About the Author

Michele Morin is a wife, mum, and Bible teacher with a passion to see women become committed followers of Christ and inspired students of God’s Word.

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  1. This was beautifully said Michele, and spoke to me this morning. As the fourth Sunday of Advent approaches this weekend, I know the expectations I had for myself to accomplish will not come to fruition. I’ve let myself down. Thank you for this reminder that it’s not about me and what I can or cannot do.

    • The assurance that God’s love is not performance-based is something that I must remind myself of. He continues to teach me more and more about how awesome His love is. Yet, I still at times put the performance pressure on myself. Hopefully, learning to walk “grace-paced” in 2020 will help me stop. His love is freedom giving! Thanks so much for sharing!

      • I get this, Cheryl.
        I also have to stick very close to Truth, or I fall into the trap of a performance-based following.
        That term: grace-paced. So descriptive and potentially life-changing.

    • So glad you are giving yourself plenty of grace–it really does lubricate the rails of Christmas. And it always amazes me that we manage to turn a holy celebration into a nightmare of stress and self-recrimination. I’m guilty.
      Thanks for reading and for sharing your good thoughts.

  2. What a beautiful meditation on hope, love, joy, and peace, Michele! I especially love you thoughts on joy. I also had never heard of Donne’s “immensity cloistered” phrase, but it is perfect! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • This post pretty much wrote itself when I found that poem. The archaic language, unfortunately, is a bit off-putting, but the concept blows me away. It makes the carol’s directive to “Let every heart prepare him room” so poignant and significant.
      Merry Christmas to you as well! Hope it involves some time with your grands!

  3. Awesome post, Michele! How wonderful to be reminded of the truth and meaning surrounding this season.

    • Well, you know how they say we all tend to write about the things we are working on…?
      I’m grateful for the annual lesson Christmas offers me about the spaciousness of God’s great love for us.

  4. So beautifully said, Michele! Sometimes (like this year) the simpler choices happen due to changes in health or circumstances and it never stops Christmas from coming because it happens in our hearts every day if He lives there. This year it means no outdoor lighting since my husband’s back will not allow it. This year I ordered some side dishes to add to the baking and the ham to lighten the load when our 10 arrive from MD and TN for a racing 48 hours this weekend. This year the focus is on the gift of life, grace, mercy, and hopefully healing for my hubby’s back and it’s really okay even though my traditions die hard.

    Merry Christmas, my friend!

    • I read this comment through twice, Pam, soaking in the wisdom of letting go. When our families were younger, the “limitations” we faced were things like family-wide stomach flu. Now it’s the limitations of our tired bodies. How wonderful that God limited himself to a human frame so he could experience the same kinds of pain and disappointment we feel.
      You’re going to love having the gang together! Enjoy every minute!

  5. I’ve been thinking often this Christmas of that phrase which says Mary kept and pondered these things in her heart. I’m grateful for moments of spiritual pondering amid the heavier to-do lists.

  6. Thank you for giving us permission to drop some things, Michele. The pressure to do it all is most amplified at Christmas. But it’s so unreasonable and sap the joy out of Joy to the World. I’ve already dropped a lot of things, but maybe I could change up one or two more?

    • We become quivering masses of availability in December, don’t we? All those yeses become a weight too heavy. I am applauding the wisdom of your well-placed no’s, Lisa.

  7. Michelle,

    So glad to read your writing here. Society tends to take something Holy & make it into a “mess”. They’ve taken a sacred holiday & completely made it into a buying frenzy. It’s no longer about a babe in a manger. You hear black Friday, cyber Monday. Buy this for him, that for her. We don’t need all that “stuff”. All we truly need is a living, loving Savior. Our society makes us think we need to “do it all” during Christmas. All that does is wear us out & make us forget the real meaning. Our church has brought back the tradition of having a live nativity. For two nights we have actual people in period costumes sitting or standing in the cold while people walk or drive by & get a glimpse of what Christmas is all about. We are trying to bring Christ back into Christmas. Also I love giving back to those in need-especially seniors. Two years now I have chosen a “senior angel”. This year all the man wanted was an electric blanket. I pray it keeps him warm this year..

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, I love the tradition of choosing a special someone and then wrapping them up in Christmas love. Jesus certainly came for “the least” among us, and so often seniors are overlooked, even by their own families.
      Blessings to you in this pursuit!

    • I was hoping to connect with a few readers who are feeling the squeeze…
      Let’s practice taking those deep breaths and then try rethinking our priorities for this last week of Advent.
      Blessings to you, Mary!

  8. What a beautiful gift you are to all the women, me included, who have read, stopped, meditated on a sentence or two… or…three, then reread! Thank you!
    The Lord has brought me through so much healing over the past few years and I have
    (for the most part) allowed Him to go at His perfect pace, however, this morning I realized I was fighting my flesh to resort back to some of my ”business” coping strategies. I wanted to go into Auto-production mode at my church. My church was my place of comfort and security while I was essentially homeless, so I became an Anna (Luke 2:36-38) while I waited on the Lord. I wanted to go there today and hide from the self-imposed pressures of not measuring up to my own expectations of who I wanted to be this Christmas season.
    I prayed as I waited for the light to turn green. I approached the church and drove past it with a smile on my face. I realized that God has done an amazing work renewing my mind and I am truly loving this season for the true meaning… The birth of Jesus Christ, King of Kings!

    • It always amazes me when I discover that I’m trying to fight sin with sin–pride as a weapon against gluttony; control as a solace for fear. Thank you for the gift of your shared struggle this season. And may God grant you the desires of your heart in his good and perfect timing.

    • God bless us all (Every one!) as we roll up our sleeves in the month of December and make those 75 routine meals, and then trust for grace to make the magic of celebration pour out of our ovens and our mixing bowls!
      Thank you, Linda, for your always-encouraging presence.

  9. This right here: “I wish I had known in those days of hand-crafted ornaments and caroling at the nursing home that Christmas is not a race or a responsibility, that celebration can be as small or as quiet as a story by candlelight—as imperfect and unassuming as a one-eyed gingerbread man.” These are the words I needed to read this morning, my friend! Thank you for your faithfulness to speak truth! This post wonderfully reframed my whole day – perhaps the whole week! Have a blessed Christmas!

    • The minutes of my days are so different now than they were when I had four young sons, coated in tempera paint, and celebrating Christmas with all the gusto they could muster. But I still need those one-eyed gingerbread men to remind me that the celebration has nothing to do with my performance of my thoughts on perfection, but everything to do with the Word made flesh and an embodied God who wants to wrap the world in redemption.
      Blessings to you and your sweet family as you celebrate Jesus in the midst of everyday life.
      You are a great encouragement to me, Stacey.