You’ve heard me bemoan it before, my propensity to be imperfectly tidy. I admire organized living environments, but, being a recovering perfectionist, I’ve never quite managed the feat.
I blame it on my artistic side that dominates the majority of my endeavors. I’d rather write a blog (or an entire novel), paint a painting, or plant untold numbers of flowers before applying the Marie Kondo Method to a closet or dragging a vacuum around a room.
Being the Christmas season, I think about the birth of Jesus. If I gaze at the serene nativity on our side table, I’m tempted to see tidy. In reality, the whole thing was messy and imperfect. No planned pregnancy, no elaborate travel itinerary to Bethlehem, no opulent hotel reservations, not even a sanitary spot to deliver a baby. Continue reading “(Un)Tidy Christmas”
Everyone has a story.
Each story is sacred and beautiful and composed of both broken and glorious moments. We carry these stories like artwork scrawled into our souls: a vast array of imprints and scars, beauty and brokenness. Like fingerprints—like us—no two stories are the same.
Stories are made to be told. To be heard. To be understood.
Yesterday, I had a book signing in our local mall. My favourite part about book signings is the people and the stories they share. At signings, or other times when I explain the theme of my devotional (Soul Focus: Trials), I’ve had the privilege of hearing various stories from other’s lives—precious and profound stories. Continue reading “Story Tellers”
With the Christmas season in full swing, it’s frightfully easy to become engulfed in the Christmas frenzy. Busy and frazzled, we rush around to find the perfect presents for our loved ones, host the perfect party, amid perfect decorations, while presenting a table full of perfect food. In all the bustle, we risk the season of love, joy, and peace passing us by along with all that really matters, like spending time with those we love.
All too soon, the season comes to a close. Once the decorations are stuffed away, our home looks as barren as our hearts feel. What went wrong? we wonder.
Before we get too far in, here is a practical list of 8 ways to savour the season:
- Be grateful. There are always things to be thankful for. Look around and you’ll find it won’t take long to see how blessed your are.
- Be intentional with your time. To stave off exhaustion, instead of accepting every invite, consider limiting parties and activities. By intentionally protecting your time, you’ll be less likely to reach the end of the season, or Christmas Day, completely depleted and will have more energy for those closest to you.
- Slow down. instead of rushing from one Christmas activity to the next, set aside enough time to fully engage in each moment.
- Create memorable Christmas traditions with your loved ones and take time for old traditions.
- Buy less stuff. So often the plethora of things we were told we needed: the newest gadget, the latest and greatest piece of technology, the you name it toy-of-the-year doesn’t fill the space we were promised it would. Consider a memory-making trip or other activities that will outlast the many items you might have purchased.
- Donate time or money to a cause. Christmas is a great time to look beyond ourselves and help others. Helping those in need naturally raises our internal gratitude meter.
- Celebrate advent. Many Christians spend time leading up to Christmas in spiritual preparation for celebrating when Christ was born.
- Focus on Jesus. Let His presence – not presents – be at the centre of your celebration. With your heart and spirit full of His love, you’ll enjoy all the festivities that much more.
May you be blessed this Christmas with the fullness of God’s love.
- In what ways could you be more intentional about celebrating Christ this Christmas?
- What new traditions could you include to help make Christ more central to your celebrations? What might you need to take away?