The holidays are upon us and I am already anticipating the joy of the upcoming weeks. The cooler temperatures, the decorations, making and buying gifts for the people I love, and the wonderful meals that I love to prepare as well as eat. But more than anything…I’m longing to experience, once again, the familiar traditions that have become embedded in my heart over the years.
Every year I promise myself that THIS YEAR I will slow down. THIS YEAR I will be more present. THIS YEAR I will focus more on Jesus and less on the busy and hectic pursuits of striving for a ‘perfect‘ holiday season. I bet you do too. This time of year seems to always come and go with a mixture of both joy and regret for me. It’s so easy to get busy with the things that matter little and to look back with a bit of regret on not focusing more on the things that matter most…Jesus, family & friends.
THIS YEAR I set out to prepare my heart for the holidays by being more intentional about focusing on what matters most. As I considered how I could do that…without overwhelming myself with Pinterest pursuits (a huge area of weakness for me)…I kept coming back to the simple joy found in our family traditions.
I try to start a new tradition each year…some last and others fall by the wayside. I doubt that my family will ever spend another evening decorating gingerbread houses after last year’s sad attempt! But even still…the memory of that night is vivid in my heart from all the laughter over our failed attempts. My oldest son built a pretty grand masterpiece…the rest of us…just pathetic. But the photos from that night tell the story of my family sitting around my table laughing, chatting, and wasting way too much money on candy. Other traditions have been repeated year after year…most of them very ordinary, but so treasured. I love this time of year because of the people I experience it with.
I am so excited to offer this FREE eBook as a gift to you. Traditions, A Holiday Collective was born out of a desire to bring the simple beauty of real life holiday traditions back into focus. The traditions shared throughout this book offer 80 pages of inspiration and are shared from the hearts and homes of 21 Christian writers…all of whom I am very honored to share space with. In the pages of this book they share their hearts as well as their most treasured holiday traditions. From the simple to the elaborate, they all offer inspiration to make your holidays more family and Christ centered.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing the individual submissions to the book as guest blog posts…but you can download the complete book through the link below. And I would encourage you to do so…it’s a beautiful 80 page PDF in magazine format. Save it to your Kindle, phone, or computer, grab a cup of coffee and a blanket, and cozy up for some holiday inspiration that will draw you into a peaceful mindset to celebrate the coming weeks with your focus on family and Jesus.
You will be tremendously blessed by the words of these women…both in TRADITIONS as well as by the wisdom they share on their individual blogs. Please take the time to visit their blogs. I will be sharing their submissions and social media links in the guest posts over the next couple of weeks.
I hope that you are tremendously blessed by this book…and by the inspiration from these women!
ALANA MCINTYRE | Overwhelmed by the magic & messes of being a mom to 4. Lover of sweets & stories. Aspiring author. Grateful for grace. Cheering you on!
ALEXANDRA KUYKENDALL | lives in Denver with her husband Derek and their four daughters. Her new book, Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season can be found wherever books are sold.
AMANDA DAVISON | The Wife Coach, is on a mission to share how her education in counseling and God’s word changed her marriage. Her goal is to leave women wanting to commit to live their lives convinced of God’s love for them, and to love others from this overflow. She is the wife of a farmer, mom of three, and lives on ice cream and coffee. She looks forward to hearing from you and hopes you will join with her on the journey of learning to love God’s people well.
AMY OLDS | is a wife, mother, and the writer behind the faith-based blog, The Gilded Wife. She continues to encourage women in all seasons of life to pursue Christ and His love. Her hobbies include green-living, seeing the world, and expanding her reading list.
CHERI GREGORY | is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. She is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the Perfect Life and Overwhelmed; co-host for Grit ‘n’ Grace podcast; and founder of Sensitive and Strong, an online community for Highly Sensitive Christian Women. She has been married to her college sweetheart (and opposite personality) for twenty-nine years and has two young adult children.
DORINA LAZO GILMORE | lives in Central California with her husband and three daughters with her parents closeby. They often gather for baking and cooking adventures, and, of course, lots of yummy tasting. Dorina is a published children’s author and blogs about discovering God’s glory in each day.
EMILY SUE ALLEN | is the founder of the Kindred Mom Blog and podcast and is passionate about helping moms flourish in motherhood. She is a contemplative, creative soul who celebrates the beauty of a humble, handmade life and deeply values the power of encouragement. She invites you to connect with the Kindred Mom community on Instagram or Facebook or check out her Write 31 Days series on Redemptive Motherhood on her personal blog lightandloveliness.com.
GLENNA MARSHALL | is a writer, speaker, and singer-songwriter who loves to encourage women to know the Lord more deeply by seeking Him in His Word. She lives in Southeast Missouri with her pastor-husband and two young sons where she is busy writing her first book (P&R Publishing).
GLYNNIS WHITWER | is a wife of 34 years, the mother of five and one lovely daughter-in-love, and grandmother to one. She’s also on staff with Proverbs 31 Ministries as the executive director of communications, and author or co-author of 10 books, including her latest: Doing Busy Better.
JENNIFER MOYE | is wife to an Airman and mom to three rambunctious little boys. With excitement on a daily basis and grace around every corner, she believes we are meant to live this life in community with others and with the mercy to mess up and try again….and again. Being a mom is hard, but it is also a divine calling we can have in this life. Her ministry to women is relevant and heartfelt with her core passion being that we learn to glorify our God in our parenting, our marriage, and in our everyday lives.
KAREN ISBELL | I am an extroverted introvert who fell in love with Jesus at the tender age of three. I love Jesus, people, chocolate and time alone, usually in that order. My husband and I have been married for eleven years and are in the trenches of raising three girls, five and under. We live in Cumming, GA where he serves on staff at First Baptist Cumming. I am the founder of Intentional Prayer Cards. I write about ceasing our striving and living from a place of abiding.
KARMEN SMITH | A passionate speaker and storyteller who loves encouraging others with REAL stories about REAL life. Karmen and her husband own and operate the local feed and seed in their hometown. They have two boys and last year began fostering children on a farm on Lookout Mountain. You can read more about Karmen and her passion for life on her blog.
KIMBERLI FREILINGER | is a wife, mother and a true modern mess princess. She comes alive as an inspirational speaker and creative life coach whose mission is to make an impact on women, empowering them to master their messes by understanding THE Master, Jesus.
LAURA THOMAS | is a published Christian author with a heart for inspiring and encouraging readers of all ages. She is a multi-genre writer with a published Christian teen fiction trilogy, marriage book, children’s stories, devotionals for Union Gospel Press, and she now has a literary agent representing her Christian romantic suspense novel. Living in Kelowna, B.C. as an almost empty-nester, Laura is a mom of three, married to her high school sweetheart, and is passionate about faith and family—and chocolate.
LINDSEY CORNETT | is a Florida-to-Michigan transplant learning to trade perfectionism for freedom, usually with an iced coffee in hand. She is a co-founder of The Drafting Desk, a monthly e-mail newsletter for everyone tired of feeling “not enough” and hoping for the abundant life Jesus offers.
LOGAN WOLFRAM | would give you full access to her pantry if you lived next door. She is a plate-juggling mom and interior decorator who desires to see women live fully in Christ. She is a National speaker and the author of Curious Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibility. Logan and her husband, Jeremy, divide their time between wrangling two inquisitive boys, a 175-pound mastiff named Titan, and a little mutt named Sugar. They reside in Greenville, South Carolina.
MARY CARVER | is a writer, speaker, and co-author of Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts. She lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons, but she lives because of God’s grace. Mary writes about finding Truth in unexpected places with humor and honesty. She is also a regular contributor to (in)courage.me, MomAdvice.com, and MothersofDaughters.com.
NATALIE GUY | is a pastor’s wife, mom of three, a blogger, speaker, and educator who writes to encourage women’s souls in the daily pursuit of God. She enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, cooking, the beach, and champagne.
NICOLE ZASOWSKI | is a writer, speaker, and licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of Connecticut, where she lives with her husband Jimmy and her son James. As an old soul who wears her heart on her sleeve, she speaks and writes vulnerably about topics that relate to faith and life on her blog.
TARA DICKSON | Widow and Mama to Four. Writer of Hope for Adults and Children’s Author. I love coffee, chocolate and vintage finds!