How To Not Miss Christmas


We’ve all had that kind of Christmas. The one that seems to rush by only for you to look back and feel you missed it all. The one that you feel you are on the Christmas treadmill, checking off the list, racing from obligation to obligation, panting for air.

Then you wonder, did you miss Christmas? Did you show your kids what Christmas really means?

If you are keeping a close eye on your social media feed, you will feel you’ve failed at Christmas. When you see cutesy crafts one friend does. When you see the elaborate home decor of another friend. When you see the friend who is invited to party after Christmas party, and you’ve not received one invite this season.

If you scroll through Pinterest, you will feel unspoken pressure to make new recipes, attempt new projects, do something cuter and more unique than anyone else.

And when you can’t keep up with it all, you can begin to feel Christmas passed you by.

I don’t go to the store much at all this time of year. I don’t much like the crowds, the overspending, the pushing and shoving. But there are times I can’t avoid it. Like when Andrew begs me to take him to use his birthday money to buy a gift for his brothers. I see the buggies loaded with gifts and toys falling out. I’m thinking to myself that our Christmas doesn’t look like that. Before I realize what I’m doing, I begin to think of additional things I can buy my kids. As if I can buy Christmas.

It sneaks in. This pressure of society to do to Christmas what has nothing to do with Christmas.

Here’s the secret to not missing Christmas. The absolute certain way that you will not miss it.

It’s to remember this. Christmas isn’t a day or a season. 

The true spirit of Christmas can’t be wrapped in a package. It can’t be decorated fit for a magazine. It can’t be dolled up and posed for pictures.

Christmas is the gift of God becoming man. Heaven coming to Earth. To die. So we can live.

So if you fail to get the perfect Christmas picture of your kids. If you fail to make cookies or a gingerbread house. If you forget the teacher gifts or sending out cards. If you never got to watch the Christmas movies. If the tree never gets decorated or the lights are never lit outside. If the Christmas projects fail. If you buy your gifts and feel they don’t compare. If your Christmas dinner isn’t perfect and is burned instead. If your home decor is hodge podge compared to the amazing images on Instagram. If some of your traditions didn’t take place. If all of this combined, Christmas is still yours if you have Christ.

Christmas isn’t a day or a season. It’s not bought in a store. It’s not baked in cute tins. It’s not posted online.

Christmas is the gift that came and that is alive every single day.

So if you feel your season is setting up for one big failure, here’s the secret to making sure you don’t miss Christmas.

It’s to change the way you look at Christmas. It’s to dig down through the clutter. To get back to the basics. To rediscover simplicity.

Everything we do to make Christmas what it is in America is an add on. It’s a bonus. It’s not what makes the holiday the holiday. You can’t take away what He did. That gift came. That gift remains. That gift is celebrated at Christmas, yes. But that gift is to be celebrated every single day of our lives.

Give yourself a gift this Christmas. Release yourself from the pressure to create the perfect Christmas by changing the way you view Christmas. When we remember that Christmas is alive everyday, we realize that no matter what our season looks like, we can’t miss Christmas when we look to the cross.

Everyday is Christmas. Everyday is Easter. Everyday is Thanksgiving. Remembering this is how we let go of the pressure of “the day” or “the season”.

No matter how behind you feel you are, it’s never too late to capture the true spirit of Christmas. Right now.

You don’t need any supplies, no materials, no planning. You need one thing and one thing only.

God’s Word.

Open up the Bible. Matthew 1-2. Luke 1-2. This is a good starting place and you can sit with these verses and these chapters for days.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by Christmas and all that accompanies this time of year, maybe this is a good time to push everything aside and pull out His Word. Focusing our hearts on this story of Christmas, with nothing fancy to distract. Sometimes it’s the very thing we need.

When I sat down to write today’s post, I’d intended to write about some of my favorite resources that you may love. And I still plan to post those for you. But as often He does, the Lord changed what I’d planned to write for today.

It’s funny when He does that. He’s so unpredictable and unconventional. I wrote a Christmas devotion. I have a window of about 6 weeks out of the year I can market and sell my book, yet today, I felt the Lord leading me to share with you the simplicity of going to His Word. Rather than pointing you anywhere else, just pointing you to His Word.

And you know what? It might be the very thing your soul needs today. I believe it’s the very thing I need today.

So for today, release yourself from the burden of creating the perfect Christmas. Inhale. Exhale. Open His Word. Read His Word. And remember, He is Christmas. Because He is Christmas, if He is in you and you are in Him, you can’t miss Christmas. Even if no decoration goes up, no gifts are bought, no parties attended. If you have Him, you can’t miss Christmas.

If you are reading my blog, you are in my prayers. I love you from the bottom of my heart, you are the reason that I write. I pray the Lord blesses your Christmas season as you focus on Him and Him alone. He is all we need.

Much love,


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Fighting the Christmas Pressure to Impress


There is something about a Christmas stocking I love. It’s this idea of giving in secret. A simple gift from the heart. One that doesn’t seek to sit on center stage, doesn’t demand attention, desires not to impress. One content to wait patiently and humbly in hiding for one reason and one reason only. To bless.

As I sit here looking at our stockings hung from the mantle, they all look the same on the outside. Christmas morning each stocking will be filled with items uniquely given for the one to receive. On the outside they will all look the same. But there is this little humble secret inside. These gifts given from the heart. Simply.

When a gift from the heart is wrapped in simplicity, room is made for splendor. No distractions compete for attention or overshadow the true gift.

Christmas simplicity makes room for the splendor of a King.

Luke 2:7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough-because there was no room for them at the lodging place.

Jesus, the ultimate gift ever given, was wrapped in simplicity. Magnificence cloaked in simplicity. The gift came humbly.

Jesus, Savior of the world. Prince of Peace. King of Kings. God became a baby. This gift sought not attention from the world or desired to impress the world. He sought only to give of Himself. He came quietly and humbly.

Simplicity makes way for the splendor of a King.

It’s not hard to drift into the American way of bigger is better, more is preferred. Christmas is a simple message. Christ was born to die for our sins so we could have eternal life through Him. He was born to die. A simple message that needs nothing added to it to make it better.

Many of us struggle to keep Christmas gifts simple. Our culture creates a pressure to add more. Outdo one another. Images shared at lightning speed fill social media that whisper to us, we should add more, we should do more, we aren’t enough, give more, do more, decorate more. Be creative, be unique, be different. Stand out.

We feel this unspoken pressure to consult Pinterest to create the most creative teacher or friend gifts ever given or to create memories for our children in the most unique of ways. Simplicity and humility flee.

This is why I love the stocking. It’s gifts given in humble simplicity, hidden, not shouting for attention. A gift in a stocking isn’t crying out, “Look at me. Did I win best gift award?” It’s not asking, “Do I earn your approval?” It seeks only to give and desires nothing in return. No favor.

When we fall to the pressure of our culture in our gift giving, it becomes about us.  The attention is taken from the gift recipient and placed back on us. We might earn favor or impress, but we lost our humility. Christmas is the greatest picture of humility the world has ever seen.

If we want to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, it starts with modeling humility.

Jesus knew He was the ultimate gift.  Heaven came to earth. What greater gift is there? Pinterest has got nothing on that.  He came to be the gift, and He wrapped Himself in cloths, lying in a manger, announced to simple shepherds, delivered by a simple, humble girl. All humbly simple.

When we simplify, we can magnify Christ.

In a share all, show all world, we feel the pressure to perform, which holds hands with the pressure to impress.

The spirit of christmas is humility. It’s seeking the lesser position. A gift given in humility is not a gift that seeks to impress. It’s a gift straight from the heart that has lowered itself.  It’s one that attempts to be the stocking gift, tucked away quietly waiting to bless privately.

The attention we receive from our gifts can change the intention of our hearts with time.

What if each gift we give this season seeks to be the stocking gift? The one wrapped in simplicity.

When we aren’t influenced by the idea that we will receive credit, we are able to focus on loving and blessing the receiver of the gift rather than seeking to impress the receiver.

I’m finding freedom this Christmas in choosing to simplify my gifts.

When I let go of the pressure to receive praise or earn recognition, it’s amazing how my heart changes. When I take the focus off of myself and what I receive back from the gifts I give, suddenly my heart is turned to the ones I want to bless. And I can love them in the most simple of ways.

I’m not weighed down by putting together friend or teacher gifts that will receive praise. Instead I’m free to humbly express my heart towards the one to receive the gift. It stops being about me, and the blessing has room to bless.

If you feel weighed down by the pressure to impress, choose to follow the example of Christ. Give a gift packaged in humility that seeks only to bless and desires nothing in return. No favor. No attention.

Be the stocking gift that tucks away quietly awaiting its moment of private blessing.

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When family bonds reach outside their own


Photo courtesy of Disneynature

Watch this video:

In Chimpanzee by Disneynature, Oscar is a playful, adorable little chimp you fall in love with immediately.  His spunk mingled with tenderness captivates your heart.  He’s a baby, completely dependent on his mama, Isha, who patiently and lovingly guides and cares for her little chimp. She is his world.  “Day after day it takes a committed mom to teach him to make it in the jungle.”  Sound familiar, mamas?

When a rival chimpanzee group attacks, Oscar loses his mom, Isha.  In a moment Oscar finds himself an orphan.  No mama grooming him, no mama nursing him, no mama teaching him to crack nuts and gather food.  He is left alone.

Oscar tries to make it on his own within the group.  And like us all, he wants to be accepted.  His attempts to find a new mom left him feeling rejected and alone. He even found himself rejected by friends.  Completely alone in the world, yet surrounded by his own.  Hopeless.

Freddy is the powerful leader of the group.  Unapproachable.  Yet Freddy had his eyes on Oscar from afar.  Through an amazing turn of events, Freddy allowed Oscar to ride on his back, something only a mother would do.  Freddy began to groom little Oscar, the highest ranking member grooming the lowest.  Servanthood at its finest.  The movie described Freddy as the savior that no one could’ve expected.  Freddy adopted Oscar.  He became Oscar’s savior.

I know a Savior like that.  One who descended from Heaven in the form of a baby, an unlikely Savior for sure.  The most humble of births for a King.  One who came to serve, and serve the lowliest.  One who came so we could each be adopted into His kingdom.  Saving is His specialty.

Through my involvement with New Horizons for Children, I have seen hearts madly, deeply in love with Jesus, reaching out to save the orphans of the world- to show them their true Savior.  I have seen God perform miracles for the least of these that have radically transformed my relationship with Christ.

When you host an orphan in your home, or you meet an orphan hosted by another family, everything changes.  A face, a name, a life becomes a part of your heart.  They are no longer just a number, a statistic.  They are a human, hopeless and desperate, in need of a Savior.  In need of love and acceptance.  Aren’t we all?

Through the sale of Seeking Christmas, I am committed to donating 10% of my royalties to NHFC and orphan ministries that reach out to change the life of an orphan.

Seeking Christmas is an attempt to unite families through guided, tradition-building activities that center around Christ.  To help families reclaim Christmas in their home.  Families will cherish memories that will long outlive any material gift.

Orphans do not have families creating rich memories for them.  They aren’t experiencing the security of traditions.  My prayer is that Seeking Christmas will not only strengthen your own family, but that it will be used by God to give an orphan what no one is giving them.  The love of a family.