About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. Jennifer,

    What a great question…as the Thanksgiving pots and pans are still drying in the sink, I need to challenge myself to be proactive about preparing my heart for this Advent season. I can take my cues from the very first Christmas. Talk about simple…a baby in a manger with only the warm breath of animals to take the chill out of the air. I want my preparation to be glorifying to Him, not grandiose for my glorification. Keeping my focus on Him and how He came into the world helps me to keep it simple. Thanks for this perfectly timed reminder so that I don’t let in the Christmas stress and anxiety banging at my door!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. O O O O O cinnamon rolls. O look at them.
    Thank you for the rest and peace we are going to have with JESUS this month. Happily and joyfully. hahahahahahaha Sounds so berry happy happy happy. In the clutter of washing all the winter and summer clothes to pack away in the closet and throw lots out by giving them to the poor.
    🙂
    Thank you for your thoughtfulness in rest, for the Christmas Christmas Christmas.
    🙂

  3. Jen, I love to hear everyone else’s realities! Sometimes we get caught up in our own and forget that there are so many other moms and wives and caregivers that need to just stop and pray. Give all these “overload” moments to God, then move forward at the pace you can, not one everyone expects of you, just the one God knows you’re capable of. Just keep praying for strength through all of it and he will guide us. Blessings and Merry Christmas!!

  4. Thank you! 🙂
    These next few weeks always prove stressful to me. My son’s birthday is next week, two weeks later is Christmas, then New Year’s. I’m giving it all over to God this year. I’m done trying to do the Martha Stewart/Norman Rockwell stuff. I resolve to make more memories using pre-cut cookie dough and help from the Pillsbury doughboy! Spending time with family and reflecting upon the true reason for the season is my top priority.
    Have a blessed Christmas season!

  5. Thanks for the reminder of prayer about decision making, and asking for wisdom to choose wisely. I’m intentionally taking more time to just sit in His presence. Giving myself permission to NOT do other things during the time that I could otherwise choose to sit and be alone. I find it’s allowing me to recognize more of my own needs, and be renewed.

  6. Thank you, Jennifer, for the invitation to “make December His.” I pray that thought stays with me. I, too, want to prioritize with wisdom and let go of ambition-for- impression’s sake. My proactive step? I’ve already started on the Christmas cards!

  7. Jenn,

    One reason I’m not a fan of the holiday season is the hearing of buy, buy, buy and rush, rush, rush yet most people forgetting about the true meaning of Christmas.

    My prayer this year is that people everywhere–especially moms, dads, and caregivers would stop for a minute and enjoy this time with their family. Don’t try to do it all in a few weeks–say NO to some activities and spend time talking about the true meaning of Christmas. Heck buy a prepared meal from the store just to have more fun family time!

    My song for this year is “It’s Called Christmas with a Capital C” by Go Fish. Below is a link to the you tube video of the song.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww4ygpsA5ng I love it because it talks about saying Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays.

    Blessings to all during this Advent Season!

    • Beth – I am right there with you on the all the purchases. We really step back with our gift giving and it’s very minimal. In trying to focus outward and make it a season of giving, really helps us prioritize (but yes, that’s hard sometimes too with children.)

  8. “It’s eye opening how the Lord sometimes uses the simplest of acts to reveal the deepest truths.”
    I am or was the ultimate Cinnamon Bun Christmas rolls maker. A time when my kids were growing up and making those rolls during the rush of holidays it gave me pause back then to seek His Best! I have time now to relish in the simple moments!
    What’s different now? Just yesterday I wrote a piece about; why can’t we start over? Or was a simple writing of a journey
    Even though I didn’t do everything “right”
    even though, I messed up the recipe God
    chose, i think it’s His way to offer. Last night I lit a candle, I prayed for love, warmth of family gatherings again, then I sensed how a simple cold Night in a simple manger housed the birth of Jesus!
    A journey starts every morning! That’s Grace among the rush & tinsel. That’s love
    among the times we need patience, the times I wish I could start over! But as I see
    and hear my children focus on Christ during the year, those times of baking cinnamon rolls were the warmth that I hoped my children would remember
    not the busy times, but the times that reflect their lives today, it’s evident Jesus
    is their reason for Christmas! It’s not about me, it’s about His simple, glorious entry at Christmas!

  9. “wisdom to choose wisely” – I needed to read that today! In the midst of the holiday season, my husband and I are also faced with choices about our next steps in life (professionally and personally). That prayer seems applicable in more ways than one.

    Thanks for sharing this reflection. =)