There are 7 things I love about Christmastime that help us start a New Year right.
- The Birth of Jesus
- Mornings by the Tree
- December 26th
- Everyone Home
- A Time to Look Back & Forward
- God Speaks
In the early or not-so-early mornings, I spend the first moments of each day by the Christmas tree, in full view of the mantle with all its trimmings. I look out the window at the blue barn doors and the glistening tree on the back porch. Thankful and quiet, I think about all we’ve been given, humbled and grateful for the gifts.
It doesn’t take long for the to-do list to emerge. It’s as if my pen goes straight from thanking God to the things that must be done. Without a deadline, I’d keep shopping. Decorating. Cooking. And that means, spending! So ready or not, Christmas comes, and I HAVE to stop. This is brilliant for people like me.
December 26th is my favorite day of the year, and everyone in my family knows it. On the 26th, there is no to-do list. Everything’s marked off and there is absolutely nothing to do but enjoy. We cuddle by the fire, watch movies, and tinker with our new toys.
Each morning I think about what was and what may be. In the final days of December we get to look forward to an unknown year with hope and faith. God speaks to my heart in these moments. I know He can do that any day of the year, but at Christmastime I think He’s a big ‘ole softie and a little more sentimental about it all.
The Birth of Christ, of course, is the reason for the season, and I can’t imagine doing Christmas without understanding all that it means. Jesus’s birth symbolizes renewal, regeneration – and eternity with God.
When we put our faith in Christ, we are reborn as a new creation.
Walking with Jesus as the Lord of our lives is the most beautiful way to live. It is fresh with possibility and marked by awe and wonder. We are stunned by Grace. Renewed by Mercy. Strengthened by Faith. We are Known. Seen. Loved. Redeemed.
Between Christmas and New Years, our family heads to the ranch. The boys hunt, we make chili, we work on the property and become co-Creators. Whether it’s an old bone we find on the path, a wild root we dig up, or dead trees we drag to the burn pile, we get to carve and shape the land to make it all the more pristine.
As I sit on the back porch and watch the rain this morning, I think about the direction I’m heading and seek Him for His counsel.
The New Year is coming, ready or not. Don’t let the to-do list take over, and don’t go your own away. Seek His direction. Get alone with God and wait for His voice. Put tomorrow in His hands. and He will never lead you wrong.
For just as He came as a baby, He will return as a King – and only He knows the deadline.
To read our 2020 wrapup for U R More as we look ahead to a New Year, click here.
May you find the peace and stillness only His Spirit can bring,
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”