About the Author

Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, counselor, and life coach. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You. She's also wife to Mark, Mom to Lovelle, and Nana to Eula and Clem.

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  1. Holley, I DID run someone over with my shopping trolley! I was just so impatient and frustrated and just worn out. Please don’t think you’re alone in this at all!
    What I’m trying to practice this year is the spiritual art of slowing down and remembering why this is ‘The most wonderful time of the year’ and the spiritual actions of not trying to meet the, often ridiculous, expectations of myself and others but, instead, to spend time I think I haven’t got,unwrapping the glorious gift of Him.
    Looking to my Father and ONLY doing what I see Him doing.
    I get it wrong all the time but then I remember again that is why He came as a babe in Bethlehem and died, my Saviour at Calvary.
    Holley thank you for your post and the great reminder that I am not, but I know I AM

    • Ruth! I think that I get to read these devos early, but you are reading waay before me in Tunisia (we teach English here)! Just thought I’d say “Hi!” to you since I’m reading before the US women will be! I hope to join you in the “Looking to my Father and ONLY doing what I see Him doing” this week. 🙂

  2. Holley,
    Today I will go to court with my son (for about the 5th time). He will plead guilty to dui. He will have his license revoked for a year, have to take a substance abuse class, do community service, pay court and mounting attorney costs – rightfully so due to poor judgment on his part. He needs a Savior. I have been far less than merry – understandably so…I NEED a Savior. Just because Christmas comes, life does not stop taking its twists and turns, but our human reactions to those twists and turns remind us just how much we are in need of saving!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • I kinda know what your feeling. Only my dad is the one who needs a saviour, when I was 18 I had to go to court with him to interpret for him since he wasn’t that great at speaking English. Praying for your son.

    • Bev;
      I have been where you are! Take heart, dear sister! I try to remember that God uses ALL things for His good. This can be a little tough when you are jolted awake at 3 a.m. by the phone and at the other end is your beloved child saying “Mom, can you come get my car, I’m going to jail.” But… ALL things, not just the happy moments or the “I’m so proud of you” moments. I will be praying for you and your child!

    • Bev,

      Prayers for you as you travel down this road with your son. It is never easy to watch your children mess up. It’s even harder when you’ve raised them to be good Christians and they just seem to go down the wrong road.

      Blessed Lord,

      Please be with Bev today as she is going to court with her son. Give her the words to say and the strength to endure this trial. Help her son to see that he needs you now more than ever.

      AMEN!

  3. Holley great post and a reminder that I do need a SAVIOUR. That is exactly who and what I need right now!! Bev I will pray for your son tonight that he will take refuge in Him in his time of need and that GOD will be with you both today xx

  4. Bev I will be praying for you both today. What a beautiful picture of grace as you stand WITH your son in the middle of the mess. It’s God with us the hope of Glory and you’re walking that out as your heart breaks I’m certain.

  5. I struggled with a deep depression and spiritual darkness all through Thanksgiving, so I get it! Then, by God’s grace, he brought me into a season of refreshing. May you be refreshed too.

    Bev, your comment so touched my heart. I want to reach out and hug you tight! Your son’s path is much like my brother’s. Many DUI’s, time spent in jail, rebellious heart that showed itself in more outward, obvious sins (rather than those ones that are easily hidden or excused). And then The Lord grabbed him so tightly and his life has been transformed. Keep believing, praying, and trusting Bev!

    • Hi Mandy: I can really relate to your holiday that was filled with depression. I suffer from Clinical Depression & Bi-Polar problems. It’s so devastating and like a pit of despair that you can’t physically get out it. I know that when I stay connected to family and friends it helps. Also sunlight and getting enough sleep is important. Stay close to Lord is a must do it even if you feel you can’t just a few verses from Psalms. The comforting thing is that the Holy Spirit is intervening on your behalf. After an episode, I have a clearer and deeper commitment to the Lord and a stronger faith and hope. I encourage to seek professional help if you deal with this on an ongoing basis. I hope you have an understanding husband and family because that is so important. Wishing you blessings! Hang on and hang in there. Let go and let God …. Smiles Jeri 🙂

  6. Thank you, Holley. – it was so encouraging for me to read your post!!

    Christmas has never been an easy time for me. I am, now, at 64, the last in my family and have been for many years. So, yes, I certainly need my Saviour!!!! This year, I am feeling His peace in a new way as I seek to abide in Him and make a conscious choice to be far less busy with the Christmas rush. I am also trying to reach out to others who may be lonely as well.

    I will pray for His peace to touch each of your hearts, dear sisters.

    Laura

  7. Thank you the reminder of his love and grace for us. This holiday season has been especially rough for my husband and I. 6 months ago we miscarried our first child after 4 years of trying. We are trying to just get though the holidays without falling apart but I know if we stumble he will be there to pick us up and carry us. Please pray for comfort and peace for us during this time and that our prayers are answered in his prefect timing.

  8. I am amazed at how God gives grace through NAPS this time of year- when I care for my body I find I am a lot less cranky and stressed with family and friends. Sometimes we need Jesus to save us from our own self-destructive habits.

  9. Holly… Thanks for keeping it real. We ARE all human and we ALL need a SAVIOUR! Next time my impatience rises, I will remember this article and chuckle and confess…Merry Christmas!!!

  10. Thank you! LOVE the reminder that this is the season of NEEDING a savior not perfecting the pretending of NOT needing one. Amen!

    • Great reminder Holley, and thank you Karmen! What a great way to say it: “[t]his is the season of NEEDING a savior not perfecting the pretending of NOT needing one.” May I use that phrase in my Christmas letter this year, please? 🙂
      Soli Deo Gloria ~ In His Grace, Kay in VA

  11. Holley, you make me smile. Thank you for your truly honest and beautiful sharing of yourself and God’s love.

  12. Thanks Holley….on December 18 it will be the 8th anniversary of my sister’s death…she was the victim of a murder-suicide. Since then, obviously, Christmas has not been the same. Three years ago I had someone actually ream me out because I said this isn’t my favorite time of year, and when i told her why, she said she didn’t care, that it’s still Jesus’ Birthday. whoooo. Anyway, I have accepted my sister’s death, and I have forgiven the one who took her life and then his own, but it’s still not a joyous time of year for me. Thanks for your post today. It was very comforting.

  13. I soooo needed to hear this!!! So many times during the holidays I feel depressed because I don’t have that “happier than anything” feeling. Thank you for reminding me that Christmas is all about needing a Savior and to focus on the grace God gives everyday!

  14. Holly,

    I am nine months pregnant and have found that many strangers seem to have less grace for me during this time than the more grace I feel should be given. I jave felt many times like people would like to just run me over or get me out of the way, and I’m not even terribly slow! It’s definitely brought my Christmas spirit down a notch this year. Even though I’ve worked in retail through many Xmas seasons I am more suprized by the “me first” spirit this year than I have ever been. I find myself not wanting to go out, and wanting to avoid crowds even if it means missing activities I love. So when I read your post it gave me a lot of courage. Next time I say “Merry Xmas” to the person who just cut me off, I will be more honest about it. Or maybe I’ll remember to whisper a prayer for their holidays to not feel so frenzied.

  15. Thanks so much for sharing. You captured it exactly. Now I can stop beating up on myself for acting so much like the world and accept the grace the God offers.

  16. Holley,
    You–such grace and love–thank you for your honesty…it is love poured over us…to know we are not alone in this wildly spinning world this time of year…to know we are okay being just as we are…and needing a Savior! Praise Him for the gift of you! Chocolate…yes, CHOCOLATE…all the time…everywhere!

  17. Thanks for the beautiful devotion Holly, Yes, we do need a Saviour in our daily lives. Without that Saviour, we cannot make it on our own. The Saviour has been extremely good to me this 2013. I am holding on to his unchanging hands. While I pray for my daughter and son inlaw, that they receive that Saviour, A Saviour who gives joy, peace, love, understanding, I need your prayers for my daughter and son inlaw, that they accept that Saviour in their lives, and they’ll taste and see how sweet the Saviour is. You all are in my prayers. God bless you Holly

  18. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and heart. The Lord reminded me a few weeks ago as I was not looking forward to Christmas that it’s ALL ABOUT HIM! Not about me. That is helping me put everything in prospective as I battle negative thoughts and feelings. I am thankful for His gentle reminders. And I want to glorify Him. Praying for you dear sisters who shared your thoughts and struggles. WE are in this together, and best of all, HE IS WITH US! Thank you, Holley, for letting us share.

  19. Right there with you. I have fantasies of running away at this time of year…going to a cabin in the middle of the woods where nobody can find me and hibernating until winter is over. Yes, I am desperate for Jesus. The commercialization of Christmas drives me crazy and I just want simplicity. I can quickly go into comparison mode at this time of year and that just catapults me into the pit. I just want Jesus.

  20. This sis Great, I needed this. I’m a widow 2 years 5th of this month,life for me is not as it was ,thought’s are not the same and yet I well know that life goes on and that is your saving grace, but it is still hard. So not to be so hard on yourself and be gentle with yourself is a thinking process that can help give strength.

  21. This hits it on the good ole noggin! Mixture of holy and holly. Do you know the Amy Grant song “I Need a Silent Night”? She covers that longing to get close to the Lord during this season and the difficulties encountered by our American cultural celebration!

  22. This kind of goes along with your laughter post the other day…I didn’t run someone over with my cart (although I must admit, I’ve thought about it)…I was so distracted and in such a hurry in the store that I walked off with a cart that was not my own! I didn’t realize it until I was clear across the other side of the store. I went to put something in my cart and didn’t recognize any of it’s contents. I sheepishly (and quickly I might add) made my way to where I thought it happened, found MY cart, and parked the “stolen” cart alongside the video aisle I was pondering at the time I got distracted. Tis’ the season!

  23. Holley I kind of think your perfect(sorry for saying that.. I hate when people set me up for failure like that:/) but really I do :)So for you to talk about such inner struggles gives me a renewed sense of hope that I am not alone! Blessings on your head as you focus on the coming Savior.

  24. Nicole …… Always bothers me when I see ‘Merry Xmas’ – did u know that saying takes ‘Christ’ out of Christmas. Let’s keep it ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ !!!! :). There is Already So Much stuff in our world trying to push ‘Christ’ right out of Christmas!

  25. Nicole, bless you at this very special time of your life-about to give birth. How truly special. May The Lord grace you with a healthy delivery of your baby! Hoping your Christmas is joyful.
    Beautiful reflection Holly

  26. Thanks Holly, I was just feeling a bit disconnected and you words of encouragement have blessed me.

  27. Oh how does it always happen that I go on This website and the post is written for me. I have been pretty grumpy and just yesterday I had the thought that I really must be a heathen and I don’t even know it. Thank you much for this post. Yes I really do need Jesus, and its just crazy that he wants me.

  28. Thanks, Holley for such a poignant message today. Sometimes the DOING of Christmas smothers out the peace and fulfillment we’re all trying so hard to find this time of year. You are certainly not alone…I want to throw in the towel a lot of times, and have to take a breather to refocus. I pray we can all find time to let Jesus find His rightful place in our busy celebrations, and that we remember WHY we celebrate this special holiday in the first place. Love and Blessings to all who have a difficult time feeling joyous this Christmas.

  29. I struggle with being sad during Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. Haven’t had my husband home for the last 3 Christmases. Don’t know when he will be able to come home. It brings an emptiness in my heart and my childrens hearts too. I try really hard to make it special for them. I want them to know we are celebrating the existance of our Savoir Jesus Christ & how blessed we are. I just wish this pain of him being away would subside or have him come home already!! :0). Family is the biggest gift. Never take it for granted. Merry Christmas everyone. Thank you Holley for your encouragement.

  30. Love this! I have simplified my Christmas over the last several years, and have learned to manage my holiday stress much better because of it. When I first became a mom, it got bad again, as I tried to add to much in, but I realized my reaction was taking away the joy, much more than leaving out an activity or two (or 10!). I am trying to convey this idea this year over on my blog, with my Reaching for Christmas series. Thanks for your thoughts, I’ll be posting this on my blog’s Facebook and Twitter accounts!

  31. Years ago I read that X was an abriviation for Christ from long ago so now when I see it I just see a cross laying on it’s side. God is so good.

  32. “The moments when I fall are when the message of Christmas means most of all.” Those are the words that flashed in neon for me. Thank you, Holley, for reminding us that we don’t have to be merry elves every minute. Jesus understands and he’s ready to come alongside and supply whatever we need (Phil. 4:19). What a glorious Savior!

  33. Thank you! This message is trully what Christmas is all about… the gift of a Savior to save me when I am not looking so spiritual or festive.

  34. Thank you, Holley! This is such a good reminder. I especially like your statements “struggling at the holidays is just proof that what Christmas is all about is true: I need a Savior. And the same grace that covers me the rest of the year is there for me in my unmerry moments, too.” Praise God!

  35. Holley, can you believe the number of women God encourages through your timely postings? I thank Him for your sweet influence and gentle encouragement in my life!

  36. Hi Holly,
    Oh, I can identify with this, especially last week when I was sick and PMSing all at the same time…fun times…not…now I”m just sick and still trying to get over a cold. I’ve experience the grump Christmas ‘tude from the other end. I work in retail and I’m getting a lot of that frustration from customers and it’s hard on me….because I’m also having to spend time away from my family and work crazy crazy hours, just so someone can spend a few dollars less on an item then they normally would…and I’m having to remember to pray for those people instead and that isn’t easy…but I do like grace…and I also love, love, love that His mercies are new every morning, too 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂 🙂 🙂

  37. Thanks for sharing that. After my divorce, my ex husband would alway have the kids at Christmas and so I would always get depressed and cry a lot. Because the perfect little family I had dreamed of—had fallen apart. But in 2004, I got saved and one if the things God did was give me Christmas back. And he showed me it is not only about the lights and trees and presents, although that is fun, it’s about our hearts. And Martha Minuzzi sings a song called “White Christmas” and it’s about it being a white Christmas for the rest of our lives. Out with the old and in with the new. So now I love Christmas and I am so thankful that he came to earth to rescue us and put the broken pieces of our lives back together. Merry Christmas to all!

  38. Thank you Holley, this truly blesses me. I’ve often felt like everyone else “has it together” each Christmas season. It’s so refreshing to read your story then read the comments and see that we are ALL in this together! 🙂
    Merry Christmas!

  39. This was so fitting after my weekend! Thanks for putting it into perspective. I’m going to share with a couple of friends!

  40. This email is right on time…as I sit along the road with a flat tire, a mile from work, while out Christmas shopping during my lunch break!!! Thanks once again for keeping it real!!!

  41. Thank you Holley for putting your feelings out there, feeling that I have too! As the BIG DAY closes in I can feel the tightness in my chest grow stronger. I’M SUPPOSED TO FEEL HAPPY!! The recipe is there for happiness: time with my family and close friends! It’s all this running around ahead of time that gets me down. I know Christmas Day will be what it’s supposed to be, a day of celebrating Jesus’ birth with prayer and thanksgiving, a day of celebrating with my children and grandchildren. I ask my Lord to help me keep these days before Christmas in perspective as I prepare for His Special Day!

  42. Dear Holly. You most certainly are not alone. Dear ladies thank you for sharing your hearts and concerns so honestly. May we all slow down, breathe deep of His peace in the midst of our not so Norman Rockwell experiences, be present in the moment with those we love knowing that NOW faith is…He is …present with us and enjoy the simple pleasures. God bless us all.

  43. Again … what more can I say but “Thank you”!! I have definitely felt like a bit of a humbug lately. Perhaps because I leave everything until the last minute and then wonder why I feel rushed.

    I’ll try and take your advice … lighten up … on myself … like the twinkle lights on the tree (oops not up yet) and feel there is hope for me and I’m not alone.

  44. I love this post because it speaks to so many of us in a real way. I love chocolate and I love Jesus! I need both to keep me going this season! When people trip me or look at me strange I give them the biggest thank you and a great big smile! Works every time!

  45. Holly and others who commented,

    Thanks for your loving kindness. I have definitely been reflecting on this post today, and I really appreciate that there are so many women here who are helping to strengthen and encourage others.
    I realized too that expecting everyone to be graceful and merry all the time, even just during this season is like expecting there to be no need for a savior. I definitely know I need Christ, so hopefully I will remember that for all of the not so great encounters. After all there have been times when I’ve wanted people to hurry up or get out of the way!

  46. Thank you, Clare.
    Heather 🙂 🙂 :), I know what you’re going through. Thankfully my husband and I decided that working the holiday hours in retail wasn’t worth the sacrifice. But atbthe same time I also know what its like to have to work them or look forward to the hours and wages earned. I’ll be oraying for you and some others who posted. I pray that along with God restoring you, you will have comforts that help bring joy to your workplace. Maybe a nicely scented antibacterial hand sanitizer, plently of water, and another Christian sister with whom to exchange glances when you need some extra prayer.

  47. Holly, I so needed that today. Thank you. No, you are not alone!
    “It’s a time for celebration because the moments when I fall are when the message of Christmas means most of all. ” Yes!

  48. I always seem to struggle this time of year! My birthday is December 11th, exactly 2 weeks before Christmas. There is so much going on that sometimes I feel lost in the shuffle of life. Everyone wants to know what I want…ugh!! It is really hard for me to ask for things…one- I’m not sure exact what I would like; two- I’m afraid of disappointment and three-it hurts too much to expect anything. I too would like Christmas to be simpler! To be able to slow down and truly enjoy! Without all these expectations… does it really matter in the scheme of eternity?

  49. Oh I am way more hideous than that, I cut some poor person off in traffic! I feel awful! I was SO embarrassed by my behavior that I couldn’t even bear to look in the rear-view mirror and wave that I was sorry… I felt pitiful for days.
    Thanks be to God He will save us from this body of death!
    Thank you for sharing this, I needed to forgive myself today 🙂
    Suzanne

  50. Holley,

    Dear sister, rest assured that you are NOT alone. In fact, I’m convinced that there are enough “God’s Grumpy Girls” to wreak holiday havoc that would leave the Grinch shuddering in a corner in the fetal position!

    I pray the Lord richly blesses you and your ministry of beautifully delivered and much needed to hear words. Your vulnerability and heartfelt sharing speaks volumes!

    I’ve been recently diagnosed with ADD and have suffered the symptoms and negative impacts of undiagnosed/untreated ADD for at least 15 years. (As well as those closest to me.)

    Understandably, the holiday season (Thanksgiving and Christmas) is always extremely challenging for me. Planning, organizing, remembering proved in vain because it often lead to a place of procrastination, chaos, and forgetfulness regardless of effort. I felt like failure and discouragement lurked every corner and I was a continual source of disappointment to my family and friends.

    This year is different. I now know the why and how behind my challenges of seemingly simple tasks. And not just that, I’m on meds and I’m learning new skills to turn my weaknesses into strengths.

    I’m also discovering how important it is to accept God’s grace during this time. If He can extend mercy and forgiveness and I’m created in His image, I need to show myself grace and forgiveness.

    Your post is a good reminder on what’s most important. We all lose focus, we get distracted, we get stuck in the hustle and bustle. God knows this and continually chooses to love us through it. Ladies, let’s make it a priority to be still and reflect on His goodness despite all that is going on around us.

    • Joyce I am still laughing at your opening line….I’m convinced that there are enough “God’s Grumpy Girls” to wreak holiday havoc that would leave the Grinch shuddering in a corner in the fetal position! Love it!! Going through menopause has been one of the most interesting experiences of my life. The times when I just don’t feel like my jovial self, have been very eye opening and I know that I am definitely in need of my Savior and less self-condemnation! Thanks for the giggle. Blessings!

  51. Hey Holley,
    You are a gem….and yes, we need a Savior, every day, and maybe even more, during the holidays 🙂 Merry Christmas…keep shining…you made me laugh w/ your chocolate comment 🙂

  52. Thanks Holly for the post. You just reminded me that I can never be perfect and I should learn to live with it. If I was indeed perfect, Christ shouldn’t have come to the world. it’s all about him and I truly need him

  53. ” It’s a time for celebration because the moments when I fall are when the message of Christmas means most of all.” Love that Holley! It even rhymes. 🙂 Will pray for your son Bev. Your faith has touched my life with your blog and trust The Lord will use you in a mighty way with your son too.

  54. Thank you for approaching this in such a “real” way. We are real. The problems and difficulties and grief that sometimes surround this holiday are real. The stress is real. And our Savior is very, very REAL.
    Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  55. Thank you so much…I feel better already…I do need a Savior…..I love reading your posts..it’s like sitting down with a friend….thank you again many blessings.

  56. ” It’s a time for celebration because the moments when I fall are when the message of Christmas means most of all.” – YES!!! That’s why this year is different for me. It’s been a year of falling flat on my face in some major ways – but the result has been really encountering Jesus for the first time in my decades long dance with religion. Thank you for saying so perfectly what my heart has been feeling this Christmas season!!!

  57. Holly, you a always refreshing! You have reminded me to slow down, get rid of “false guilt” and “perfectionism” and live a life of vulnerability and grace…. always pointing to Jesus, thank you for your wisdom

  58. As always this was One-time! So glad to know that I’m not alone. Thank you.. Will definitely pass this forward!

  59. Holly:),
    Greetings from Australia! I love your words and identify with being only too human BUT for Jesus and grace that assures I am loved.
    That is the key, desiring more of Jesus being with Him and letting His heart replace mine.
    Then loving others just increases.
    Happy Christmas everyone!:)
    .

  60. If love is patient, kind, remembers no wrongs…. then I think love eats chocolate when it has PMS, has naps when it’s tired, watches fun things on tv and enjoys a hot chocolate. Then love is able to love.

  61. Thank you so much for your post Holley! Sometimes I feel like a grinch this time of year. I’d love to fucus only on the Lord but have kids and grandkids that expect presents. Christmas has become so commercialized….sad but true, right? You made me realize that I’m not alone in not feeling the “joy” of the season when it comes to shopping, etc…..am so thankful for the Lord putting you in this place! Lord bless you and hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas!!

  62. Loved reading this Holley !!! Thank you, thank you for being part of confirming this to be an upside-down time!! Yes, this season I definitely NEED a savior. Sorry but I had to do a little dance and hand clap on this one. Thank you Father !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Thank you Holley; your post was perfect timing for me. I’m so glad I’m not alone and can relate to you and others. I become overwhelmed this time of the year (no matter how organized and cutting back I do) and get frustrated with myself because this is supposed to be a time of love, cheerfulness, and happiness. All the advertising on TV, radio, newspapers, sale flyers, email messages, etc only make it worse; it makes us geared up which is only for marketing purposes. Many people are missing the main purpose of Christmas; that being the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let’s all keep that at the forefront of our thinking so we can have peace, love, and joy in our hearts. I wish we could have coffee and a chat this morning; I could use a hug and a reminder that I am loved unconditionally. Blessings, Nancy in Delawarre

  64. Glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles this time of year. I’m working really hard on bringing Christ back into my heart and back into Christmas.

  65. Oh Holly – THANK YOU!! If someone as adorable and gracious as you wants to run someone over with a shopping cart, there is hope for me yet!

    I really needed this post…thanks… NO, YOU ARE SO NOT ALONE!!

    God Bless You!
    Lina

  66. Holley, these past few weeks have been filled with the difficulties of participating on a committee that made a recommendation for school consolidation. After many months of research and collective discussion, our presentation was made and poorly received. My love of Advent and Christmas, even as I made special quiet time for Advent prayer, has seemed to be overshadowed by busyness with this matter. This post gave me pause to reflect on the coming of our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, and I am going to give it all up to Him, who forgives and loves me, and refocus on the greatest gift ever to be given, the birth of Jesus!

  67. Youi are so precious. I read the first your message just now. I had to laugh. I so saw myself. I was just having a grouchy moment. I told myself to calm down. God does give me strength for everything. Drink some more of my Chai Tea. 🙂 It works!!!

  68. Hi! Holley. Always love to read your post . I could feel the connection with your words of encouragement.
    Whatever difficult time we may have from now and then, let us have the faith so that we can move forward to a better day.
    My best wishes to all of you here. A blessing Christmas.
    From Fukuoka , Japan.

  69. Holley, Thanks. I smiled too at the serious thought of ‘running over someone…” I can well associate with the unmerry feeling, especially when ’tis the season to be jolly.
    A couple days ago, some of my Girl Guides’ agreed to go to one of our Seniors’ Home after school,to pray and sing some Christmas songs. They were to bring along a fruit basket for the folks as well. One girl emailed me that she had a music practice and couldn’t make it. One emailed that she would be there. I didn’t hear from the others, but presumed they were going as it was all planned. Lo and behold, when I got to the school, they were no where in sight! One girl had asked me to pick her up at another location,so it was just the two of us out of twelve. I had brought gifts for them all so I just gave the one who came and said maybe we’d try again. I was disappointed, and reminded myself that Advent is a time of ‘waiting’ so I wait for another occasion. (-: Thanks for the encouragement too.

  70. ‘Take the pressure off’ by just ‘PRIORTIZING’ – instead of allowing all the ‘BOMBARDMENTS of Commercialism & senseless ‘PRESSURE’ -U can ‘Choose’ to ‘CELEBRATE’ ALL YR. by ‘donating Time & N R G’ to those who REALLY need to be BLESSED- & U WILL be AMAZED @ how ‘FULLFILLED’ Life can be (instead of just ‘filling baskets ONCE/yr & TRYING to pay for it the REST of the yr.” Time we have IS ‘SHORT’- COMPARED to ALL eternity(HE IS watching)

  71. 1der what’d happen if every1 would Actually ‘Seek’ Jehovah like a 75% OFF SALE’,’ ‘Superbowl fan n 32* weather’,or ‘an ALL nite,in the cold, deer hunter’?? (Probably ‘a TURNED AROUND NATION’,huh?)

  72. Thank you, Holly! It is the ‘feelings’ I have trouble with; it’s the issue of the clean house and perfect Christmas card look of the house. I’m a pastor so my priority has to be parishioners, but it leaves my space woefully wanting. Thanks for reminding me God doesn’t expect perfection from me!

  73. Holly, thank you for this beautiful message! My family definitely needs a Saviour! My husband and I have been struggling financially for 3 yrs now..and Christmas is always harder when you have little ones expecting gifts on Christmas day.. so yes, Jesus, our Saviour we look to you!

  74. I got a blessing. The court waived fees from an eviction process against a tenant that never paid on time and now has not paid for four months. Inspite of the circumstance I’m being blessed.
    I cried because the probate began by my deceased husband’s family. I felt it was an unnecessary suffering to go through probate. Sixteen years of good almost perfect marriage are winding down at a chamber room. Absence of a will and a trust is doing it. My prayer is that God will give me a forgiving heart to the matter.
    Christmas will be the celebration of Him only and some slices of ham and green beans cassarole.
    Wow! House is warm now as I write. A friend just got it running. Praise the Lord!
    We all need grace for everyday unmerry moments and times.
    Thank you for your message, Holley.

    • Marina,

      Prayers for all that you are going through. May God surround you with His loving arms and continue to give you a heart of forgiveness. I pray you have a blessed Christmas.

  75. While trying to get a “holiday” program together for the public school where I teach music, I truly began to dread the Christmas season… especially when we needed to start practicing the music in October to be ready for an early December concert. This blog post came at just the right time for me…reminding me to cut myself and my students some slack in a society that barely recognizes the REAL meaning of Christmas,; it also demonstrates me that my actions and attitude really CAN reflect my faith, even in the craziness of the commercial holidaze….as long as I keep the Holy Spirit by my side. THANKS HOLLEY!

  76. As it seems to happen often…a bit ago I began to feel very frustrated, easily annoyed, resentful, bitter, and I seemed to have no problem pointing out the flaws in others…I knew it was time to read a devotional…this was just what I needed to hear. I praise God for His grace…not earned but freely given to me. I am in awe of His love.

  77. Holley,

    This post hit a nerve with me. I guess between my aging dad, work stress & the weather I’m just not feeling it this year. I just need time to refocus my energy, relax and just drink in more of the wonder of the Season of Christ’s Birth. I will try to listen to more Christmas music and drink in more of my Jesus!

    It is amazing to me that someone would leave Heaven and come in the form of a baby for this perverse and wicked world–or yet just little ol me. I marvel that He continues to forgive me and forget about all my sins.

  78. Thank you, Holly…no your not alone..this time of year can be especially difficult for those of us without children or grandchildren…sometimes you just feel like such an outsider amidst it all so u try to do all u can to just give to others and find your joy in giving…and I know a big part is being still and remembering how blessed I am. Thank u for your honesty….have a joy filled
    and blessed Christmas

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  80. somehow i missed this topic during the holiday seasons…. but while looking into my “holley” folder i came across this wonderful message that there is hope for me too, the reminder that grace is “even for the season” is soooo good!! i think i will use grace in the “new year” too, thanks holley