A few days ago I hosted a ladies Christmas party at my house. I have been looking forward to it for months!
After living in many different cities (and countries!) working with different pastors' wives, I've been able to learn a thing or two about hosting parties. I am so thankful for the women of God who have mentored me and taught me what it means to love others. I feel so blessed and honored to have served alongside them, and I've gleaned from their leadership.
I was able to piece together all the different things I've learned from these ladies in my past and hosted a party based on them. I would think, "Oh, I liked it when so-and-so did this, and it really touched me when so-and-so did that, and it was hilarious when so-and-so planned this..." So I guess you could say it was a party planned by many different women who just weren't able to to attend with me :) For those women reading this blog, you know who you are :)
We had a blast
. And actually that is an understatement.
I cleaned and decorated the house for days
before the event, then organized the rooms with chairs and tables to accommodate everyone. I had a tea and coffee station set up, provide holiday themed plates and cups, and had Christmas music playing and candles lit. I asked everyone else to bring the food, so so I wasn't stressed one bit!
I had many games involving prizes (I've learned over the years when a prize is involved, the game is played much more heartily!) All the prizes were wrapped so the ladies didn't know which one they were picking, which gave it a twist. I told everyone there were some nice Bath and Body Works prizes mixed in, so that gave a little more motivation!
The games I planned were:1. The Nativity Story Left Right Pass-It Game-
In this game everyone has a wrapped present and they pass it left or right when I read the words "left" or "right" while telling the Nativity story. (i.e. Mary and Joseph LEFT right away for Bethlehem, and RIGHT when they arrived they couldn't find room...")2. Bible Trivia
- This was harder than everyone thought! Some of the questions were, "How far apart in age were John the Baptist and Jesus?" and "What books of the Bible tell the Nativity story?"3. Christmas Pictionary
- I divided the group into two teams and had Christmas themed words written on pieces of paper in a bowl. Each lady took a turn drawing the words on Sitora's huge chalkboard while their team tried to guess. It ended up being a tie at the end, so I came up with an extra word for myself to draw, and the first team to guess it was the winner. Then each member of that team got to pick a wrapped gift. I'd have to say the hardest word to draw was "Starbucks Peppermint Mocha"- and my good friend totally rocked her drawing!
4. Ornament exchange-
I asked the ladies to bring a wrapped ornament. Then I had them pick numbers to pair them up with someone else. They would then exchange their ornaments and write down a prayer request to switch as well. It was so fun to see all the different ornaments the ladies brought, so unique and personal!5. Christmas devotional and prayer
- I ended the night by giving a short devotional. We were running out of time by then (just had too much fun playing games I guess!) so I had to condense my message. I will post it below for you to read.
I am so glad everyone came to the party and it was a great way for us to get better acquainted. I feel it's so important for us ladies to connect outside of the church walls to create deep relationships. I was absolutely elated to have them all come to my house!
And can you believe I didn't take one picture? Not one
. For me, that is absolutely unheard of! Yes, yes, it's true. I was able to enjoy a party without snapping photos. I would have liked to, honestly, but I was too busy running the party! Maybe I'll remember to take some photos of our New Years Eve party next week...
I pray you all have a very Merry Christmas and are able to spend the holidays with the ones you love!
Ladies Christmas Party Advent Devotional
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
- · Jesus entered this world in quietness and humility.
- A baby, a manger, a stable.
- This is nothing that the world would refer to as “King-like” or royalty.
- The King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born in the quiet of the night.
- · Can you imagine Prince William and Kate of England having their baby in this way? No rooms in the hospital, no rooms in homes? The royal baby born in a barn?
- · It would be considered it an atrocity! It would never happen. It would be CNN front page news- “ROYAL BABY BORN IN BARN- QUEEN ELIZABETH FURIOUS”
- · Would youeven let your baby be born like this?
- · Yet God clothed Himself in humility and allowed His Son to be born this way.
- · Jesus didn’t have to come as a baby. He could have appeared on earth as a grown man- with a grand entrance and power!
- · Instead He came in the lowliest way possible- as a baby
- · Have you ever been to a nursing home? Seen the faces of the elderly living there? To those with a cognitive mind, it must feel humiliating to have someone else change their diapers and bathe them.
- · After giving birth to my children it was embarrassing to have the nurses change my undergarments!
- · Yet Jesus humbled Himself to this state- as a baby needing diaper changes and bathing
- · And not only that, but He was born in the most unsanitary conditions!
- · No nurses, no doctors. No bed or pain medication. Lots of animal smells, sounds, and probably animal manure nearby.
- · Can you imagine a more humble entrance into this world?
- · Now that we see how He came into this world, let’s take a look at His death.
· Philippians 2:5-8
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
- · In Jesus’ last hours before death, the majority of His friends deserted Him, denied knowing Him, even took money in exchange for turning Him in. He was left utterly alone.
- · Imagine yourself on your deathbed. Do you picture friends and family surrounding you as you slip away? Do you picture them holding your hands, praying with you, smiling at you?
- · This was not so with Jesus. His final hours were spent in misery and isolation from friends.
- · He was mocked, physically abused, tortured.
- · It wasn’t a quick death. It wasn’t a humane death. It was slow and horrible and humiliating.
- · That kind of death would be illegal in our justice system today!
- · He died sacrificing Himself for the ones He loves- You and me.
- · He entered this world in humility, and He died in humility.
- · And then He rose again 3 days later and conquered sin and death all for us.
- · Why? Because He wants to spend eternity with us!
- · Beloved, He desires YOU. Just as a groom longs for his bride, so He longs for you.
- · You are His cherished bride.
· Isaiah 54:5
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”...
- · God couldn’t stand the thought of eternity without you, so He went to extreme measures to offer you forgiveness.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- · The nativity story is not just a fairy tale, a myth, a fable, or a nice bed-time story to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
- · The nativity story was part of God’s plan to win your heart and mine
- · It is the greatest love story of all time- better than any romance novel!
- · The King of Kings and Lord of Lords gave His life, all for His passionate love for us.
- · What is your response? Will it be love in return? Or will it be resistance?
- · This gift is here. Will you receive it?
- · The humble King gave an offering- His everything.