About the Author

Anjuli grew up as a missionary kid secretly wondering, “Why does everyone else understand what a relationship with Jesus is, but me?” It wasn’t until she ran into her fears instead of from them, that Anjuli found her voice and the love of God meeting her there. She is a...

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  1. Anjuli,

    You nailed it with these words: “From the outside, less seems miserable, yet as I step closer to Christ, I can see that less is actually everything. I loosen my grip on all the things I want. I open my hands. I let go.” Society states Christmas is all about buying gifts for others & having it all. While it is nice to give & receive gifts-we need to receive the greatest most precious gift ever given – Jesus Christ. Listen to two great songs about the true meaning of Christmas “Leaving Heaven” by Matthew West & “It’s about the Cross” by Go Fish. Leaving Heaven states that Jesus left the splendor of Heaven to come to broken Earth to save our sinful souls. Its about the Cross tells us that Christmas isn’t just about the usual things like manager, wise men, start-It’s about the cross & my sin. How Jesus came to be born once so that we could have real life. Once you hear those words & ponder the meaning you thought life will change. I know mine did.

    Blessings 🙂

  2. Anjuli your insight on your sin pierces my own heart.. I’m in my mid sixties and could of written that post myself! I still do exactly the same thing every year.. bust our budget.. as if we even have one at times:/
    The goal is to make everyone happy and I will be sure they all have an even amount of gifts and worthy gifts along with fun or useful gifts!
    The joy we see on their faces whether it’s in person or FaceTime is worth the bills I say.. until the month or two later as we struggle with medical bills and car repairs on top of the forgotten Christmas gift bills,
    do I promise to not do this again. We have 11 grandkids and 9 adults to lavish gifts on at Christmas. Birthdays are cash gifts. All that being said I love to do this but it’s their salvation that needs to be found not all the gifts we surprise them with. Half of our family knows and loves the Lord, half don’t., and although we profess and share where and when we can.. it’s Gods timing and I myself get closer to Him and weeping for my lack of stewardship in my household as a wife and grandmother.. my husband is sweet and allows do much then when we can’t make ends meet I watch him suffer and anguish over the mess until we find a way to make it work.. investment withdrawals or income tax returns. If the only merry thing about Christmas is gifts? Then we leave Jesus far away in the manger instead of the lavish love He’s given us becoming less as you said., and coming close to our hearts in doing so! Thank you for reminding me that I don’t want to have money ruling me and my hope and the peace to live.it does not! . only Jesus who brought us the Hope & Peace & Joy at Christmas can give us the gift.. eternal gift of life❣️ I will be praying for you and for me and many who try to buy happiness when all along it’s right here in our hearts and homes to give away.. free from our Creator! Blessings to and through you always ❤️

  3. Thank you for sharing your heart today. It is a battle I come across too and I thank you for the insight in conquering this! God bless you!

  4. You have described me to a tee!!! Shop-aholic for sure, and I hate myself for it!~~! You are so insightful, and your message has given me a new year’s resolution for sure!!

  5. Anjuli, I so appreciate your transparency! in my own struggle with wanting more, I need to remember that sometimes, that craving comes out of brokenness within me. And all that I really need is more of Jesus. Thank you for this beautiful, honest reminder.

  6. Looking at what others have, and comparing ourselves to them completely robs of of our own joy. I do the same thing. It’s not that I’m not satisfied with what he has blessed me with, but I always want more more more. But now I know that the “more” I want is really Jesus. More of Him in my life. More of His presence in every moment of my life. And that ”more” crowds out the stuff I think I need. Thank you for sharing your heart today! It was a great encouragement to me❣️

  7. I love your raw honesty. I know we all have that deep empty place that we try to fill with so many things other than what we really need, just Jesus. Our pastor said yesterday in his sermon that our trials produce maturity. It sounds like your trials with greed and envy (and debt) are being used by God to bring you to a place where you can confidently say you lack nothing. James 1:4 “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” What better way to start a new year than with God’s love showing you how to be content!
    God bless you for your honesty! I pray there would be more honest souls willing to share their struggles and then also share the wisdom God is providing.
    P.S. I don’t struggle as much with wanting stuff but with wanting people’s approval and it’s just as consuming. Anything that keeps our focus on self and off God is only going to destroy our peace.

  8. Thank you for this post. I’ve been doing what you have said most of the year, buying things in anticipation that once COVID is under control, things get back to “normal,” and I will look good going to work. However, I realize I can look good on the outside when my inside is really messed up. I learned to put forth a persona that lies to others. I am in the process of reassessing a so-called “friendship” because the persona led the person to believe things about me that weren’t true. I needed your post today because as I enter into 2021, I’ve committed to getting more control over my finances and filling up the void in my life with more and more of Jesus and less of material people, places, and things. I sense more peace as I embark on a fast not to shop impulsively for the next 40 days. As I have health challenges that prevent me from physical fasting of food, I was led to look at other areas of my life that could be committed to fasting, and impulse spending is it.

    May God bless you and keep you as you continue to pour out blessings to those of us who need the encouragement.

    • Thank you for your suggestion of a 40 day fast from impulsive buying, or just
      purchasing more in general. This really hit my heart. I have been buying impulsively
      for months during this pandemic, as we have had to stay at home for months now.
      Just as I need to fast from sweets for 40 days, I need to fast from impulsive buying.
      There are probably other areas in my life that I have put before my time spent with
      Jesus. I will be praying for the Lord to show me those areas of my life as well.
      Blessings and love

      \

      • You are welcome. Whenever we hear the word “fast” we (at least me) automatically think of food. My health challenges restrict me doing that. I’m looking forward to God’s leading and revelation during my fast. God bless you as well.

  9. Thank you for sharing these awesome thoughts. I pray I will remember, more of Jesus, less of this world, and things that don’t satisfy my soul.

  10. “Perhaps the current state of my stressed-out soul is an indicator of where I’ve let my hope lie.” Yes. Thank you, friend, for this vulnerable post that hits to the heart of what we all really need.

  11. This is so touching and so many people are in this same boat. Just remember it is harder for a rich man to enter Heaven and it is all due to the material things he doesn’t want to give up. Thank you for reminding us all to stay focused on Jesus.

  12. Thank you for sharing this raw piece of your heart. Like others, I could have written those same words because they also describe my struggles. Thank you for the reminder to refocus on Jesus.

    Blessings,
    Marybeth

  13. This was me for years and years! I was creeping back into it and this post spoke to me. I am living with the consequences of years of buying to fill the ache in my heart in a broken marriage, loneliness, anger……I am 65 years old and in debt. I have to live with my son and his family because I can’t afford to live on my own due to my debt. BUT GOD!!!! He is my REDEEMER! I am conquering debt through His Strength. The time I have lived here Abba Father has been able to heal my heart, grow my faith. Leaning into the Presence of my Savior and Lord.

  14. Thanks. You are not alone instead you courageously acknowledged and spoke for many… peace, blessings to you always in the elegance and greatness of humility and simplicity

  15. I firmly believe that God gives us various talents & much of the time people have an “I can’t attitude”. Perhaps at the start of the year, try making things. Go to a craft store & go with the attitude that You Can. There is no such thing as CAN’T. What does the T look like? You can do things because Christ strengths us! I start in Jan every year making various things for my friends & family. When I first started, some things did not turn out as well as I hoped; but I hung in there. I am now 83 years old & make a wide variety of things, including my own greetings cards. I never go in debt. YOU CAN DO IT!!

  16. I going to share what God shared with me one time. It hit home with me Anjuli. I got it into my head I had to have a cord less hoover. I thought it would be very handy. So it would be no lead stuck in the way when hoovering the house. The Henry Hoover we have with a lead is working fine. See all the adds on TV. All the people at the time were talking about how good their cordless hoover was. They didn’t use their corded hover anymore. You just charged it up. It lasted 60 minutes you could by one with a spare battery so it would be charged for the next time you need it. People say they are light and not heavy like the corded hoovers. So I took this thing in my head. Yes I have to have a cordless hoover. So I looked online. I looked in the shops. There were so many different makes and prices I didn’t know which one to buy. I still when looking had not bought one. My Henry Hoover still work real well. Never given me a bit of bother from the day I got it as Wedding present 27 years ago. So I came home and looked at my Henry Hoover it was a heck of lot cheaper than all the cordless hoovers I had been looking at in the shops and online. The cordless ones were very deer some of them. Then some said they did this and some said they did this. Some said you have to pay extra for second battery. You need one. To have one charging all the time. I was confused more than ever which one to buy. I had it in my head. I was going to by a cordless hoover. As they be very handy. No heavy hoover to pull about with a cord. Then all of sudden God through the Holy Spirit spoke to me as clear as a bell. He said Dawn my child you don’t need a cordless hoover. You don’t need to waist your money I give you. It God who gives us every thing we have. When you have a perfectly good Hoover that works. Yes it might have a cord you might have to plug it in. You to good arm to do that with. Be thankful you can do that. There is someone in our world today who has problems with their arms or no arms they can’t use a hoover. So you be thankful you can plug in your Henry Hoover even if has cord and have two good arms and can use it. Plus God went on to say to Dawn there are people struggling to pay their bills people who love to have a place of their own to stay in living on the streets and they wouldn’t mind having a corded hoover to do the house or flat with. You are thinking of spending the money I gave you foolishly on cordless hoover. You don’t need when you have a perfectly good Hoover that works. Only difference it has cord. Be thankful you have a Hoover Dawn you have house to Hoover. You have to good working arms many people don’t have theses things. All this spoke to me. I said sorry to God for not being more greatfull for all he has given me. I now look at my Henry Hoover and say thank God for it. When it brakes and is on fixable. I think then about getting a cordless hoover. Until then. I be thankful for my corded Henry Hoover. So that should teach you a lesson. If you don’t need it. You don’t need to buy it. Think of people who can’t afford the basics like food for the family. Have to use food banks. Struggling to pay their bills. Those homeless etc. God really spoke to that day. I had it in my head I was going to buy a cordless hoover which I didn’t need. Just because I thought it would be handy. Yes it would have been. But I am glad to this day I have not bought one and listen God. As what God said to me all so true. Love today’s reading. Love all incourage readings. Dawn Ferguson-Little xx

  17. Whew that hit home! What resonates most is that constant searching. Scouring sites for that perfect something. Thank you for writing this.

  18. I can really relate to your struggle with buying stuff. I am starting to get it under control, but there’s more progress to be made.

  19. Thank you for the post Anjuli! What a great reminder in such a weird time. Thank you for always reminding us to turn our hearts toward Jesus!
    Love you friend!
    erin

  20. Yes, I can relate. Always looking for the perfect gift. I think I am getting better, but it is always a struggle. So thankful that Jesus is always with us even in our struggles and shortcomings.

  21. You wrote…“I pressed my empty hand to my chest…”Oh I have done that so many times, and with a grateful heart said ‘Thank You, Lord.”

  22. I love this, I feel like sometimes with everything that happens around Christmas that isn’t so important and this year with the election and Covid. . .somehow what is most important, Jesus, gets so overlooked. On December 1st i said i was going to do something Christmassy everyday and some days it was gift buying, decorating, Christmas movies, Christmas music, special holiday cooking, etc. I missed going to church this year and volunteering and things that capture the true spirit of Christmas but seemed unsafe due to covid. I always feel a bit sad when Christmas is over like i want more and in some cases like i need more. This year while i’ll miss my decorations and some of the things that couldn’t happen because of Covid, i feel like what i really miss is Jesus. He hasn’t gone anywhere but perhaps my focus has. I miss church. I moved right before Christmas last year and was in the process but hadn’t found a new church and then covid came. This year i’ve been focusing on getting over my divorce and standing on my own two feet again which I did and i was focused on getting a better job which i did. There is never a lack of things to focus on but i feel like instead of being said that Christmas is over i want to focus on the Cross and Easter and the fact that Jesus, the best gift of all is still here and that regardless of covid and the election and my job and trying to find love again and everything thing else that continually changes, Jesus the same Jesus from the first Christmas and the first Easter is still here. i like lights and colors, music, movies and special holiday food but now more than ever what i really need is Jesus.