Is anybody else just totally freaking out that next week is Thanksgiving? I put things on the calendar that I will have to reschedule, because I didn’t even realize it’s already that time. I will be out of town, and literally haven’t even put two and two together that Monday, yes THIS MONDAY, is when I leave to be with my family! WHAT? Where did November go?/my brain…?
Somebody, please tell me that you also have been a semi-hot mess lately. And even if you haven’t been… just lie to me and say you have been. 😉 For a glimpse at the crazy: Yesterday, in a matter of one hour, I managed to turn the corner and run into my superhuman baby who crawls faster than, I swear, any other baby on the planet. Shin to face. And, alas, we have a black eye. Then, I proceeded to accidentally knock him on his face as I was guiding him toward his dad. And then, to top it all off, I turned for 20 seconds while I started dinner to find him in our pantry playing with the plastic knives.
Can I get an “Alleluia!!” that Fridays are Daddy day?
Gosh, this year has flown by. Between the obvious of having my first baby and work, and then the other intricacies of life and relationships that can ebb and flow with a dash of crazy, I just really cannot believe Thanksgiving is here and the holiday season is already back. Would you agree it’s pretty valid to say that this time of year most of us are battling the lie and tendencies of “more, more, more?” Do more, see more, have more. The “crazy notch” goes up a few for the next two months. More than any other time of the year, we find ourselves just trying to keep up with our overcommitments and -worse- desire to spend more, have more, and *as if money could bring this* be more. If we aren’t careful, the holidays can quickly be marked by a time of proving ourselves. But isn’t it meant to be, the heart of the holidays, the complete opposite?
For a long time, the word “simple” felt like a cuss word… Simple? Nobody gets what they want by being SIMPLE. But, friend, can I encourage you? Can I challenge you? What if this year was different? What if rather than falling into the same routine of keeping up, feeling always a few steps behind, you took it slow? What if you recognized with gratitude all the blessings surrounding you at a pace in which you can truly soak it in? What if you chose to keep things simple this year?
Perhaps you have heard- I am releasing my first real, downloadable, printable devotional next week. It will be available on November 23rd, the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a two week study, diving into scripture about the greatest gifts God gave us through Jesus. The gift of hope, fearlessness, love, prayer… just to name a few. I wrote this devotional in a way that every member of the family can grasp. I wrote it simply, fun, and clear so that the both the 4 year old and the 64 year old can benefit from the simplest truths of the Gospel. See, if you ask me, we have done a really good job complicating everything in life, but especially who God is. People are so divided. We can’t even agree within the Church (the captial “C”, everybody who believes Church) about hardly anything, let alone outside the body of believers. *I just made myself delete a long rant about the division in the church to help stay a little more focused in this post that is meant to be about simplicity and living a focused life… baby steps.*
Though this devotional is labeled a “Family Devotional,” because of its ability to speak to the youngest member of your family, I really do feel confident in saying that this is for you, too. Sometimes, the greatest gift we can give ourselves is simplicity. What if all of us reminded ourselves of the simplest truth of who Jesus is, and chunked everything else that doesn’t matter out the window? OH HAPPY DAY! The most pivotal, life-changing moments in my own walk with God, and in Paul’s, have been when we simplified our faith. When we stopped complicating things. Quite literally for Paul, it was when he read the Jesus Storybook Bible to kids as a counselor at camp and remembered the simplest truths about Jesus. Following Jesus is honestly simple. Easy? No. But simple, yes. Why is it simple? Because he’s done the paving of the road for you. We are called to run on it. He’s gone before you. You need only be faithful.
I cannot wait to share this labor of love with you. I cannot wait to see parents feel confident and empowered opening scripture up in their homes with their kids. I cannot wait to hear of college roommates sitting down and doing this together in the midst of finals to remember that, though school and life is crazy right now, the truth of Jesus’ love is simple and unchanging.
Thank you in advance for inviting my family into your home this holiday season. I hope it feels like we are sitting together in your living room, pajamas on and cocoa in hand, learning about Jesus together. My burden and vision for this devotional is that you would feel equipped to spiritually lead in your home- whatever that home and living situation might look like.
So much love for you,
Burgundy Pinafore Dress: @shoplandrykate
All photos by Cottonwood Road Photography for The Cake by Hannah