Welcome to Over the Brim: a life filled up and overflowing. I'm Shanda, a mama creatively living and loving in Nashville, TN, sharing bits and pieces along the way.  I love Jesus, truth and beauty, books, coffee, and being intentional with my family. I value vulnerability and togetherness and so, I write here and invite you in. 

Holiday Simmer Pot {Advent begins}

Holiday Simmer Pot {Advent begins}

I love this time of year because I love Christmas trees, lights, candles, carols, gift giving (and receiving, I'll be honest 😉), baking, hot cocoa, sweaters, soft blankets, snuggles, the seasonal smells, Santa (yep, I even and still love Santa), and the list could go on and on. It's all so fun and beautiful! 

And Jesus. 

Oh Jesus.  

He is all and in all. He is our Source and our Salvation, our Life and our Light. The world and our flesh pull us every which way, but our Spirit is only Home in Him. I want to experience Jesus in all of life, Christmas season or the middle of the summer, but since it's Christmas time... and since I love it so, and since it is a time that we traditionally celebrate His birth (and the life that we now live by, in Him) this Advent season feels like a perfect time to intentionally recalibrate. 

This is the first week of Advent, a season of expectancy! I am planning to find simple ways to cultivate an expectation of Christ for myself and my family as we move through this season. 

One of my favorite simple indulgences of the season is to throw some Christmas-y smelling things together in a pot and let it simmer on the stove. (Think cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges, little bits of your Christmas tree - if you have a real one, etc.) It fills the whole house with such sweet aroma. It's fun. The contents of the pot look pretty (until it all turns to mush), and as I enjoy the smells and the beauty it also reminds me of some beautiful truths. 

We, the Body of Christ, are the aroma of His life to each other and to those who are searching for it. As we share our lives together, and heat is applied, a sweet aroma fills our space and delights our Lord, and those who seek Him.

But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.
— ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭2:14-15 ‭NLT‬‬

So, between any hustle and bustle you may have coming your way this season, I hope that you can find some time to sit in the quiet and put on a simmer pot of delightful holiday smells. Invite some friends over, share life and Christ together, and as they comment on the delicious smell coming from your kitchen, remind them that We Together are a sweet perfume of Christ-filled fragrance.

Here's my usual recipe. I really just toss things in the pot and see what happens. Feel free to improvise with what you have! I happen to have a bunch of cranberries in the freezer that I bought for super cheap last year and held onto for this very purpose, so I always start there.

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