Listen to this podcast interview here
I teamed up with Dianne Dougharty (creator of Secrets Savored Ministries) to bring you 3 ways we can be purposeful in serving others this Christmas: with our time, our hospitality and pointing our kids to Jesus.
As God’s children, we are called to have a servant’s heart and Christmastime gives us a great opportunity to put that into practice!
#1: How can we SERVE OTHERS WITH OUR TIME this Christmas season?
- All moms are making a bunch of trips to the store this season for groceries & gifts: When checking out, ask the clerk what their favorite candy bar is and buy it for him/her with and wish them a Merry Christmas.
- Make homemade goodies for neighbors and the elderly.
- Offer for your family to help put up a Christmas tree or decorations for a sick, disabled, or elderly neighbor or grandparent.
- Family Caroling: Friend whose kids are now young adults have grown up caroling every Christmas. Brighten someones day today!
#2:How can we show hospitality to others this Christmas Season?
You can serve others is by opening up your home to host in the holidays. Dianne, you said, “People are not looking for perfection, just fellowship!”
- KEEP IT SIMPLE! Don’t be so busy you fail to be Christ to those around you. Keep things SIMPLE! Limit your commitments and limit your decorating.USE PAPER PRODUCTS!
- Consider making some easy recipes ahead and freezing them. (Recipes Below)
- Invite friends and their kids over to bake cookies: just use the slice and bake sugar cookies with vanilla icing and your favorite sprinkles. EASY!
- Throw a little happy birthday Jesus party by adding candles to the cookies and the story of baby Jesus. (There are even gingerbread nativity sets out this year that are fun to decorate! I found at Hobby Lobby.)
- Or make a Happy Birthday Jesus Cake (Dianne’s recipe below.)
#3: How can a mom, practically point her children to Jesus in this Christmas season?
- The Jesse Tree helps the family focus on Christ’s birth and the reason we celebrate the season. Check out Let’s Make a Jesse Tree advent calendar by Darcy James
- Have a variety of nativities around the house (Ones that children can play with. Example: Felt one with magnets).
- Talk about each character in the Christmas story and the part each played in fulfilling God’s story.
- BONUS TIP! Limit your gift giving: Three Gifts: Fun, Practical and Spiritual—stress free!
We have talked through so many good ideas, but if you only walk away hearing one thing above all Dianne, what would it be? What’s your challenge to this mom listening?
Dianne said, “Every Christmas season, I try to focus on Psalm 46:10.” It says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The word Still means: Devoid of or abstaining from motion, calm, tranquil, sedentary.
Mom, as you are reading this, you are probably asking yourself, “ How can any mom be calm, tranquil, motionless, or sedentary during the Christmas season?”
Physically we can’t, but spiritually we can. In the busyness of this season, we are to have a quiet, gentle, humble, and still spirit.
If we stay focused on Jesus, not neglecting our time in the Word and worship, and refuse to be concerned or affected by what those around us are doing, remembering our calling and purpose, then our spirt will be still and noticeably different from those around us.
Follow Secrets Savored Ministries on Instagram @secretssavored & Follow us @faithful31moms
Listen to this podcast interview here
RECIPES PROMISED FROM THE EPISODE BELOW:
Happy Jesus Birthday Cake Recipe:
This cake is great for presenting the gospel to lost neighbors or friends. Using three 9-inch round cake pans, you will make each layer a different color: Red, Green, and Chocolate (black).
Instructions for each:
Red and Green Layer: Note: I prefer using Duncan Hines cake mixes. Using a white cake mix, prepare according to directions on box. (I use room temperature eggs and ½ cup of sour cream when making this cake). Once batter is complete, divide into two separate bowls. Using gel color (available at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Mary Carter) color one Red and one Green. Grease and flour pan. Pour each colored batter into its own prepared pan. Set aside.
Chocolate Layer: Using a Duncan Hines fudge cake mix, prepare according to directions on box. (I use room temperature eggs and ½ cup of sour cream when making this cake). Grease and flour pan. Pour each chocolate batter into prepared pan. Note: You will have extra batter due to only needing one layer, so make cupcakes for the kids.
Bake layers according to directions on box. Cool. Remove from pan. Using white icing (store-bought or homemade), ice the cake layers in this order:
Bottom Layer: Chocolate
Middle Layer: Red
Top Layer: Green
Chocolate Layer represents our sin, we must confess, tell Jesus that we have sinned, and how sorry we are. When we ask Him to forgive us, He does. Red Layer represents the blood that Jesus shed for our sins. He forgives us of our sins, His blood covers our sin. Green Layer represents our new life in Jesus. White Icing represents our righteousness (cleanness) in Christ. We are made righteous as He is righteous. The Bible says when we confess our sins and Jesus forgives us, we are new people. The person we were no longer exist. His forgiveness has made us new.
Garlic Baked Penne
1 box pasta
1 jar pasta sauce
8 oz cottage cheese
8 oz sour cream
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 c shredded mozzarella
9×13 foil pan and foil lid
Spray 9×13 foil pan. Cook pasta and drain well. While pasta cooks, mix up pasta sauce, cottage cheese, sour cream, and garlic in large bowl or into foil pan. Add pasta to the bowl to mix, adding 2 c mozzarella. Spread into dish and top with remaining 2c mozzarella. Cover tightly with foil lid and label with sharpie to freeze.
Label: GARLIC BAKED PENNE: defrost fully, 375° 45-60min covered/uncover to melt cheese
1# ground beef
1 can chili beans
1 ½ c salsa
1 c shredded cheddar
9 corn tortillas
(Once you’ve eaten this recipe once, add in other things next time: green onions, olives, etc.)
9×13 foil pan and foil lid
Brown the ground beef, drain thoroughly, allow to cool somewhat. Stir in chili beans. Use cooking spray on the pan, then line with one layer of tortillas, tearing some in half to cover completely. Layer meat and bean mixture, half of cheese, another layer of tortillas, salsa, then remaining cheese. Cover tightly with foil lid and label with sharpie to freeze.
Label: BURRITO CASSEROLE: defrost fully, 350° 45min covered/uncover to melt cheese at end
White Chicken Chili
2# chicken breasts, trimmed
2 cans (15oz) white northern beans
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz canned chopped green chilies
1 t cumin
1 t dried oregano
¼ t black pepper
4t chicken bouillon
1 c cheddar cheese – RESERVE
Gallon zip bag
Dump all ingredients into the gallon zip bag. Push out all the air and lay flat to freeze.
Label: WHITE CHICKEN CHILI: defrost fully, add 4 c water, cook on low all day. Pull out chicken at end and chop or shred. Stir in cheddar cheese. Garnish as desired.