Christmas

The Birth of Hope

The A newborn baby inspires hope. The earthy, metallic smell of birth mixes with the sweetness of Johnson & Johnson’s baby lotion. It reaches your heart through your nose. A smile tickles your lips just as you start to talk in a silly voice that you wouldn’t dare use in an adult conversation. Babies are a phenomenon of hope and expectation. My sister recently gave birth to her [Read more...]

Mary Remembers: A Story of Light and Hope

Today, as darkness tries to swallow me alive, I find myself reliving the first days of this incredible journey. It is the only place I can find light. Light. Light is how it all began. I remember the light. How it started small and then grew so bright. I had to look away and shield my eyes for fear I would go blind. Once my eyes adjusted, I saw something or someone. I felt instant peace in his [Read more...]

Starstruck Love: Worship Jesus like a Toddler

It’s been a while since we’ve had a little one in the house at Christmas. Barrett turned two last week so this is the first Christmas he is aware of the holiday magic going on around him. It is fun to watch him experience Christmas for the first time. He squeals as we pass Christmas lights and points to every snowman he sees. It makes everything new again for me. He makes us laugh [Read more...]

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...]

Gift Guide for Her: Gifts for the Heart

Do you remember the old Sears and Roebuck catalog? I looked for it to come around every year. I would spend hours studying the colorful ads, imagining an assortment of gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. The slick pages fueled my dreams and filled my wishes. Now that I am all grown up, I can save and purchase just about anything on my wish list. This makes gift buying a little difficult [Read more...]

Five Favorite Charities

Despite my kids’ daily begging, our bowl of Halloween candy isn’t empty yet. But you know it is coming, don’t you? The music in the store is tuned to sleigh bells and silent nights. Turkeys fill the freezer section at the grocery store. My inbox is full of super sales and special pricing. We will spend the next several weeks remembering all we are thankful for and purchasing [Read more...]

What to Do When Your Spouse Goofs

What to Do When Your Spouse Goofs is part of an ongoing series, Portrait of a Godly Wife Everybody messes up from time to time. It is never fun when someone points out our mistakes or shames us for it. Marriage is a fertile ground for such finger-pointing. We are so familiar with one another that we don’t think twice about berating our spouse for their errors in judgment. Elizabeth provides [Read more...]