  • In your journal write: Luke 1.38 and then list a few ways you can serve each of your family members today.
  • Share: Using gift tags or index cards, challenge family members to write down one way they can serve each person at least once today. Things like doing dishes for dad, serving mom a cup of coffee, reading to a sibling, calling Grandma, are all gifts that don’t cost money.

Wednesday – Share your faith with your neighbors.

  • Devotional Reading: Luke 1.57-80
  • In your journal write: Luke 1.57. Consider your relationship with your immediate neighbors. Do you interact? Are you friendly? Is the relationship tense or non-existent? Write down some ways you can be a more friendly, caring neighbor in the future.
  • Share: Take your children with you and drop off a gift for your neighbors with a card that includes a verse of scripture about Jesus.

Thursday – Share your faith by focusing on simplicity

  • Devotional Reading: Luke 2.1-20
  • In your journal write: Luke 2.7 and consider that all Mary had to give her son was a blanket. Are you feeling anxiety about Christmas and what you are not able to give your children? In general, do you fret about how you will provide for your family? How can the lowly estate of Christ’s family put your anxiety to rest?
  • Share: Use the baby blanket as an object lesson for your children about the lowly estate of Christ’s family. Talk to your children about what it means to be content. Imagine with them what it must have been like to be born in a stall. Share with your children their birth stories.

Friday – Share your faith by letting your light shine.

  • Devotional Reading: Luke 2.21-40
  • In your journal write: Luke 2.32
  • Share: On index cards, write down a scripture about being light to the world. At dinner or before bedtime, assign a scripture and a candle to each family member. Have them read the verse and then light their candles. Talk about how much brighter the room becomes as each candle is lit. Pray together about being a family that can shine for Christ.

 

 

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