Advent

Five Reasons to Choose Joy

As I try to get my heart and mind prepared for Christmas, I find myself sitting with sweet Mary. I wonder about her life before the conception, her visit with the angel, and pregnancy as an unwed, Jewish teenager. I consider her thoughts on the donkey, the tears in her eyes in the stable, and the way she must have looked at Jesus when he played in the dirt. It never stops there, though. I follow [Read more...]

Family Conflict at Christmas

Christmas commercials are the best. During the month of December, there are endless replays of families gathered around trees and tables, laughing and passing the mashed potatoes. Everyone is in love and high on Christmas cheer. And then there’s reality. Husband and wife bicker about the budget. Wife sulks on the way to the in-laws. Husband hides at his mother’s to avoid the drama. The [Read more...]

Five Christmas Traditions

It seems every family has their own treasure box of Christmas traditions. If you scan through social media feeds, you will see them here, there, and everywhere. Visits to the Christmas tree farm, lighting the Advent candles, and visits to Santa show up on Facebook walls and Instagram feeds. We love our traditions and we love to share them with others. After the addition of child number three a [Read more...]

Finding Peace on Earth During the Holidays

My friend, Jill Richardson, is back to share some wise words about peace during holidays. As we crank up the Jingle Bells and light the cinnamon candles, let’s take just a minute to measure our holiday stress. If it feels like the holidays are all about stress, this is for you! We feel a lot of pressure to measure up. This is true anytime, but holidays bring out the best and the worst of [Read more...]

Mary, the Wife of Joseph

A few years ago my husband came to me with a job offer in another city.  It was his dream job, the one he planned to keep until retirement.  It would take us to a city we had lived in once before, but it wasn’t home. We lived in our hometown, just a few minutes away from both mothers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles.  We had an incredible support system of friends and family.  But, he [Read more...]

Books for Christmas, Middle School Parents, and Busy Mamas

I love to read.  It makes my list of things to do when I have down time.  It also makes my list of things to make time for.  Here are a few books I finished, started, or I am still reading this week. The Max Lucado Christmas Collection The Max Lucado Christmas Collection by Max Lucado (of course!) contains three Christmas stories to warm your heart in the rush of the Christmas season.  The [Read more...]

In a Christmas State of Mind

  Wake up.  Wipe the fog from my eyes.  Shuffle quietly to the kitchen.  Press start on the Keurig.  Splash in some Peppermint Mocha.  Wrap the afghan around my shoulders to ward of the chill in the air.  Open my Bible. Lord, it’s busy and I don’t feel you all day long.  Please, come here now.  Sit with me a while.  Remind me of Your story.  The one we celebrate with [Read more...]

A Keep it Simple Christmas

Earlier this week I posted my thoughts on slowing down this Christmas.  I know that I am not the only one out there who wants to turn the volume down a little and savor the quiet this year. I thought I would share a few of my favorite reads from the past week that encouraged a simple Christmas. How We Christmas is a whimsical and real look at ways we can keep the focus on loving God and loving [Read more...]

Slow Down

The Christmas season is here!  My natural tendency is to begin the rush.  Pull out the ornaments.  Hang the stockings.  Turn on the oven.  Start the Cyber Monday searches.  These things are not Christmas.  We know that in our head; has that truth made it to our heart? I have been bombarded with one thought in the days leading up to this Advent season:  slow down. I heard it in my ear [Read more...]