Everyday Family

Stuck in the Devotional Rut

**Post originally appeared on the Christ City Church blog in 2015 as
“When Devotions Aren’t Pretty.”**

Sitting on the porch under a soft, golden-hued sunrise, a woolen blanket draped around my shoulders, a steaming drink in hand and an open Bible in the other – this is what I’ve always dreamed of.  Like a childhood word-association game, this is the image that floats unbidden to my mind whenever I hear the words “morning devotions.”

This mental picture could have very easily been plucked off someone’s social media account. It’s flawlessly filtered, cropped, and splashed with cringe-worthy hashtags like #sunrisewithJesus. The epitome of an Instagram photo, it has somehow attached itself to my ideals of what devotions should look like. And since my devotions, in reality, look nothing like this, it ends up being yet another sobering reminder of my shortcomings.

I’ll be the first to admit that this past year of motherhood has rocked my devotional time (and not in an awesome party-rock kind of way.) It seems as if each day slips away in a blur of busyness, leaving me feeling exhausted and drained. It’s easy to flip on Netflix and tune out. How many times have I raced through my devotions, viewing it as simply another item to cross of my daily to-do list? How many nights have I fallen asleep before gathering the strength to grab my Bible off the nightstand table?

Continue reading

Family Activity: Van Dusen Festival of Lights

Lights twinkle off branches and along pathways, glittering and shimmering against the darkened night sky. There is so much beauty contained in these mini-capsules of lights. Thousands of coloured strands line the garden, each one capturing a bit of the magic of Christmas.

This was my first time visiting Van Dusen Garden (for a Vancouver-born girl, this is a shocker I know!) And with their annual Festival of Lights, I was excited to finally check out this new-to-us Christmas location.

Continue reading

Jesus Storybook Bible – Advent Week 4

As we draw near the end of our Advent season this year, I am so grateful for these daily reminders of God’s love, faithfulness and salvation plan. The entirety of scripture echoes His redemptive plan — a plan that includes a child born to a virgin and laid to rest in a scratchy, old feeding trough.

As we arrive at Christmas morning, we stand together with millions of others around the globe. We kneel before that babe in a manger, the straw tattooing our knees and the stench of manure on the tips of our noses, and worship. With love, we bow before the one who came and who is yet to come again. Our hearts join in with the hope-filled prayer of generations past as we cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come.”

Continue reading

Merry Christmas 2018!

Merry Christmas!

2018 was a year of great joy in the Mannegren household as we welcomed the arrival of a baby girl, Adelaide Jean. In addition to the abundance of diapers and baby onesies filling the latter half of our year, these past twelve months have also been marked by a four-year-old’s shark birthday party, a Thailand trip for hubby, and countless ultrasound appointments for me. We bought a new vehicle, took it on a long summer road trip, and then got a bit banged up in our first accident. Gymnastics, swimming lessons, and Swedish school — this year has been full!

And so, our 2018 video is brought to you by a couple of sleep-deprived parents. To celebrate the arrival of our new little one, we decided to give you a bit of a flashback to our very first video. (If you haven’t watched the 2014 video before, or just need a refresher, be sure to do so before watching this one!)

With great love from all of us, we present to you, our 2018 Christmas video!

Continue reading