I am SO very excited to announce that I've written a thirty day devotional to share with all my friends. Obviously this resource is totally free and I would love for you to take advantage of it during this upcoming Advent season.
As we approached this holiday season, I finally put my finger on a pattern that was cropping up every November and stealing my joy through the holidays. I noticed that I was saying "yes" to every single thing. I had fun, but the whirl of the season moved so fast that it was gone before I had time to truly embrace the rest and joy of these holiday moments.
If you can relate, please sign-up below to receive a daily email from me with a scripture, reflection/devotional, and prayer to help you approach December with the intention that I believe God would have for us. Consider this your totally free Advent devotional that you can read in community and hopefully apply directly to your daily life.
I've added the devotional from day one below so you can get a taste of the kinds of things you'll be receiving every morning. If you like what you read, I would ask two things:
1. Please sign-up with your email to receive the daily devotional.
2. Please share with your friends. I wrote these words in response to a calling I felt God had for me and I would love as many people as possible to have access to them.
Thanks for being my people. I'm so humbled that you would honor me by reading these words.
Day 1: Intentional December
We are starting off the most heart warming and crazy making season of the year. But that’s the thing right? This is just a season; and we have complete control about how these thirty days will treat us and our people. It would be the easiest thing in the world to make it to every fifth cousin’s Christmas party and spend 10 grand on gifts, but that likely isn’t the wisest thing for our emotional or financial lives. Instead what if lives “marked by the gospel” didn’t just mean that we have nativity scenes on our windows and are well acquainted with Luke 2 this season, but that we are marked with held space for both rest and spontaneity and with the grace made possible by eliminating the frantic in favor of the sacred, the meaningful, the lasting. These thirty days we are pushing toward an intentional December together. Brace yourself with me, because that might mean saying “no” to the good, in order to say “yes” to the truly great.
Empower me to see how our lives can be marked by the gospel in this season. Show me how I can stand apart in the best ways. Demonstrate to me that Christmas can mean renewal and togetherness instead of frantic and hustle. Empower me to take up a goal of intentionality today even if that means saying “no” sometimes. Jesus let me encounter you in a fresh way as I pursue you by carving out a quiet space in the middle of this busy season.
1. Pear Cranberry Crumble Pie
This pie is actually everything. I have been on the hunt for the perfect apple pie, and honestly, while the closest I’ve found is on the blog, this is the BEST pie I have ever had. The pears have that harvest flavor and the buttery crumble is indulgent while the cranberry cuts the sweet and adds a layer of flavor. I used the all butter crust listed in the recipe, but I think her Crisco/butter crust is a little better. This is a sure winner and stand out on your Thanksgiving dessert table. I know I’ll be bringing mine to TWO gatherings this year.
2. Simple is Best Stuffing
This recipe was first shared with me on Shauna Niequist’s Instagram account. I trust her judgement and palate so much that I knew I needed to try it. I made this with a day old loaf of bread from the Kroger bakery, a few herbs, and some veggies and stock. It probably costs less than five dollars to make and if you are into real stuffing that is bready and vibrant - this is for you. I served this alongside some roasted chicken thighs and crispy maple dijon veggies but it would be a perfect Thanksgiving dish to impress your guests.
3. English Sea Salt Toffee
If you aren’t a pie person, but you need a little something, maybe something a little too fancy for the everyday, this toffee would be a perfect fit. While it looks super intimidating, it just isn’t. If you can hold a candy thermometer with one hand and stir with the other, you can make this toffee and it will only take you ten minutes. I left the nuts out of this recipe and added sea salt because I have a tree nut allergy, but if you don’t, add them back in! I’m sure the crunch would be even more perfect! Put these on the dessert table Thanksgiving day for your non-pie people, and send leftovers in home cookie tins tied up with a ribbon for the sweetest parting gift.
I am READY to start decking the halls. In fact, we are pretty much already doing it. I told myself, wait until after you host Friendsgiving, but of course I couldn't. So it's all Christmas all the time at our place. I am one of those people who need a playlist for every action, and one of my Christmas traditions is to start the season with a new playlist with all the new releases of the year. The link to my playlist is below and it will continue to be updated throughout the year, but here are the five I have on repeat right now!
Welcome! I'm a wife, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."