December 6, 2014

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 73

Happy December, friends!

So far, as I am typing this intro in the beginning of the week, it is SUPER cold here, but no snow.  I think, actually, it may be warmer if we had snow.  I love a White Christmas, and I don't mind snow if I don't have a full, bossy schedule that causes me to have to be out in it... but now that I am feeling all Christmasy and such... a little dusting would be nice!

With or without snow, I pray you are staying warm and carving out time and space to sense His coming!

Featured today are posts by Shannan Martin, Lisa Jo Baker, Holley Gerth, Annie Barnett, Becky Keife, Deidra Riggs, Addie Zierman, Jennifer Dukes Lee, a post from right here... and - of course - a video!

Happy Reading! 
(Ya'll know to click on the authors' names to read their whole posts, yes?)

* This one by Shannan Martin over at with What I'll Be Giving This Christmas...
"Don’t we all want the same things? Aren’t we aligned at the core, aching to believe we’re wanted, appreciated, worthy of community?

When I’m not careful, I begin to believe “they” are all the same, whoever “they” happen to be.

When I’m careless, I forget I am one of them. We’re in this together, pushed and pulled into untidy piles and misshapen knots.

This Christmas, I want to lose my world-weary heart. It’s no use to me. I want to box it up, tape it closed, wrap it tight, and let it go—my gift to the atmosphere, where it floats and drifts like a thinning plume of smoke, splitting and scattering until it’s altogether gone.

I want to receive my community without apprehension and give without reservation.

I want generosity and gratitude to string our lives together, note by note, until we make a song. There’s no music in self-preservation and no rhythm in doubt. The magic moves in the brazen hope that all is never lost, not for any of us."

This post by Lisa Jo Baker with If You’re a Mom of Littles Stressing All the Christmas Traditions it’s OK to Make Like Elsa and “Let It Go” This Holiday Season...
"Dear Moms of Littles, listen up here because this is for you – I know this time of year can be hard. 

Because it feels like everyone around you is creating meaningful memories for their kids and you’re just trying not to yell at yours because you’re operating on, like, three hours of sleep and you’re so tired you can’t remember why anyone in their right mind would purposely engage in making cookies with tiny humans and risking FLOUR ALL OVER ALL THE THINGS.

I feel you, man.

That is where I lived for a decade.


I have not done advent countdowns.

I have not beautifully decorated my house.

I have not bought Christmas-themed dishware or even paper napkins.

I have not made cookies, pies or anything that even remotely stretches me outside the safe parameters of half hour prep and no more than that for clean up.

But this year? This year I have emerged from the fog of sleep deprivation and I wanted to write this to share with you precious, amazing, exhausted moms of littles..."  (Read on for some sage, wise, grace-filled advice!)

* This post by Holley Gerth over at with Why You Don't Have to Hold it Together During the Holidays...

"I’m hurting. I miss my grandpa who slipped home to Jesus last summer. Other holiday seasons have held similar struggles. I remember fighting back tears during our journey through infertility.

I’ve sighed from exhaustion after pushing through end-of-year projects. I’ve battled seasonal depression.

Rather than being a comfort, all of this makes me even more certain that this is the year I

But in the quiet dark it seems I hear a whisper deep within my heart, “Go ahead and be broken . . . I’ll hold you together.”

It turns out holding it together isn’t in my job description: “God holds all things together” {Colossians 1:17}."

* This post by Annie Barnett over at Grace Table with How to Ice Gingerbread Cookies (And a Link-Up)...
"It started when we were little. Dozens and dozens of cookies were made in our kitchen in December. They made their way into old tins and new platters and eventually to cookie swaps and school functions, the office, the concerts at church and our seven closest neighbors’ front doors.

My mother loved to bake with us. At least that’s how I choose to remember it. I’m not planning to ask her about it, because I’m quite fond of the memories. Somehow, she managed to keep a clean house, let us children make giant floury messes, host parties and run ministries as if she were Mary Poppins herself. As if she loved it more than anything.

I do wonder sometimes, if we all ceased lamenting about how much we’re failing, at least within ear shot of our progeny, if this kind of magic would hem together the threadbare edges of our children’s childhoods too?" (This Link-Up features favorite Christmas Cookie recipes... so much delicious goodness, all in one place! NomNom... and You're welcome!)

* This post by Becky Keife with When Living Trumps Writing...
"Things have been pretty quiet here over the past month. As a writer that makes me feel mixed.

I am wired to process through writing. It’s my joy to share how God is working in my life through the ordinary glory of motherhood. It’s my passion to encourage others by reminding you that you’re not alone on this thick, sticky, beautiful mess journey of walking with Jesus.

So when I’m not writing, I’m missing writing. When I’m not posting, I’m missing reaching out and connecting.

But I also have to acknowledge, mostly to myself, that more than writing I am wired for living. I was made to be present in the very moment I’m in.

And for November, that meant more being. Some doing. And less writing."

* This one by Deidra Riggs with Write Longhand...
"I had lost myself. Back at Laity Lodge, I sat across from Helen at a desk in the library beneath the Great Hall. There is a bright red maple tree just outside the window there, next to the spiral staircase that always makes me feel like Cinderella. I barely noticed the tree this year. But, after I sat with Helen, and she assigned me the writing and the candle and the music, and I told her things just between me and her, I went back upstairs to the Great Hall, where all the people were gathered and a fire was burning in the gigantic stone fireplace. I saw the sunlight “take the tree” just outside the window, and it completely surprised me in the very best way.

So, I’m writing longhand in the mornings with the dog at my feet and a cup of decaf by my side. All of this meandering across the page is helping me find my footing and taking a load off my chest. I would never tell you what to do, I hope you know that. You know you better than I know you. But (and I realize the word “but” cancels out everything that comes before it), if you’ve lost yourself along the way, you might want to try writing longhand. "

* This post from Addie Zierman with Jesus Comes Anyway: On Creating (and Letting Go of) Meaningful Christmas Traditions...
"Our kids are four and two years old. We’re in the early years of making Christmas memories, and we’re feeling our way toward our own traditions. We’re incorporating some of the things that we grew up with, letting others slip away. I feel the pressure of creating a scaffolding for Christmas memories to hang on.

I want it to be magical. I want this time of year to be holy and wondrous for my kids. I want the lights and the candles and the songs to communicate something true and powerful to them about God who they are just beginning to encounter.

And sometimes I forget the truth: Christmas does not depend on me.

I don’t need to teach these kids anticipation. Listen to them ask, every day, if it’s Christmas yet. They’re looking at the Christmas tree, and Liam keeps saying, WOW, and I don’t have to teach them wonder. It’s at the surface of their hearts, bubbling over into every beautiful thing.

They are climbing up into the sleigh with Santa Claus at our local Culvers’ tonight, telling him what they want for Christmas – asking for good gifts and believing that they will come. In so many ways, they understand so much more about the miracle of Christmas than I have in a long time."

* This post from Jennifer Dukes Lee on What a Half-Dozen Kids Teach Us About Being Available for God...
"Jesus forfeited the comfort of Heaven, to live among us, and to give His life for us, and to teach us what it means to spend our lives well, in His name. The Bible doesn’t say that we have to do good deeds to work our way to Heaven. It doesn’t say we have to travel to faraway lands to do His work in the world. But Scripture does say that when we give in His name, that’s a sign that He’s at work in us.

Wherever we go to meet needs, we end up meeting God."

* This one from right HERE with Let's Look For Miracles...
"It seems like White Noise... to add talk of Miracles this time of year.  

It seems now, this month, more than any other time of year - we are all talking about Miracles... miracles on 34th Street, miracles in a manger, miracles of Christmas bonuses or families able to gather together, miracles of needs met or gifts found or -you get the idea. 

Our anticipation and expectation --it rises along with that Christmas Star and we, once again, dare to hope!

You can feel it too, right?  That tugging that starts down deep...  In a world spinning fast, all dizzy and blurred, I love that pull that is nearly tangible to slow. it. down.  --to stop, to breathe in deep this cold winter air. It fights within us... this drive to keep up, and the need to slow down!  

There is a hunger and thirst for more than just some peace and quiet, but for Peace on Earth and a little Silent Night!"

Lastly, we like to wrap This Thing up with  a video... as if there is any other video to post this week... Gah! These guys get me every year! Enjoy!

As if that wasn't cool enough... this is why they did it...

Happy Weekend, my friends!


  1. Such a pretty picture, too!
    Thanks, friend.

    1. Ah thanks, Shannan! It's a little dreamy, right? (We still have no snow - but we do have sunshine, so I will not complain!)

  2. Karrilee, I'm blessed to be included in this wonderful roundup of women and words. Thank you, friend.

    1. Thank YOU, Becky... I think we all need the reminders that sometimes silence is needed - and being present in our real (aka offline) life trumps everything else!

  3. Thanks, Karrilee! Hope this Advent is full of hope, abiding peace. Much love to you!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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