7 Tips for a Meaningful Holiday Season

You want a good holiday season. But you’re a human holding tough things. So how can you–and all of us–enjoy the holidays? Here’s 7 practical tips I believe will help all of us live the holidays fully and without regret.

1. Create boundaries.

When I say create boundaries, I mean it. Create them everywhere and be ruthless. Social media, entertainment, how you spend your evenings, your morning routine, all the things you can think of that need intentional care. We should always have boundaries in our lives, but during the holidays it’s good to reevaluate and adjust where needed. Create boundaries that clear clutter out of your mind and help you more easily choose the valuable ways to finish your year well. Without extra noise, you will have the capacity to slow down and savor your life as it is today, and this makes your holidays much more meaningful. Read more

Celebrating ONE Year of A Pygmy’s Life for Me!

Today’s marks one year of A Pygmy’s Life for Me being in the world! I’ve loved giving adults and kids a place on the shelf. A Pygmy’s Life for Me has spoken straight to the hearts of those who have or who are struggling with the label of “good,” but it’s also been a fun and comforting read to those who are just walking their way through life.

The broken darkness of this world holds no respect for Christian kids in good homes. And we’ve got to get that in our heads! A “good” kid’s battle-torn heart, inward mind games, and difficulties are nuanced in ways that fly underneath the radar all the time. No one is exempt from the broken darkness of life on earth. THANKFULLY GOD IS GREATER! And we have answers to questions like: Read more

Garden Delights & Surprises from God

I believed this year would be one for tending all the things already in my life. And I was right. To an extent. But God has given me so many more gifts and invited me to be a part of so much beauty. At some point, I realized there were surprises I needed to record.

Things like roses going into my flowerbed before next spring. I didn’t even plan to have a flowerbed, but I watched one too many gardening shows with Monty Don and before I knew it I was clearing out a place for flowers the next time spring came round. I even began to plan and dream for what I may plant there.

But then our nephews brought us rose clippings from their grandmother’s grand rose collection. And now I have a flowerbed with four different roses and another smaller bed for another type of rose. They are doing well and I hope and believe they have had enough time to get a good root system going before the winter season.Before my friend moved away she gave me a wildflower seed packet. I bravely pushed those seeds in a gardening pot only to find a few months later that zinnias were the shining gift. I’ve had dark and light pink blooms. And the zinnias keep coming back!

I even had enough clippings to make a small centerpiece on my table. I dreamed up zinnia bouquets for next spring, but got to enjoy a little bouquet teaser this fall. I love being surprised with gifts likes these!

In August, I intensely pruned my snapdragons and didn’t expect a big show after the fact. I had a woeful spring and summer season with them and didn’t have high hopes. . . only to discover stunning beauty in September and October with the healthiest and fullest blooms I had seen in a long while. Snapdragons hold a special place in this novice gardener’s heart so it was such personal and kind gift from God!

Watching my tiny “rosebush” bloom had my heart singing, “WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES!!”

I think that can be a sentence that sums up this year. What a difference a day makes! What a difference God’s light makes! What a difference God works with His healing and love and presence!

How different my life would be if God didn’t make the difference.

As I head into this season of savoring all God has done and is doing, I can’t help but be thrilled for the joy that is and the joy that is to come. These garden surprises may seem small, but they’ve been such a deep delight. God knows just how to delight His children. . .truly, fully, personally.

Take a moment. Look at your life. How has God delighted you with His presence? His gifts? His healing? His life-filled surprises? The beauty He’s invited you into?

A honky dory holiday fog is not required for you to see the joy, comfort, and hope God is carving into all the heartbroken places of your year and your soul.

Oh, how we can love life because of God. He makes it worth savoring and celebrating even as we hold this tension of pain and blessing while trusting Him with everything. . . our whole hearts, our open hands, our honest questions. In thy presence there is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

And we resolve with Habakkuk, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.”

Let’s taste fullness of joy and trust God with the tension and tragedy we hold. Let’s come with souls filled up and hearts poured out as we give thanks for this unconventional life. Let’s rejoice always and anyway. Let’s do all of this today.

Let’s begin now.

Sweet & Captivating Summertime

It’s taken years, but I’m learning to enjoy the season I’m least inclined to love–summertime! I’m learning to soak in the summer with all its fast-paced busyness. I’m learning to run with it. . . whatever the day brings. . .however my plans change.

And everything comes alive in the summertime.

My porch garden warms up in the spring and then demands my attention as summer comes bustling through the door. My workplace becomes full of opportunities to meet, fellowship, and minister to other people and I’m forced to get intentional. My life gets bombarded by the reality of my weaknesses and suddenly I’m looking long and hard into grace.

And I’m full of gratitude for God’s gift of it!

I love having fun with guy. Laughter really is our pastime!

The last time I wrote something new for my blog was June 3rd! I knew that this was a season for letting go of my blog. I would rather cultivate my life than force myself to fit into a blogging agenda that takes away from my life. I’m getting better at saying no and I’m living better because of it!

But here’s an update for you! Read more