Two years ago, I was on bed rest the entire Christmas season, until Christmas night when she arrived over a month early. I spent part of that time in the hospital and part of it at home. I will never forget the loneliness and sadness I felt during those days in the hospital. I longed to be home as a family with my husband and our three children. I longed to connect with those I loved. When I finally got released, I had strict orders to stay in bed. Consequently, that Christmas, everything was simplified. There was no other option. It made me slow down in ways I appreciate so much. We snuggled a lot. Watched movies together and listened to a lot of Christmas music.

Now, two years later, I use those days and the simplicity we discovered as a guide. The Christmas season offers us all so much to do, to buy, to make. Everywhere we look we can find advent ideas, random acts of kindness ideas, present ideas, invitations for one event after the next. And in all of these wonderful ideas and events , we can easily become lost. 

I have found that there is a balance that we must find as a family. That saying no to many things, even good things, creates time and space for us to connect more. I find that there is such beauty in the simple unexpected daily connections. This week while making lunch one afternoon, I watched as our four children sang and danced to Christmas music in the kitchen. We sat and talked about who we could pray for this season; who God wants us to see, that perhaps we haven’t noticed. Our teenage daughter helped me decorate amidst beautiful conversation. We spontaneously made ornaments with our cousins. This weekend our home will be filled with college kids as we celebrate Christmas together before they have exams. 
I love this season and I cherish the traditions and celebrations so much, but I’ve learned to really appreciate the love and connections surrounding these days. 

Mamas, let’s not lose sight of WHAT we are celebrating. WHO we are celebrating. Let’s give ourselves and our families time to marvel in the wonder of our Savior’s birth and His love. Let’s pick the traditions we love most and let’s give ourselves grace to say no to others. No to the frenzy the world adds to this holiday. Let’s find time to connect, truly connect, with those we love the most. This will look differently for me and for you. Don’t let the season turn into another list of obligations or tasks to check off a list. There’s such beauty when we make time to see and feel the wonder that comes with Christmas. I pray that in the weeks ahead we can all experience this wonder. And through this wonder, I pray that we will all see more of Him in our daily life.