As we wrap up this first week of Advent, I pray your spirit comfortably grasps that indeed, all is well–even if your circumstances say otherwise. Especially if your circumstances say otherwise. I pray you are able to feel your Father reach down to you because he desires unimaginable closeness to you. And as you spend this weekend within the swirl of holiday activities, take time to know and believe your presence on this earth is a gift to those who know you. You are wildly loved!
What I’m Doing:
Listening to this fantastic new Christmas album, Christmas Vol. 1, by Shaun Groves.
When I was at a writing/blogging conference in October, Shaun kindly invited me to listen to the album’s first track, “Joy to the World.” It’s kind of a medley between “Joy to the World” and “All Creatures of Our God and King.” Oh y’all, it is so, so good. As I listened to it in the middle of that conference hotel lobby, I couldn’t help but dance. (I love Christmas music, but there aren’t too many Christmas songs that inspire me to dance.) The juxtaposition of the Christmas carol and hymn’s lyrics, the instrumentation, the background vocals– gah, I love it all.
But that isn’t the only song we enjoy on the album. The lyrics and message of “Gloria” make me straight up tear up, and my son Ethan declares “God of Us” to be one of his favorite new songs. Shaun also sings a beautiful rendition of “O Holy Night”–my favorite Christmas carol.
What I’m Reading:
I am currently reading The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs, and it’s as wise and funny as she. The fresh insight she pulls from the lives of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna have blessed the daylights out of me. This will be a book I revisit for Christmases to come.
Who I’m Following:
I’ve chatted about Aliza Latta before (aka my favorite 20 year old). After all, she created the font for my blog title in the header. Well, this Christmas, I’m getting swoony for her work all over again because she’s designed a new Christmas line that includes the prints shown above and others. She has a line of Christmas cards, too! See all of Aliza’s glorious beauties here. You can also catch more glimpses into Aliza’s life, as well as watch her creative process, by following her on instagram.
I have been a fan of Lisa’s sterling silver and pewter jewelry, decor and ornaments years before I got to meet and know her. I love to give (and receive!) meaningful, unique gifts, and Lisa’s endless options for personalizing her items means I can give presents full of beauty and significance. So when she kindly sent me the ornament above for our family tree, I was thrilled.
Something else I want you to know about Lisa: When she found out I was doing care packages for military spouses, she was the FIRST to donate some of her creations to be placed inside. She is the real deal with a heart bigger than Texas.
While I haven’t yet read Anna Rendell’s new Christmas devo, I have read Anna’s writing and she is wonderfully gifted. You can find her A Moment of Christmas: Daily Christmas Devotionals for the Time Strapped Mom on both kindle and nook for $5. And while you’re at it, check out Anna’s darling blog. In addition to great writing, her design is one of my favorites!
Have a beautiful weekend, m’friends. Much love to you!