Discover 5 New Ways to Celebrate a Natural Christmas


The older I get, the more I appreciate the simple things in life.

Celebrating Christmas often puts us into a frenzy as we try to create the perfect holiday for ourselves, our family, and friends. In this post, I’ve curated some natural holiday ideas that I love because of their focus on nature and simplicity and/or the true meaning of Christmas. Try one or try them all, but I pray that you will have the time to experience the love and blessings of God this Christmas season.

A Natural Christmas

  1. 5 Ways to Make Your  Home Smell Good for the Holidays. This amazing post from the Herbal Academy is full of wonderful ideas. Many of them would make a fun activity to do with children. I can’t wait to try #5, the Holiday Spice Potpourri. The spices in this blend are some of my favorites, and besides that, it’s a visual treat for the eyes too.
  2. Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls from Mother Earth Living. Remember the popcorn balls we used to make and eat as children? Here’s a recipe to enjoy. Even though they purposed this for Halloween, I always associate popcorn balls as a special treat of Christmas.
  3. 55 Last Minute Herbal DIY Gifts.This post by Joybilee Farm has an incredible assortment of herbal gift ideas that you can make. Inspiration is just oozing here. From beverages and food to oils, candles, and beauty products, your biggest challenge will be deciding what to make.
  4. The Twelve Herbs of Christmas. I like this post because it lists 12 different herbs historically associated with Christmas and explains their meaning in the Christmas story. For example, did you know that tradition has it that Joseph cut branches from a thyme bush to make bedding for Mary and baby Jesus? Also along those lines is a post of mine on Essential Oils in the Bible and how to use them today. It includes a recipe for creating a frankincense and myrrh skin blend, which would make a lovely gift for someone or to keep for yourself.
  5. Natural Nativity. Finally, I’ve included my natural, rustic nativities. Each fall, I make these miniature nativity scenes from tree bark from Hickory & Oak Sawmill and Lumber Company (my brother-in-law’s sawmill) and from beeswax. I sell them at Christmas in my Etsy shop if you would like to add one to your home.

What is a favorite way you celebrate a natural Christmas? I’d love to hear about a tradition you have or a new idea you want to try this year.

Merry Christmas!

Holidays or Holydays?

holydaysHolidays or Holydays?

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.  Especially after a divisive election season (Let’s just quit talking about it already). There is a certain excitement, energy  and camaraderie around a national holiday. A common interest enables us to drop our animosity and connect to others. Hearts and hands working for a common cause.

But is  Christmas a holiday or a Holyday? What is the difference?

One letter.

i or y

That one letter makes a big difference.

Please take a minute and go there with me. In the middle of holiday is the letter I. I asks the following questions: What do I want? What do I get? What’s in this holiday for me, myself and I? Am I happy? Am I comfortable? Holiday centers on I.

Holyday, Holy day.

Holyday, on the other hand, asks a different set of questions …


Y, God, do love us so much?

Y did you send Jesus to tabernacle among us?

Y are You so good to us?

Y did you choose us to be your children?

Holyday centers us on God and His goodness.

Holiday is fun, but  it’s only skin deep. It appeals to the 5 senses but doesn’t make a deeper appeal to the heart.



Fun Joy
Jolly Jesus
Feasting Fulfilling
Presents Presence
Gifts Grace

While I love the fun of holidays (the cookies, the parties, the caroling), I need the depth of Holydays to satisfy my heart and fill my spirit.

Do a little holiday experiment and listen to the Holiday/Holyday music below.


Now listen to Josh Groban’s version of O Holy Night.

Did you feel the difference? O Holy Night wrecks me every time I hear it. Can’t say the same about Jingle Bell Rock. Holidays are fun, but they need to be a part of the more important Holyday.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

What can you do to help your family put holy back into holiday?

  1. Watch the Nativity Story with family or friends.
  2. Take a night time walk through your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors.
  3. Read the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke.
  4. Make Christmas cookies and share them with a person who needs the love of Christ.
  5. Click on the following link for more  ideas.  8 Ways to Center on Christ at Christmas

Let me know your ideas and thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Happy Holidays and Happy Holydays!


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copyright 2016

The Sacred Everyday

Sacred and EverydayOne of my passions is finding the sacred in the everyday, like our tagline says. While I love special holidays and holy days, I don’t want to wait just for those times to draw close to God. I want to sharpen my sense of Him every day. But it’s too easy to get caught up in the daily details of living and forget to look for Jesus right where I am.

Record God’s Fingerprints

I’ve challenged myself to record His fingerprints in my life: as many times a week as I can, I am going to post a picture and a few words about where or how I’ve seen Jesus that day. It may be through a person, a place, a thing, or an idea. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, trying to become more aware of that thin space where heaven and earth meet. I’m excited to capture what often goes unnoticed — His sacred meeting my everyday. I hope you’ll join me — and share some of yours too.

Pray on!





When Your World Is Rocked …

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I can hardly believe that the holiday season is already over.  Most people look forward all year long to the feast that they can devour without judgment at Thanksgiving and the festivities of Christmas, but for my family this year, those traditions were moved to the bottom of our priority list.

About two months ago, my mom started getting really sick, and the doctors couldn’t find any source to her illness. They ran test after test, yet nothing made sense as to why she had a low blood count and was losing weight at an alarming rate. Christmas was right around the corner, and we decided to take a break from all the doctors’ appointments and just enjoy the season with our family. We would worry about possible causes for these symptoms after the tree had come down and the media had stopped showing all their Christmas specials.

This seemed like a great idea, but God had other plans. Plans that would rock our world… but then again, God seems to like switching up our plans, especially around Christmas time. The whole point of this season is that God flipped the script and sent His Son born of a virgin to save us. So when everything stopped going according to plan this Christmas, for me it was a lot easier to deal with, because I knew that God was still in control, just as He was 2,000 years ago.

About a week before December 25, my mom started coughing up blood. It wasn’t a lot the first day. But then it continued day after day, until her whole hand would be covered with the blood. Christmas was just days away, but it was time to act. We rushed her to the hospital to find out that she had lung cancer the size of a baseball in her left lung. The doctors had not thought to look for that specific form of cancer because my mother had never smoked or worked in a vocation that might contribute to lung cancer.

After that, things started going pretty fast. We were rushing my mom to many CT scans and biopsies. It was originally believed that she had stage three cancer, which would have given her about eight months to live. However, my God is bigger than doctors’ diagnoses, and after much prayer my mother returned for another doctors appointment to find out that the cancer was not spreading as fast as they had first thought and that they might be able to get all of the cancer with surgery. That surgery is still going to be very rough and we are all anticipating January 18, when my mom will have her entire left lung removed, but we are trusting God and know that He will protect my mom and continue to give us all peace throughout this difficult and scary experience.

On behalf of my mom, I am asking that any one reading this would please pray for her on January 18 as she goes into surgery. It would be so powerful and amazing to know that thousands of people are out there praying for her to have strength and to feel God’s presence throughout this time. My mom’s own personal prayer is that God be glorified in all of this. Thank you.

Pray on!


Brittany Jean is a nineteen-year-old college student living in the Midwest with her parents and younger brother. She is currently majoring in pre-law and is planning on using that degree for ministry.