About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

AWAY IN THE MANGER

A highlight in our family during the holidays is the afternoon we drag out the box that contains the family crèche. We place far greater emphasis on the setting up of our nativity scene than we do on any other aspect of home decorating. First, I spread the boughs of greenery across the mantle. I combine artificial with live greens from my yard. Then I wind tiny lights into the greenery, setting the stage for a starry, starry night. Once the stable is securely positioned we take turns placing the many figurines on the mantle. Wise men and their camels go on the left. Shepherds and their sheep belong on the right. Angels stand tall behind and above the stable and then the three main characters - Mary, Joseph, and the babe move into place. Once our manger scene is in place - it is official Christmas has begun in our house.

Our Holy Night Christmas scene is now the center piece of our home. As it sits in its prominent place – high and lifted up above our fireplace I am reminded of the PURPOSE for the party:
Jesus POINTS to my heart and knocks. He asks to be a part of my life.
Jesus UNCOVERS my sin. He makes it easy for me to forget the past, giving me hope for the future.
Jesus RAISES my status. He invites me to live as if I were royalty. I am a child of God, so why not live as if I were a princess.

(We’ll finish the spelling of the purpose with each new entry.)

Now that my children are gone – my college sophomore just pulled out of the driveway returning to school - I am remembering the many memories we made when they were young. Let me share some of our favorites. You may want to try them out in your house.

*I have a large plastic nativity scene that the children are allowed to handle and play with. Throughout the season I hide the “baby Jesus” and the children play "find-the-babe-wrapped-in-swaddling-clothes-and-lying-in-a-manger.”

* Start a new tradition if you have not already. Dress early each evening in the new Christmas p.j's purchased especially for the season. During this time of year children tend to be very excitable. If planned correctly bed time can come early without lots of complaining and noise. Eliminate al noise in the house by turning off the television and radio. Maybe soft Christmas music is allowed. Ambiance goes a long way in settling children after a day of activity, so turn off most lights. Playing quiet games and prayers before bed are activities that help calm little ones before bed.

Consider this: Whatever a child’s last experience in his or her day is what they continue to think about as they fall asleep. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every boy and girl could fall asleep with a sweet and happy smile on their little face with the love of family, the security of caring adults, and the safety of a peaceful home swimming around inside their hearts and minds? After all isn’t that what “visions of sugar plums” is all about?

3 comments:

Laura said...

Hi, Van! Your words have inspired me. My husband and I have decided to forgo shopping for one another this year. We are trying to think of something special we can do that will bring us closer in place of gifting this year. See how you have already given me a gift through your not shopping? I feel closer to my husband already, just by meditating on alternatives. Does anyone have any ideas as to what we can do to celebrate instead of exchanging gifts? I would love ideas!

Lelia Chealey said...

Hi Van,
Thank you for your encouraging comment on my blog, I will do that. :) I loved what you wrote on this post: "Jesus RAISES my status. He invites me to live as if I were royalty. I am a child of God, so why not live as if I were a princess." That is awesome!! I'm passing that on to both my 17 & 6 year old daughters when I see them this afternoon.
Nice to "meet" you. :)
Blessings~
Lelia Chealey

Laura said...

Van,
Thank you for the little tip you gave me on my blog! I'm following up...
Just to share: I love the last paragraph of this blog entry. Every night I cuddle with my boys for a few minutes and make sure to talk over the day and tell them how special they are. I'm always amazed at how they open up when the lights go out! Sometimes, I'm rushed, or tempted to do a quick tuck in. But your words have given me encouragement to continue this little ritual. Thank you!
Laura