Holiday Traditions

I don’t know about you but my life hasn’t turned out quite the way I expected. I thought I’d have 6 or 7 kids by now and I imagined all the things we’d do to celebrate the holidays. Instead I’m stepmom to a teenage boy who doesn’t have the patience for most of the things I wish we could do, and when we don’t have him for the weekend it’s just the hubster and I. It’s hard to do a lot of the typical holiday things with just adults. So, I’ve spent a lot of the time in our short marriage trying to figure out family traditions for the 2-3 of us. And I definitely haven’t figured things out yet.

Mostly we experiment and everyone gives a wishy-washy review of whatever it is we’ve done that I’d hoped would be a winner, something we’d love and do again and again. But not so much. I find myself getting lazy about it all or worse, having a bad attitude about it all. It’s really been a struggle. So, I’m sending a plea out to the universe (particularly to you parents of teenagers or those of you without kids.) What are your family traditions? What do you do each year to create memories and cement bonds? I’d love to hear your ideas, and feel free to venture beyond Christmas traditions. I can’t wait to be inspired and start some amazing traditions with my little family!

 

Jesus is My Peace

In a church meeting this weekend we had a remarkable lesson about the role of Jesus in our lives. One of my favorite verses of scripture is in Isaiah (you’ll probably recognize it from Handel’s Messiah) that announces the Savior as Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God and so forth. Now a lot of those names are a little hard to relate to on a day-to-day basis and we were encouraged to think about what Jesus means to us each and every day.

And each and every day I find that I need peace. Whether it’s an emotional situation, a crazy family situation, work or the evening news or not being able to find a parking space or a million other things that happen all the time, there always seems to be a lack of peace. And so I turn to my Savior for that “peace that passeth all understanding” and He never fails me. Sometimes its just a moment of solace, sometimes its inspiration to solve a problem, and sometimes its just the reminder that “this too shall pass.”

I’m grateful for this Christmas season to be reminded of the birth of a babe in Bethlehem who was destined to be the Prince of Peace and the constant peace in my life. If you were to fill in the blank what would role would Jesus play for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Jesus is my_________.

Words of Wisdom ~ Brene Brown

Once we belong thoroughly to ourselves and believe thoroughly in ourselves, true belonging is ours….Belonging to ourselves means being called to stand alone–to brave the wilderness of uncertainty, vulnerability, and criticism.   

~ Brene Brown

If you haven’t read any of Brene Brown’s work her latest (Braving the Wilderness) is a great place to start.  You can check out the full review over on my book blog Page and Print.

Music Monday ~ Garth Brooks

I’m not sure how I missed this one last year but I’m listening to it on repeat this year. I absolutely love the message (and I love watching Garth Brooks get all emotional in the video.) Such a wonderful reminder of what’s really important. And it’s always fun to add a new favorite to my holiday playlist!

Light the World

There is always a need for more light in the world and I love when there are easy ways to help encourage us to do what we can every day. Yes, there are great big causes that need our help but sometimes those can seem a little overwhelming to get involved with, require too much time or commitment on our part, or the problems themselves just seem so big that one person can’t really make a difference (though I don’t believe that, it is very easy to feel that way!) But when you’ve got opportunities to help a neighbor or do something simple a little closer to home, often where you can see the difference you’ve made, sometimes that makes it a little easier.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka The Mormons) has created just such an initiative. Their advent calendar (Light the World) provides 25 days of ideas to spread the light of Christ, the spirit of Christmas, and make the world a little bit better along the way. Check it out! #LightTheWorld

And I’d love to hear about your own ways to serve or celebrate throughout the season. Any advent or countdown traditions? Give them a shout out in the comments below!