December warm-up: Joy Missions

The weather outside has been unseasonably warm.

Inside, not so warm. Our kids have had short tempers and sharp words with one another in the past couple of days.
Several months ago I had introduced them to the old J-O-Y acronym – Jesus first, then others, you last! They had locked onto that and bring it up from time to time. Today, when having a little family meeting to apologize and repair broken relationships after a rough morning, LB said the way they had been acting was like “YOJ.” Putting themselves first.
As it is December first, we came up with a quick advent project: JOY missions.

{It’s not a pinterest-worthy label and it’s crookedly scotch-taped on, but it does involve scented markers and a mason jar we found floating in a lake while canoeing this summer. Does that count?}
We wrote out some secret missions:
  • Let someone else go first.
  • Clean someone else’s room.
  • Make someone’s bed.
  • Choose a toy to give away.
  • Write an encouraging note.
  • Say something kind.
The kids helped me think of things any of them could do on any day. Little things that show the JOY principle – putting others before yourself out of reverence for King Jesus.
Each day this month, they’ll pull a slip of paper from the JOY jar and that will be their mission for the day. At dinner, they will share what their mission was and how they completed it.
There are lots of fun pinterest-worthy advent count downs and projects out there – but focusing our hearts this season doesn’t need to be picturesque and quaint. I’m praying that this December has a little more JOY and that our home will be warm, even when the weather does eventually turn cold.
Merry Christmas.

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