Take My Moments

Once the house is decorated for Christmas, I love being home with the candles lit. 

Decorating for Christmas gives me a chance to eliminate some of the stuff that clutters our surfaces in favor of the visuals that create a peaceful and meditative environment. Briefly, that environment holds us. Now that there are fewer programs to attend, there are more evenings to be home with candles lit and music playing.

I have to admit to being choosy about the Christmas music, and as often as not, the music is not specifically Christmas music. 

I wanted the tree to be smaller this year, without making a purchase of a smaller tree. The answer was to build the tree without the back branches. Then we used only the smallest branches for the front half of the tree and pushed it up against the window.

I had some help decorating the tree. Sarah put three angels all together on a branch of the tree. When I asked her if she wanted to spread them out, she was so certain. She said, "No! They are friends!"

I have a few nativity sets, but only a few. One we purchased early in our marriage.

The other two were gifts, purchased for me by a good friend during her travels. She has met the family that uses natural items to make nativities.

So the surroundings are set for the next month, as long as I can keep up with the clutter that happens.

 I got an early Christmas gift from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. They don't know that I see this as a gift, but it is. They have created a free app for phones for the Anabaptist Prayer Book.

This is such a good thing. It includes the prayers for ordinary time as well as the prayers for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. The app does not take up a lot of space on your phone, and it goes to the prayer for the correct date and time, or lets you choose a specific prayer service. This is so much easier than carrying a bulky book with ribbons, and I've always loved the structure of the prayers in this book.

If you are looking to begin a practice of morning and evening prayers, this is one very good option.


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