Living for an Audience of One // Kristin Ammons

I have enjoyed looking through the Christmas Gift Guide/2017 over the past few days.  So many fun ideas, and thinking about my girl who can really appreciate some quality lip balm. (She collects it from the orthodontist’s office!)  I am a little behind with shopping, but I’ll catch up.  In the meantime, I’m thinking about my favorite gift that I’m giving and the best One I’ve received.

Today I might have given my very favorite present of this season to my oldest boy.  It wasn’t the Playstation 4 that is hidden under our bed in an old, flannel pillow case that our baseball-playing boys have been asking for so they can play “MLB the Show.”(shhh..don’t tell!) And it wasn’t the spending money for our upcoming trip to Prague to see my sister’s family after we were gifted with plane tickets (!)  No, it’s a black, elastic bracelet that says “Ao1” on one side, and “Audience of One” on the other.  It has a fair market value of $1.

My son and I have been on a journey this year.  He is learning what it means to play his very favorite sport (baseball) for an audience of One.  At camp this summer, he began to grasp that “everywhere in life- even in a stadium full of people- ‘we live and move and have our being in Christ,’ and it’s His pleasure that we should pursue above all else.” (Athletes in Action) Josh is starting to walk a journey where he understands that this thing that he loves can draw him closer to the One who first loved him. (I John 4:19) When competition didn’t turn out the way he thought it would this fall, he still stood at first base, focusing on his Audience.

I have been reading the book Unseen (Sara Hagerty) and I’ve been finding friendship with God in the all the moments of my day.  Sara writes, “What I forged with God in secret led to a sweet partnership with Him,…”  I’m sensing His presence in the car, in hard conversations, in tasks that seem meaningless but really aren’t, in secret choices that only He knows but that draw me closer to Him and bear fruit in others.

At Christmas, I always think of the incarnation, but often from different angles, depending on what has happened during the previous year.  Fifteen Christmases ago, I looked into my newborn’s face and thought about Mary and the treasures that she could ponder in her heart when Jesus came to earth as a newborn baby (Luke 2:19) This year, I’m thinking about God’s presence with us that He so generously gave when He came to earth- that offers relationship now in every activity, in every moment of my day.

As I placed the bracelet on his pillow today, I left this note underneath.  “Dear Josh, I loved getting this bracelet for you.  I’m so glad that you are considering what it means to play for an Audience of One.  I’m praying for you and cheering for you as you begin this journey. Sometimes it will be thrilling and amazing and fun…but sometimes it will be lonely and hard and disappointing.  Sometimes it will seem like the best adventure ever, and sometimes you will ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?” Through the ups and the downs and even the mundane, I want to tell you-from my few years ahead of you, living for Him as my audience- that I don’t have any regrets. I have found Jesus to be worth it.”

 

Hi my name is Kristin! I came to know Jesus Christ at an early age through the influence of my parents. I graduated from Messiah College with a degree in nursing, and while working in the HIV/AIDS community, I observed what a critical decision-making time the college years can be.  Through this God led me to campus ministry. During our years on staff, my husband Jeff and I have served in several different countries and we now live in Williamsburg, VA where we serve with Valor, the ROTC ministry of Cru. Once upon a time I ran cross country but now I find myself running Joshua, Elizabeth, & Caleb to their varied activities and supporting Jeff as he gives guidance to our Valor staff.

Christmas Gift Guide | 2017

It’s SO hard to believe that it’s that time of year! You might currently be stressed with projects and finals as you’re finishing up the last week or so of the semester, but hang in there! Break is coming, and break brings Christmas, and Christmas gift giving [among many other wonderful things]!

If you’ve been wondering what else to add to your own wish list [due to being submersed in that studying, obviously], or want to know some cute, fun, or useful things to get for a galpal, we’re here to help you out!

Below you’ll find a list [+ some pics!] of some of our recs for Christmas gifts this year. Enjoy!

BROOKE

My favorite Lip Balmmm of all time! Specifically the Coconut Hibiscus one! So smoooooth and wonderful.

I love this book! Heather provides so much Truth to fill our minds with and also includes practical ways to renew our minds! A must read!

The Abridged Journal made by the awesome people at Letterfolk. This journal helps the wanna be journalers actually journal—it provides prompts and is so cozy looking. I’m putting it on my Christmas list.

My favorite candy of all time is Sees candy.  Have you tried it? You and your best friend need to share a box of these while watching Elf.

 

LINDSEY

Love Does by Bob Goff- Life-changing. That’s all.

L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasins (slippers)- I know they look like most slippers, but these are better than any others I have had. They are the softest, most plush slippers… and they have a lifetime warranty. They are well worth the price!

Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Organic Lip Balm- This stuff is bomb- so good for dry lips in the winter! It is so moisturizing and I love the smell. Also, it’s not filled with yucky chemicals, so that’s a plus.

Bose Bluetooth Speaker- Perfect for playing worship music in the background while you work or for those times when you need a dance party.

 

SARAH

Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
Dried Mango from Aldi ((warning: addiction may occur- life changing yummy!))
Target Merona cotton-fleece leggings- SO COMFY and WARM- get them on sale!
Cool thrift store finds @ Fantastic Thrift in the Fan of RVA

MELISSA

These books are incredible. Rivers takes artistic liberties with them but Gods grace is clear throughout each.

Smells like Christmas joy!

A great bible study through the book of John for a group or going through John by yourself

Feels great! Smells great!

 

MAGGIE

A mug to drink tea/coffee in during time with Jesus

A craft you love and want to do but never make/have time

This devo about living life “unhurried” — [You guys can download the PDF of this HERE!]

And a glorious smelling candle.

KATHLEEN

1- really cozy Sherpa lined blankets (I have one that I’m obsessed with and have trouble leaving it in the morning)
2- cozy slippers
3- prickly pear and orange Sanpelligrino
4- late night bowls of popcorn

JOCELYN

 

You guys. I got this at Trader Joe’s this week and it’s almost gone. It’s a problem. Grab it while you can since it’s seasonal! But also be aware that it’s easy to eat a lot at once.

I recently found out about this company through instagram [@brunchcandlebox]. If you want to get/give a gift from a company that also gives back, and you’re addicted to candles like me, this company does a monthly subscriptions of a certain candle related to that month, and will even include a little snack in the box. For every box, they give a meal to a hungry child. You can just get/give a one time box if you want! The candles are great-smelling and last a while [even the small ones]. And it’s super fun to wonder what you’ll get!

You guys KNOW I love me some Ann. I’m always talking about this book but it’s so good and directs my heart to see the aspects of God’s grace all around me, even in the mundane.

For my creative types [or if you have one in your life]! This book my Jenny Randle is pretty cool. There’s different prompts each day to get in touch with your creative side, and there’s brief devo-type messages in each day to direct you towards God as the ultimate creator. If you need a little push to spark your creativity, this is a fun resource!

Advent Giveaway on our Instagram!

What would this time of year be without a giveaway?! Wooo, praise hands all around!

We’d love to point your hearts toward Jesus as Christmas is soon approaching (aahhh, so soon!) by giving away Ann Voskamp’s book The Greatest Gift.

 

This time of year is filled with warm + cozy feelings, special moments with family, and fun traditions. All of this time spent with people who really matter in our lives is important, but we want to direct our hearts even further. Ann writes in this book about the “celebration of the complete love story that’s been coming for you since the very beginning.” We want you to make the most of this Advent season by reminding your heart & mind of this wonderful news!

Here’s how to enter!

Head over to our instagram (@awakeandfreeblog), make sure you’re following us, and like the giveaway picture. Then, since Thanksgiving is still fresh on our minds, post a picture on your own account telling us something you’re thankful for, and tag us! We’ll go through those tags and choose someone to win!

But wait, there’s more!

Although there will only be one winner for the giveaway, The Daily Grace Co. has a free Advent devo, and we figured we’d pass it along for you all!

This link will take you to where you can download it! ♡

See you over on Instagram! Happy Friday!