The Holidays Have Me Inspired


Face it: some years I’ve been pretty bah-humbug about Christmas. The stress and hassle and pressure would get to me around this week in the season and I’d transform into Ebeneezer Scrooge. But, this year is different for some reason. I think it has to do with what I wrote about earlier this week. Read it HERE.

So, apparently rest and perspective are making me all jolly and super inspired, because I have all kinds of fun things to share with you on this Friday the 14th!

A Favorites-Filled Podcast

My kids are on the podcast again this week. Last week they shared about our Christmas traditions and this week it’s all about Christmas favorites. That got me smiling. And smiling’s my favorite. {Name that Christmas movie!}

Listen HERE for the Straight From The Heart(land) episode and subscribe in your podcast app so you catch new episodes when they release every Tuesday.

An Advent Anthem

Speaking of favorites, I can’t get enough of “Noel” by Chris Tomlin featuring Lauren Daigle. It was a special music performance during the offering at church last weekend and it’s been running through my mind all week. It’s become my new Advent anthem: Come and see what God has done!

Listen below. You won’t regret taking this four minutes to do it. Trust me.

Inconvenience or Providence?

I was inspired by an advent devotional I read this week. It challenged my thinking about the crazy inconveniences that occur in life, especially during the busy season leading up to Christmas. I shared it with my husband and friends and bible study and women’s ministry team and the Facebook and now I’m sharing it with all of you.

I was reading "The Christmas Code," an advent devotional, the other day and the author mentioned inconveniences. You know, those things you weren't expecting that pop up at the least opportune times? The flat tire, the lost package, the broken down washing machine.

Inconveniences are especially noticeable and annoying at Advent when our to-do list is already yards long. The Christmas train needs to move smoothly to its Dec. 25th destination without an inconvenience causing it to jump the tracks. (Am I right?)

But, the author reminded me that when Mary and Joseph had to make a 70-mile journey by donkey to Bethlehem from Nazareth for the census, right when Mary was due to deliver, well that was inconvenient timing.

Yet, God moved the very ruler of the land - Caesar - to call the census at just the right time so that Mary would deliver Jesus in Bethlehem, just as the prophecies spoke.

It challenged my thinking. Was the census inconvenience or providence?

And how many of my inconveniences are providence, too? How many annoying things that pop up in the next 10 days are God's providence to bring me to my own Bethlehem? My own place of meeting Jesus. The things that will cause me to better experience Immanuel, God with us.

Keep this in mind as you navigate the inconveniences of the next few days. He just might be leading you to Bethlehem.

A Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve

“I remember my New Year’s Eve celebrations as a young, single gal. They started with a cute, sparkly outfit and ended with glasses clinking and confetti flying.

Flash forward 20 years and three kids later and New Year’s Eve is much, much tamer. Scratch that, it’s still crazy, but for entirely different reasons.

After all, who wants to pay a babysitter one MILLION dollars to get dressed up, go out in the cold weather only to feel terrible the next day? No one. So, instead of leaving the house for a hotel bash downtown, cozy up inside with friends and let the kids in on the fun, too!”

I'm writing over at Des Moines Moms Blog today, sharing 6 tips for throwing a New Year’s Eve party that's fun for the WHOLE family (adults, too!)! You can read it HERE.

Twelve Days Throwback

Last year, my dear friend, Sarah, and I created this 12 Days of Christmas “Mom Version” video for the podcast. It popped up in my Facebook timeline yesterday and it still cracks me up. Enjoy!

I hope these little gifts of Christmas cheer will make your spirits bright and keep your eyes up so you can see what God has done in your own little town of Bethlehem.

Love you all and happy weekend!