Elf and Baby Jesus

Christmas looks different this year than I ever imagined.

I swore up and down all these years that there’d never be an Elf on the Shelf in our house, but when the boys craved that magic this year, I opened the door and one showed  up. On Sunday, he decorated for our Happy Birthday, Jesus breakfast and he held sweet baby Jesus in a manger, and Cade declared, “Momma, that Elf is freakin’ me out holding baby Jesus. Can we give Him back to his Mom and Dad now?”
So I did what any mother would do and I pulled out the orange-handled kitchen tongs and carefully put baby Jesus back where he belongs.

The boys are spending Christmas with their dad and his family this year. My heart is gaping wide open and I spent 30 minutes of my lunch break yesterday crying in my office  and writing most of this to you.

I’ll keep going… I’ll keep going right on through these work days, and I’ll enjoy lost time with my family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day- I’ll get to focus on them and being present instead of wondering which kid hasn’t eaten and which kid ate too much, and Oh, goodness! Did you just unwrap a present that wasn’t yours?

We started our Advent book early so that we could finish together on Sunday and I don’t know that I’ve ever focused so much on Christ during Christmas. Sure when the boys get home, there will be lots of presents to open, and sure that dang elf took up a lot of our time the last few weeks, but I figured out that I crave Jesus, and those boys of mine- they crave the stories and the Truth and the Good.

And while I’ve spent a lot of time thinking this Christmas doesn’t really look like I’d hoped… In reality, it’s more than I ever dreamed.
The boys are so very loved and safe and warm. There’s too many presents under too many trees for them. We spent the last 24 days reading about Jesus’ family tree and anticipating the celebration of His birth. I have time to give this week to focus on others, time to give without single-mama-guilt lingering over my head- and that’s a precious, precious thing. I’ll find time to be still and time to put away the clothes that are piled all over my room. I hope to see a movie or two and this week is full and overflowing. The boys will come home on Friday with full bellies (Man, David’s family sure does know how to cook!) and new toys.

We’ll settle back in to life here before we get out of town for New Year’s and a family wedding. 2015 is the year I don’t settle, it’s the year we dig our own roots deep into this Alabama clay. It’s the year I move forward and don’t look back.
It’s the year this broken heart of mine stops lingering in the pain and starts fully trusting Him.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, dear friends- those I’ve hugged and those I only wish I could. My greatest wish is that you know you’re loved, that you have the things you need and a few of the things you want. You are prayed for and are worthy of the greatest this life has to offer. I am so thankful for your love, friendship, kind words. Thank you for believing in me when I can’t. xoxo

“That’s what Jesus is whispering to you this Christmas Day:
‘I’ll take your broken heart and give you My whole one.”

-Unwrapping The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp


  1. Lydia Dennis says:

    I think Christmas ended up looking different this year, maybe even more than you dreamed! Love you & thinking of you. Merry Christmas XOxo

    1. My heart is full.
      Writing again today, if I find the time.

      XOXO. Love you.
      Hope your Christmas was just as magical.

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