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Holli McCormick
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Hello World! I am Holli, but better known as the Joy Gal, writing about my personal journey out of bondage to self-doubt, self-criticisms and people-pleasing tendencies over at Practice Joy. This written documentary of my journey was sparked when I woke up to find myself in unhealthy relationships based on power, abuse and control - and realized many in the world around me are also locked into these unhealthy patterns. Of all the tools God has given me along this journey - learning how to practice celebration, practice joy has been a life saver - and thus the name of my blog and upcoming classes. Please join me when you can as I learn how to put my childish ways behind me, grow into an emotional adult, and Practice Joy along the way. 

Rediscovering: You Shall Decorate

Thursday, December 13, 2012 #Jesus #Christmas #advent


Today's reading is one that I have to happily say I have "in the bag".  The "plan"...reading plan that is...actually instructs us to go around and decorate for this all important holiday. "You Shall Decorate..." so get going! 
We were to read Exodus 25 - which yes is in the Older Testament...and yes it can be a little tedious for some.  But basically we were to think about why God gave such specific instructions for decorating the place where He would reside.  I was going to look up some stuff, like the significance of gold and acacia wood in the Jewish world back then...but figured writing and finalizing my essays for Fuller were more important.  (Can you believe I ACTUALLY was able to write both of mine that they wanted in 500 words or less?  I can't either.  One was 499 and the other was 500...but believe me it took MUCH work to get them there.)
Digressing I didn't look up anything else...but another direction just came to me.  That since God has reflected His entire character in us humans...perhaps this is God's femaleness coming out.  His desire to make things look pretty, nice and presentable.  Now I'm sure some guys out there are like this...but typically decorating is the gal thing.  It just makes everything more homey and pleasurable - especially a moving, collapsable tent that He was traveling around in - so I am thinking this is why He had such specific decorating instructions.  I told you - not really deep - but sometimes shallow is good for the brain.
Okay, so I already told you yesterday how I decorate for Christmas...trying to bring Christ in where ever I can.  Manger scenes, glittery stars and crosses, angels, crowns, captions of verses in the garland...basically anything I find out and about this time of year that has to do with Christ I try to buy.  But there are other decorations on the tree too...other ornaments that I have collected over the years - well since getting married at least.  So that was a little hard as I pulled them out this year.  But I successfully weeded thru and picked out the ones I wanted to keep...ones that reminded me of a good time or a special friend...or of my precious kiddos.  This was another fun tradition I remember having with my mother and even with my guardians...for there was a story behind every ornament that gets to be heard in brief as we pulled each one from the box.  I cannot wait till my kids are old enough to join in on this tradition with me!
Gosh, you can't really see any of it. 
But there are 2 manger scenes, a globe with
Mary an baby Jesus and verses up above
and on the sill of the mirror.
And the last decoration I have is a "Happy Birthday" sign hanging.  I started "throwing" birthday parties for Jesus I think the 1st or 2nd year my eldest was around...and am continuing the tradition as it is a good way to teach the next generation about the true meaning of the season.  Who doesn't like to have a birthday?
I'll leave you with my horrible attempt to take some photos in haste this morning of my decorations.  I would retake them - but that would take and extra effort of me standing up, adjusting the light and what not...don't feel like doing all that right now.  So I'll update them if I get around to it...and once I get the tree actually lit and decorated (couldn't find the lights last night...just another thing to buy!).
See the pictures of the decorations here.


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