The Ultimate Christmas List

Top 10 Must Haves This Christmas

Feet in Front of Christmas Presents

‘Tis the season for wish lists and gift giving. And all around the interwebs, you can find ways to fill both needs.

However, even throughout the year, each of us has an additional wish list that we aren’t necessarily sharing with others; almost an unspoken wish list, if you will.

Things that even money can’t buy. Heart level things.

Like the mending of a hurtful relationship with your mother or father. Or the opportunity to finally quit your job and pursue something you love. Or the relentless longing for a child to fill your heart and home.

We may gather round dinner tables or smile across the church aisle over the next few weeks as if all is merry and bright, but deep down, many of us are wishing for something far more grand than a beautifully wrapped present under a tree.

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The Waiting Experience

Understanding and Celebrating Advent

Christmas Ornaments with Wisemen

One more hour. One more day. One more month. One more year.

At some point in our lives, each of us has had to wait.

Waiting. Waiting. Always waiting.

For the wonderful news of a healthy baby girl. Or for the devastating news that cancer has returned. For the word on the job found or a job lost.

Waiting is a universal part of the human experience, and I believe that God allows seasons of waiting to grow, to slow us. To invite us to wade into the deeper, hidden parts of our hearts, beyond the right here, right now, me first perspective. That we may rightly see our sin-filled hearts, recognize our great need for a Savior, and be offered the eternal hope and comfort that comes only through the cross of Jesus Christ.

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How to Holiday Well

Finding Grace in the Holiday Hustle

Christmas Wreath on a Window

The beautifully wrapped packages, the gorgeously decorated tree, the perfectly prepared meal. This time of year we all begin to make our dream lists about creating the warmest of holiday celebrations for our families.

While the details of our visions may vary, our hopes are similar. We want those who fill our homes over the holidays to feel loved, welcomed, and celebrated, with nothing missing from the picture perfect vision in our heads.

And so we hustle to the stores, bustle around the kitchen, and keep our hands busy prepping and planning so that the holidays can be all they were meant to be.

But, friends, have you ever felt harried by the holiday hustle? Does the stress of meal planning, house tidying, gift buying, and guest hosting wear you thin rather than fill you up?

If so, then I am here to tell you that you are not the only one.

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Cultivating Contentment

Planting Gratefulness in Your Heart

Autumn Scene Girl and Leaf

The season of Thanksgiving is upon us. A time for feasting and fellowship, family and friends.

However, despite its name and festivities, this season of giving thanks can quickly be overshadowed with grocery prep, holiday planning and black Friday shopping.

So, friends, how do we slow down long enough to sincerely be thankful for all that we have before making lists of all the stuff that we still want?

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Solitary Places

When Being Alone is Healthy

Woman Sitting in Wilderness Overlooking Shore

“For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.” (Luke 8:29, NIV)

I have read the story of the demon-possessed man named Legion multiple times. I am most familiar with the version in Matthew 8 and Mark 5, however, as I was having my quiet time this morning, I found myself once again reading about the naked lunatic in Luke 8.

And something struck me that I had not read before.

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Unplanned

Celebrating an Unexpected Pregnancy

Woman Rubbing Pregnant Belly

Three years ago this spring I found out I was pregnant. Instead of rejoicing over the little miracle that was growing inside my belly, I was angry and confused at the Lord.

Our marriage was struggling, I often felt like a single parent to our two older children plus I had no family support system nearby. Adding a baby to the mix seemed like the last thing we needed.

If I was the camel, then this was the last straw for me. I broke. I simply couldn’t understand what the Lord was doing.

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