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~ excerpt from The Greatest Gift

‘Big and glossy and loud and fast -—- that’s how this bent-up world keeps turning.

But God, when He comes to us — He shows up in this fetal ball.

Christmas is coming  – and who doesn’t want to come into startling wonder:

He who carved the edges of the cosmos curved Himself into a fetal ball in the dark.

He tethered Himself to the uterine wall of a virgin, and lets His cells divide, light splitting all white.

He gave up the heavens that were not even large enough to contain Him and lets Himself be held in a hand.

The mystery so large becomes the Baby so small, and infinite God becomes infant.

The Giver becomes the Gift…”

~ excerpt from The Greatest Gift

 

Come into the wonder? Let this Christmas come into the wonder again?

Let this Christmas come into the wonder of more Christ and less crazy

Come to Christmas at the Farm — today!  It’s today at 12 noon EST! My friend, Liz Curtis Higgs and I, we’re over here at the web premiere of Christmas at the Farm and we’re laughing, sharing recipes, talking about how to have a Simplified, Sane and Sacred Christmas (with a free printable/framable).

This could be Christmas like you’ve never quite experienced before — but have always been yearning for. 

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You breathe different in a room when you know it’s not about the good you can accomplish but about the grace you can accept.

You breathe different through a season when you begin it by breathing in grace —  

Come exhale at the farm today —

Your personal invitation to today’s webcast Christmas at the Farm:

RSS readers please click here to see your personal video invitation –and Lizzie and I looking happily ridiculous.

Liz Curtis Higgs, this crazy farm hick, and you —  Laughter. Live Chat. (Bad) Singing. Cookies. Recipes. The Word. Jesus.

And the free printable/framable: How to have a Simplified, Sane and Sacred Christmas. 

Come over the hills and fields of snow — for Christmas at the Farm with Lizzie and Annie and a whole lot of Jesus. 

Before the seasons gets kick started into high gear — maybe your soul really needs the gift of this?  Of Him.

See you today, 12 Noon EST!

P.S. If you’re unable to join Lizzie and I for the web premiere and the livechat on at 12 Noon EST, today, November 21st, no worries —  the farm door will be left wide open just for you, to come to Christmas at the Farm whenever works for you!

Resources:  Ann Voskamp’s newest book: The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas
Wooden Advent Wreath with Mary Figurine : Christmas countdown : I found the one my heart loves Ornament :

 

Q4 you:

What’s been hard about Christmas for you?

What do you really want for Christmas this year? What do you really want your CHRISTmas to look like — the kind of Christmas you’ve always yearned for? What are your ideas of simplified, sane and sacred Christmas? Can’t wait to hear your ideas too in the LiveChat today over at Christmas on the Farm!

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  1. 1

    Ann,
    I just pray that my technologically challenged self can tune in! I so appreciate the calming approach you bring to loving life, Christmas, Jesus! You speak of a place that our hearts all yearn for. My prayer for this Christmas is that I could set aside the trappings of this world and truly receive the Giver who became the Gift. I pray that I, along with those that I love could fathom just how great God’s love is for us and that our lives would truly and miraculously be changed. I’m praying for a miracle.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. 2

    Bev? That.
    You encapsulated the beat of our hearts so perfectly in that.
    I keep reading your comment over — yes, we are praying for a miracle.
    A miracle of change.
    A miracle of love.
    A miracle of receiving the Gift.
    Grabbing your hand and praying for the miracle here too, Bev.

    (And saving a seat for you here at Christmas at the Farm, sister!)

  3. 3

    For me, it’s going to include a season of less social media. Like close to none. It’s not bad in and of itself, it just makes it hard for me to focus. This season I need more focus.

  4. 5

    I want to serve more. Volunteer~help others where I can~have my kids see the importance to do,share,be more than a child who “videos” and is bound to techy miscellaneous.

  5. 6

    This Christmas I just really want us to get it. Get Him….that fetal ball of Savior you mentioned.

    And I’m thinking that begins with the recognition of just how much we need Him. Just how much we need a Redeemer, a Defender, a Pardon.

    So hoping that we can see Him as Stand-In this time around.

    Sweet words, Ann. Looking forward to taking a visit to the farm porch today :)

    Kind Blessings,
    Kate :)

    • 7

      Just — beautiful, Kate. Yes, right with you. This season, let’s not miss the staggering grace of God. with. us. #UpsideDownChristmas #OnlyJesus So glad you will be coming to the farm today! :)

  6. 8

    Ann, we are sending your book to my sister, 2 sisters-in-law and my mom-in-law so we can all read it together, though living in different states. Praying we will refocus ourselves this season and really looking forward to sharing our different experiences when we’re all together at Christmas! Love to you today!

    • 9

      Oh, wonderful! Smiling through tears from the farm today, friend. Love this idea! May it be a season, friend, of slowing and bending low before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

      • 10

        Dear Ann, Your writing, and the beautiful words of everyone sharing here takes my breath away ! For me, a Jewish believer in Messiah, The star shining in the east over a stable, in Bethlehem foreshadowed the cross, our redemption had come ! In unthinkable humility, El Shaddai , God Almighty became flesh to tabernacle (dwell) among those he so lovingly formed in His image. ~ Emmanuel. Mary, did you know ? Ahavah (Love) and Shalom and the miracle of Christmas to be eternal light in your hearts !

  7. 11

    Ann~ Honored to share a bit of space on (In)Courage with you today as a guest blogger. Your words and view have impacted me greatly and I cannot wait to watch this!~ on my way to Laity Lodge so will have to stream with some fellow sojournors later. Thank you for the gift of perspective~ it’s a treasure.

    • 12

      My warmest sincerest regards, Amy! We will be letting Christmas at the Farm keep playing after the “premiere” — so we’d love for you to “come to the farm” whenever you are able! Thank you for grace, Amy…much love to everyone at Laity Lodge!

  8. 13

    My desire is for everything to slow down and mean something. We hurry here and hurry there and when it’s over it’s over. I desire for this year to be deep and rich and last a lifetime. I want to see Him and my four littles to see Him. Looking forward to Christmas at the farm ;)

    • 14

      So. with. you. Amber! Let’s not miss HIM this Christmas! We have a chair waiting just for you at the farm – so glad you will be coming! May you be wooed and wowed by His love today…

  9. 15

    I am so looking forward to this and also praying how I am going to make Jesus real and the focus while surrounded by my parents who are here for 10 days during Christmas but do not believe, will not attend Christmas service with us and make it extremely difficult to have the focus be on Christ and not gifts/Santa seeing that is Christmas to them. Thank you for this webcast!!!

  10. 17

    All of my children are home for Christmas this year. Some have turned from The Lord, and I am praying that they will sense His presence in our home and come back to Jesus.

    • 18

      So glad you will all be together this Christmas, Wendy! Fervently praying just now, friend…for a Christmas that only He can bring. Prepare our hearts, Lord and lead…for we will follow.

  11. 19
    Lynn Morrissey says:

    Ann, I look forward to joining you and Liz virtually at the farm today, but it will be a real-time, real-life experience, I know. I want to know Jesus in a deeper way this Advent. I long for Him to come to me in ways too precious, too intimate, too numerous to count. But mostly, I want to come to Him, broken and bended, silent and spilled out. I want to come to Him at the foot of the creche and the foot of Cross, so that I can be mended and made whole. And I want to share His love with others–like with a Jewish man, who has been attending our Evangelical church and who has recently come to know the Messiah as his own Savior!! Praise God! I’ve been sharing Christ and Christmas, really, with him for the past two years. This is what I want for Christmas–this receiving of Christ, so I can give Him away–the greatest gift, the greatest miracle. You and I met very recently in Springfield, MO, and I gave you my book. I want to write “love letters to God” this Christmas, as an act of devotion and appreciation for all He has given me. Can’t wait to meet you again, Ann, on the farm! (Does this mean I have to like cows?! :-)
    Love,
    Lynn

    • 20

      Lynn! Reaching over with a warm hug, friend. Your words here? Gift — a joy, a hallelujah to Jesus! Praying that He will call us all to come join Him in all He’ll do this Christmas season. All this, all and only Him, none of us, but Him. Only Jesus.

      • 21
        Lynn Morrissey says:

        Oh yes and amen, Annie! Only Him!!! I have tears in my eyes from the joy of just having shared ONLY JESUS on your webcast. You know what? I didn’t see Annie & Lizzie. I saw only HIM! And isn’t that the way it should be? May He bless you with Himself this Advent, this Christmas!
        Love
        Lynn

  12. 22

    Ann-

    Your pictures always bring me “home”. What a peace we have in our JESUS….nothing here on this earth can satisfy. My prayer is that my family will feel HIS peace within our home. HE is our treasure within our hearts and minds. Thank you for your words as a wonderful reminder about our Season of Grace! Merry Christmas to you and your family on the farm!

  13. 23

    Ann,

    I’ve been thinking about this–what I want for Christmas this year, and it’s a big request, in the sense that it will be a very different Christmas for us. We bought Caleb’s beautiful wooden wreath,and your beautiful new book, and we declared to family and friends, not many gifts please–even none, if they could stand it. We have been mentally preparing the children to expect significantly less this year, in the material sense, so when I think about what I want, I think, I want Christ to FILL. I want His presence and purpose to fill our whole home and hearts as we try to live CHRISTmas. I don’t know what it will look like–but I know God is good and that He will not disappoint us.

    Love your heart, sweet sister. Grateful for you.

    • 24

      Oh, so with you, friend. His love this Christmas! It’s love that’s been driving Him all along to get. to. us – takes my breath away! Reaching over with a warm hug just now, Kris.

  14. 25

    O Christmas is a very special time of the year. I get a gift from JESUS. The little Christ child. HE gives me a gift every Christmas. Not of this world. From heaven. A vision.
    What do I want for Christmas this year.
    Another gift from the little Christ child.
    As I only celebrate Christmas and Easter, it’s great.
    Looking forward to my present.
    I’m looking for a new Christmas tree this year. A plastic green one with branches that bend. No flickering lights on them so the tree can keep.
    I’ve got a snowflake 2013 from Baccarat. And then I will get me one of them green crystal trees.
    Two item this Christmas and a new tree.

  15. 26

    I am so excited to read Ann’s book. I began simplifying Christmas a few years ago…working to bring the focus back to Christ. In fact, I did three speaking presentations on having a More Simple Christmas and feeling God’s spirit.

  16. 27

    I am currently reading the Gift of Christmas and it is beautifully written. Today I watched the webcast live and what a blessing this was for me at a difficult time when I am a bit sad about the Christmas season. exactly what my bruised heart needed.

  17. 29

    Already I have got caught in the Christmas thing! Trying to loose the ties I’ve entwined about myself, and to wrap myself in Jesus. I so want Him. Is it too late to begin again? What do I do with all the stuff I’ve already got, when all my heart wants is Him?

    • 30

      Oh, so smiling, Ruth. So love your heart. It’s never too late, friend. We come with our emptiness and He shows up — He’s always waiting for us. God gives God. Emmanuel — the grace of God with us…

    • 31
      Lynn Morrissey says:

      Ruth, your words grip me, because whether I could “begin again” is the very thing that I have asked the Lord over the past few months. He has told me YES in a myriad of amazing ways. I know He tells you the same. Even everyday, every breath we breathe is a new begining in Him. Oh believe it!
      Love
      Lynn

  18. 32
    alina y says:

    Dear Ann, thank you for writing this book, I only read the beginning and waiting for December 1st:)
    Your blog has already changed my heart. It changed the way I think. This Coming year I look forward to spendimg more preciouse time with my children, and less on the phone and internet. I realized that I really dont have that much time to teach christian principles to my children and to really try to show them the real meaning of Christmas and help them understand the true love story, and Gods unending GRACE.

  19. 33
    Beth Williams says:

    I only want a Christmas that speaks loud and clear the true meaning for the holiday@! Don’t say happy holidays–MERRY CHRISTMAS@!@@

    I want the world to know my Savior and be saved from their sins by Him! Less hustle and bustle and more quiet worship time with family and friends. Just simple, easy times without to much of the world in it!

    Nice to just relax and rest in the loving arms of Jesus and Praise Him for what He did for us!! Celebrate the magnificent birth of a truly great and awesome God!!

    I’m tired of all the ads, noise and din of the world. I want Christmas to begin the day AFTER THANKSGIVING– not as soon as Halloween is over. Love the song by Big Fish “Christmas with a Capital C”. It states it plainly–”not a holiday but Christmas with a Capital C about the Birth of Christ and you can’t take that away from me!!!”

    That’s what I want this year–more of Jesus and His love@!

  20. 34

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the webcast, every minute was a blessing and delight, thank you so much for this early Christmas gift!