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. I’ve added mugs to my after-Christmas shopping list, Mary, so thanks for that good tip!
    And I’m promising myself to do better scaling back in the next two weeks leading up to Christmas than I’ve done in the past 8 days…

  2. Todays reading is class. It speaks volumes to me. You know what comes to mind to mind to me. This is nothing to do with Christmas. But in my Church the Salvation Army where I live. We have a Ladies group that meets once a month on a Wednesday evening. We have a cup of tea and we bun or biscuits at the end of it. Because I don’t drive. I did at one time. Because of health reasons years ago I don’tnow. My husband comes in to collect me at the end. I have been so long away from driving I never want to drive again. Anyway. It seems to be me and my husband anytime we use china cup for the tea at the end of TLC the ladies group in our Chruch that end washing them. One day my Husband was tried because of his work. He said just to me. No one else could hear him. As we where at home. Why can’t or why does no one else bother only me and you any time the Salvation Army Officer uses China cups. Not disposable ones. Ever offer to wash them. Especially when they could give us brake for once. Don’t get me wrong he said I don’t mind washing them. But I only in to collect you. I should not be helping out at all. They are all glad of the tea afterwards he said. I said Deer look at it this way. Forget about them. God see what they are doing and how on caring they are. We are not too judge what they do I said to him. They are glad to come too TLC for the fellowship. Plus the cup of tea at the end. Then I said this and this we bit changed his mind. I said forget about them remember your not washing the dishing on to TLC you are doing it on to Lord. The Lord will bless you for it. My Husband then said you know what Dawn you are so right. Everything I do in life is not about me. It should be about the Lord. So next time he had to wash the dishes after TLC. He said Dawn lets do the dishes. I knew he was doing them on to the Lord and the Lord would bless him for doing that. Even if it not this side of earth but in Glory one day. The Lord see thoes people in TLC who don’t bother to help that can help. Yes don’t let people at the same time use you. Sometimes pray to God. Ask God do this or go to this place with my Family or Friends want me to go too. Just to please them. God might tell you to say no if you don’t want to go don’t go. God could tell you it not very Christian where they want you too go. Through his Holy Spirit. You God will reward you for praying about it and listing to his Holy Spirit as to what to do. Your Friends or Family may not like you for saying no if you have too. But you have to sometime do what is right for you and by God. Not always be a people pleaser. Excellent reading. Dawn Ferguson-Little xxxx

  3. Well said, Mary! I hope it works out for you. All we can do is try. And you have a plan. Merry Christmas!

  4. Oh how I can relate to this post! With Thanksgiving so late this year and coming back to the office after a four day break, I knew preparations for Christmas and year-end planning would be waiting for me on Monday morning. With the help of my team we had many of our tasks checked off before we left the office on Wednesday. Open enrollment, employee gifts ordered and scheduled for delivery, bonuses calculated…I was ready to face December with a sense of peace. Then the announcement came, an acquisition! So between Christmas programs, office parties, church activities I will be welcoming a new division to our company. I am delegating Christmas tasks for our family to my adult children, embracing Christmas music and thankful the for ornaments hanging on my tree that remind me of the blessing of Christmas over the year. Just because it’s Christmas, real life doesn’t stop. But I have control over my attitude and pray that each day the Holy Spirit will fill me peace and calm and the true Joy of Christmas will be reflected in my words and on my face. Wishing you a blessed Christmas season!

  5. Sometimes we get so caught up in the giving, that we forget the real purpose of it. I come from a family of teachers, and I can assure you that the last thing they want at Christmas is gifts. How many mugs, candies, candles, and bath soaps, etc. can they really use. A heartfelt card, decorated by your child, is far more appreciated. I know it is the thought that counts. I still remember a friend commenting after clearing out her mothers house when she passed on. In her dresser were all the gifts they “thought” she needed, unopened. She kept telling them she did not need anything, but they felt they had to give something. Folks, rethink you gift list and why you are giving. Personally, I believe the one item most people want from those that matter to them, is the one item we so seldom give – us, our time, our most valuable item. Time is precious to everyone. A note with a date to have coffee together, or a note with a date to take them shopping, or a movie, or a walk in the park; a note asking how you can help in the classroom. I know what I want for Christmas, more time with the people I love., not just now but throughout the year.