About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Mary,
    I needed this as I see my neighbor already has their outdoor Christmas light extravaganza up and glowing and I’m still working on Thanksgiving leftovers lol. It is so easy to get sucked into what the world expects of us. I need to perpetually remind myself that it’s okay to march to the beat of a different drummer. And you’re so right…if looking at others’ edited lives on social media gets you down…don’t look! May we all take Christmas at a more relaxed pace…as it is meant to be a time of reflection and not a time of stress. I appreciate your reminder to look at Christmas through new lenses this year!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. Mary, I always love posts on perspective. This was my One Word a couple years ago, because . . . well, I needed a lot of practice shifting and learning to view life with an accurate perspective. 🙂

    I love your words here, and the ways you encourage us to focus on others, to look for the things we can be thankful for, rather than looking at those ways we think we are “less-than.” Thank you for the reminders to count our blessings each day and to choose to remember that God is good, and He is with us.

    Have a wonderful weekend, and a peace-filled holiday season.

  3. Yes to all four things. We can do precious little to change the hard and, really, we need to face it and process it. But your #3 and #4 have been the most helpful for us: look for the good in the midst of the grief and intentionally begin new healthy traditions that will bring joy. Thank you, Mary.

  4. Mary thank you for this reminder! I loved your response to those of us living with stress because of social media, “Quit reading and looking at and following the stuff that stresses you out!” It’s actually really that simple, yet hard to step away from! That’s something I certainly need to work on. God Bless.

  5. Wow! That’s powerful! I, especially, loved the parallel between natural vision and spiritual vision. Be blessed.

  6. I’m with Jeanne on this perspective, actually perception and deception, and the enemy though he may be responsible for most deception, we can still deceive ourselves. I hate hearing about the holiday blues, I know all too well how depression and grief can find a way in, I’ve seen people suffer with it. A time of joy should be just that, don’t let the devil steal it! As for turning off Pinterest, I agree, in part, God doesn’t want us to live vicariously, but I have to admit, Thanksgiving dinner went by quickly, and I was back talking to online friends and blogging.

  7. You named the best cure-alls for the holiday blues or envy: look for Truth and those who need our help. I want to do just that! Lord, help me allow a fresh wind of the Spirit to breathe new life into this season steeped in tradition and familiarity. May I discover new truths and new ways to be kind, generous, and helpful, as Advent unfolds.

  8. Mary,
    I agree with you we need to shift your perspective, We should be focusing on Christ’s birth and not all the worldly stuff. Today while out Christmas shopping I took an angel off the Salvation tree and brought that child some clothes and a toy! Years ago I had a shift (sort of) in perspective. Just like you got glasses to see I got a hearing aid. Listening to wind for the first time was amazing!
    In a few weeks I will be attending a Christmas party for elderly people. They will have Santa Claus and each will have their picture taken. It may be the only gift these people receive (my dad included), but at least they are not forgotten and have a good time!
    Blessings 🙂

  9. Thank you for this post. I’m going through a difficult time in an UNWANTED divorce. I’m trying to keep joy alive in this precious season of Christs birth. It is difficult! My mind goes to dwelling on the pain rather than on the true peace of the season. I was very encouraged by you. I choose to rest in the Lord and celebrate the holidays. I know HE will give me peace!

  10. “I promise you the joy is still there; you might just need to adjust your lens a little bit to find the blessings…”

    Yes! With a few family health issues this Christmas, every moment seems especially precious and it is such a good reminder that Jesus is still and forever will be the perfect gift.

    XO

    • I spent 5 months of 2015 in hospitals or nursing homes. At 82 years old I am so joyous to be seeing another Christmas, to hear how God sent His beloved Son, to join with family and friends to celebrate His birth. To remember always “Jesus is the reason for the season”.
      The material trappings of Christmas mean nothing-I could care less. Th he spiritual wonder of the season fills my soul with joy and gratitude.

  11. I love this and need to hear it repeatedly. I’ve had to let go of a desire to create holiday traditions and memories for my children that mimic those of my childhood – but our lives are different, we don’t live near a large extended family, Our memories will be different, but different can be good, too.