O Holy Night

Thank you for embracing the less glossy, more imperfect side of Christmas with me. Glitter and merriment are more appealing on the surface for sure, but I'm convinced there are rich treasures to be unearthed on the imperfect side of the Christmas story.

As I was processing a few of the thoughtful but "concerned" responses to my last post, something hit me: imperfect doesn't equal unhappy. I'm okay, sweet friends. In fact, I'm beginning to sense that embracing imperfection is essential for embracing true joy and freedom!

But the journey on this side of Heaven does have it's rough patches.

Remember what I said about living in the tension between Jesus' first and second coming? It means living in the tension between the perfect and the imperfect. I felt that tension in a tangible way this Christmas.

On Christmas Eve morning, we felt the absence of a family tradition. Instead of spending the morning with my husband's family, we spent it quietly at home...just the four of us. An unexpected round two of Leukemia dashed our normal routine. IMPERFECT on so many levels. {Praying healing prayers over John, my husband's father.}

Yet on Christmas Eve evening, our songbird had the opportunity to use her musical gifts at church. O Holy Night is a challenging song {unless you're Celine Dion!}, but Hallie was beautiful, pure and PERFECT.

{An at-home practice with Daddy playing in the background.}

{The congregation was invited to join in, but this little angel
left everyone in silent awe...followed by loud and joyful clapping.}

And then there was the perfection of our sparkle and shine daughter who got all dressed up to match her new doll. Our Laura Finley adds life and glory to every occasion!

{We love your sparkle, sweet girl!}

But then just before midnight, another reminder of the IMPERFECT. After a long battle with dementia and 93 years of living, my grandmother passed away. And while it felt merciful on so many levels, death is a harsh contrast to the birth we celebrate on Christmas Day.

While you might be tempted to think that our Christmas was more gloomy than glorious, I really feel that there was something sacred and holy about every part of it...even the imperfect parts. Because imperfection has the potential to awaken a hope-filled longing for something more. 

"And now to the God who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...."
Ephesians 3:20

Wishing you more than you can ask or imagine in 2012!


The Imperfection of Christmas

Hello friends! I've missed you over the last three months! The blog break was just what I needed...in ways that only God could've known. {It's a good thing I didn't know what was coming down the pike or I might have crawled under a rock!}

The card season was one of my best yet in terms of design inspiration, finding balance and living in the present, but my personal life took some unexpected turns. A faith journey is like that.

I'm not sure if I'm ready to jump back in to blogging just yet, but as I ponder what is real about Christmas, I have some thoughts I wanted to share. The imperfection of Christmas just keeps burning a hole in my heart.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS. It's why I spend three months of the year designing Christmas cards. When I'm in my studio, my heart is at peace. Instead of hustling and bustling around town, I get to be still and let the joy and truth of the season flow into every design. It still astounds me that people pay me to do this!

But then I come up for air in mid-December and feel bombarded by what the world says Christmas is all about: the perfect gift, the perfect packaging, the perfect crafting, baking and decorating. Perfectionism abounds.

I can play that game {and have for years}, but this year, circumstances won't allow it. {Weighty things beyond my control.} And while I feel a bit disoriented by all the imperfection, I'm thankful for the opportunity to embrace it.

Because here's the deal: Christmas isn't about perfection. In fact, the first Christmas was motivated by imperfection.

He who was perfect left His seat of glory to rescue an imperfect people. He who was perfect took on the imperfect form of human flesh...a baby no less. He who was perfect set aside all the splendors of heaven for a most imperfect arrival. The King of Kings was born in a dirty, poopy manger! {Have you slept in a stable lately?} Nothing perfect about it.

And yet everything about His coming is perfect. We live in the tension of the first and second coming of Jesus, and it isn't always easy. But everything is exactly as it's supposed to be...for now.

On that note, I'd love to show you what lies beneath our Christmas tree...

Not the presents {we're giving more to those in need
than to each other this year}, but the tree skirt...

A daily reminder for me to embrace imperfection...even my own. Without my imperfection, and without the imperfection of this world, we wouldn't need Christmas. We wouldn't need God with us.

I'll never know how my custom order of Joyeux Noël became Joyeux No 1 {American monogram machines don't speak French?}, but I'm keeping it!

Wishing you deep joy this Christmas,


Open House Time!

{same place as always}

Hope to see you if you're a Houston friend!

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