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Beyond the Glitter


When we create fantasy images in our heads, we slay the beauty in our lives.– Emily Ley, Grace Not Perfection

It helps me to remember Martha this time of year. Had I lived nearby and in her time, we would have been pals. I'm sure of it. Instead, I view her from afar and learn from her story (Luke 10). 

Martha was scurrying around, thinking she was doing all her guests a favor. "Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made." And when she went to Jesus to complain about her sister Mary not helping, who instead "sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said" Jesus spoke truth to her. "Martha, Martha...you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." 

What is better.

This season, am I choosing what is better? As women we want to create the most excellent Christmas for our families. This isn't a bad thing. It is a way we show love. But sometimes this means scaling back our Pinterest-worthy ideas so we can choose what is better.

For me, transferring thoughts onto paper is an important step in helping this happen. Maybe this rings true for you too. Hopefully my recipe for this season will spur ideas for your own. Which ingredients add more flavor and which ones do I need to reduce or eliminate altogether? 

Peace-and-Joy-Filled December

3 cups of thankfulness
3 cups of sitting with the Savior
2 cups of spending time with loved ones
1-1/2 cups of shopping and wrapping
1-1/2 cups listening to Christmas music
1 cup of morning coffee or tea
1 cup of walking, skiing, or skating
1 cup of goodwill (helping an elder shop for presents, gifts for children who are without, bell ringing for Salvation army….)
1 cup of worshiping at a Christmas Eve service 

1/2 cup of decorating (I'm not Joanna Gaines so I'm learning to just enjoy the lovely scenes created by those that are)
3 tablespoons of saying no
1 teaspoon of dressing up my obliging pups in Christmas attire for a photo 

As we ponder how much love we have for our family and friends that drives us to make this time of year special for them, take time to reflect on how much more love our Savior has for us. Fix our eyes on the manager, gaze lovingly at this miracle, hear the angel's words, and open our heart and mind to His story. His love. Emmanuel. God with us.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." – Luke 2:10-12

Gifts: For Your Friends and Family
The In-Between


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The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie


    I’m turning 60 next month. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn


    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Nicole


    Nicole is a stay-at-home mom of one, and is just returning to writing after a too-long hiatus. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Philosophy, Nicole previously worked in the fields of journalism, advertising and marketing. Nicole is using her time at home to discern God's next path for her life and to spend as much precious time with her husband and daughter as possible! She is honored to be writing for Julie Miller and Heart Matters Publishing.
  • Sally


    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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