Embracing Simple {Prepare My Heart for the Holidays}

Welcome to Day 4 of Prepare My Heart for the Holidays, an 8-day heart boosting prayer experience, just before the Christmas crazy. 

While I really enjoy holiday baking and creating a pretty Christmas atmosphere in my home, I’ve come to realize that killing myself for unrealistic, unattainable, and unnecessary holiday décor (or spectacular cookies) is not a necessary thing. 

In fact, all my doing, coupled with unrealistic holiday expectations, set me up for intense stress levels. And exhaustion.

So I am learning to embrace simplicity. Meaning over dazzling. Less is more.

I’m learning to do what I can and not stress about what I cannot. And I am especially learning to take time to sit at Christ’s feet during the hap-happiest time of the year. The truth is no one will notice that we didn’t exquisitely hand-decorate every single cookie. Because at the end of the day, it’s really not about the sparkle in our home, but the atmosphere of our hearts.

Our challenge? The gospel is simple. This year, let’s ask the Lord to help us not to allow unnecessarily difficult, complicated, time-consuming plans to squelch our joy. He really can help us embrace a more simple approach so we’re not overwhelmed, frustrated, and disappointed. 

Then our hearts will have the freedom and breathing room we so desperately crave.

{A Holy Pause to Pray}


You are good, and You are worthy of all my adoration and praise! Please help me to recognize and surrender my overly complicated or difficult holiday goals, plans, and expectations. Will You help me to embrace simplicity when it is wise, to gladly do what I can and not to allow myself to stress about the unimportant or unrealistic goals? Help me cultivate a peaceful, joyful, grateful atmosphere in both my heart and my home.

Though I desire pretty décor and fragrant smells in my home, I’d much rather possess an exquisite heart that honors You and blesses my family and those around me. I realize I can only do that if I relinquish the unnecessarily complicated and instead embrace simple. I so want a grateful, joyful, peaceful heart that far outshines my Christmas décor or baking. Help me to make time for You, to make room not only in my crazy schedule but in my heart of hearts. 

I pause right now and turn my heart to You. As I embrace the simplicity of the gospel, change the atmosphere of my heart and home. Thank you for helping me embrace the simple beauty of Christmas, and for making this season meaningful for me (and my family) in a deeper way. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42) (NLT)

GIVEAWAY: On December 8. I will randomly choose 2 WINNERS who will each receive a signed copy of BOTH of my books, some super cute, unique Christmas cards courtesy of Smiling Sticks, and a few other goodies. 
TO ENTER please leave a comment and include your email (so I can notify you if you win). 
Winner will be notified via email on December 8th. So sorry, contest open to continental U.S. residents only. 

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Janice said...

Thank you for your words today. I needed them so much during this busy season. I want to sit at Jesus feet and enjoy the season, but I am a lot like Martha. I thank you for your prayer and reminded this morning.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, once again, Julie.
I hope and pray these will be my watchwords this week and forever.

Unknown said...

Lord knows this message touched me deeply as I've been dealing with my mother hospitalization and stressing decorating my home for the holidays. On last night, I came to the conclusion to put stop stressing it and not to worry about it and just focus on my mother healing. Nevertheless, this message is CONFIRMATION to let it go and NOT stress decorating at all.

"This year, let’s ask the Lord to help us not to allow unnecessarily difficult, complicated, time-consuming plans to squelch our joy. He really can help us embrace a more simple approach so we’re not overwhelmed, frustrated, and disappointed."

Thanks for this awesome message!

Unknown said...

So perfectly put, and definitely a goal of mine this season! Thank you, Julie!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Julie. These devotion s and messages are so timely and helpful. Cherie K. bck4045@hotmail.com

marygems said...

Julie, I have read many advent posts, but this one touched my heart and I have shared.
The words of your graphic exactly express the desire of my heart, also.
Thank you.
Your posts often speak words of truth that I take to heart, as if the lord Himself was speaking to me.
As you refresh others, may you also be refreshed.

Unknown said...

I’d much rather possess an exquisite heart.....

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