Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

Have you seen that cute little Shepherd on the Search? It’s kind of a “Christian” Elf on the Shelf. (Although the Elf on the Shelf can still be Christian, I’m not calling you an atheist if you do Elf on the Shelf #everyonebecalm.) You move the little shepherd around each day, closer and closer to the manger scene, and eventually, he comes close to Jesus on Christmas day.

I’ve been thinking about that little shepherd and Christmas and all the things I’m doing or planning to do (going to a live nativity, buying the perfect gifts, baking all the yummy things, making sure my kids know and understand the Christmas story), and in that pondering, one question has risen to the surface:

Will I be closer to Jesus on December 25th?

Because really, it is all a wash if I haven’t moved closer to Him. What’s the point of Christmas if I’m so busy chasing Christmas I don’t move closer to Jesus?

In the Christmas story, there were some people who moved closer to Jesus. The first ones I thought of were the three wise men. Matthew 2:1 says, “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King behold wise men from the east came to Jerusalem.”

The wise men are believed to be from Persia. Their journey was about 1,000 miles and took approximately 25-30 days. It was long and hard; they faced opposition.

Some of us are going to have to put in some major effort to move closer to Jesus this season. We will have to say “no” to some good things to say “yes” to the great things. We may have to get up early for those quiet moments of sipping coffee by the Christmas tree lights reading the Word. It may take battleground prayers when we walk into family situations that still hurt. It may take deep leans into the Spirit for patience to deal with upset sleep schedules and over-sugared children.

It may be hard, but like the wise men, let’s move toward Jesus.

The wise men weren’t the only ones who moved closer to Jesus. “When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger” (Luke 2:15-16).

The shepherds had a short journey, closer to Jesus. He was just over the fields as they rushed with joy to see His face. Some of us may have a joyously short journey to Jesus—so short, we can sprint to Him.

RELATED: May We Be Mothers Like Mary

Maybe that’s you. You are just “feeling it” this year. The spirit, the season, family, digging into Advent with your kids. It all feels magical and Jesus is SO close. You are excited and quick to press into the Father this season. You can’t wait to spread the news.

Keep on spreading your joy to the world, sister—we need your encouragement. Like the shepherds move toward Jesus with a tune in your heart and a spring in your step.

Finally, there is one last person I want to speak of: Mary.

I am a very private person when it comes to giving birth. I don’t want anyone except my husband there with me, and I don’t really like visitors at the hospital. I just want to rest (hahahahahahaha!), nurse my baby, and have food brought to me on a tray. I definitely don’t want strangers around unless they are bringing said food. So I’m in awe of Mary just for not losing it on the shepherds, the sheep, the whole situation. Bless her.

By the time Jesus is born Mary, I believe, is physically and spiritually exhausted. Mary is tired–she’s traveled days by foot or donkey. Mary is shamed—she got pregnant before she was married. She’s separated from family. She is physically and spiritually drained.

She doesn’t have the strength to move toward Jesus. So HE comes to HER.

The incarnation. God comes near.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

If this Christmas you don’t have the strength to move toward Jesus, He is coming to you.

You just sit there, mama. His grace and truth will come pouring in. If you are aching from the loss of a loved one, that first Christmas missing someone who SHOULD be there. If you are dealing with illness. If you are holding together a marriage that just isn’t “working.” If you are exhausted caring for a newborn. If Christmas reminds you of all you’ve lost or missed out on. If it dredges up old wounds that leave you paralyzed.

Jesus is coming to you.

RELATED: Knowing Jesus is With Us Makes All the Difference

“And from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace” (John 1:16).

So no matter where you are . . . a wise (wo)man on a long journey, a jubilant sheepherder, or just a tired mama . . . 

Let’s receive the joy and peace He promises. Let’s get grace and give grace. Let’s get closer to Jesus this Christmas.

Originally published on the author’s blog

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Katie Scott

Katie is the founder of where she helps women live with joy + intention in the mundane moments of life. Katie makes her home in Indiana with her guitar-playing husband and three crazy kiddos. She enjoys coffee, dry shampoo, getting lost in a good book, and spontaneity, if carefully planned. 

When You Stop Running into My Arms, I Pray You Run to Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child and mother walking on beach in sunlight

I love seeing the light in my little girl’s eyes when I pick her up from school at the end of the day. Her eyes open wide, and she runs to me loudly saying, “Mommy!” for all to hear. I pick her up and give her a big hug and kiss on her cheek. She smiles ear to ear and knows she is loved and adored. She feels safe in my arms, and I pray that never changes. I want to always be her biggest cheerleader and greatest fan–holding the streamers on the sidelines in shades of brilliant gold encouraging...

Keep Reading

Praying For Your Kids is Holy Work of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom hugging daughter by bed with open Bible

While excavating Mount Masada in Israel, archeologists discovered something extraordinary . . . a date palm seed. It might not seem like much (especially if you’re like me and totally expected it to be a new dinosaur or something), but this particular seed sat dormant in the dry desert soil for almost 2,000 years. Scientists ended up finding several more seeds like it throughout the Judean desert, and with a little TLC, they were able to sprout not just one but six of them. Six date palm trees, now bearing fruit that hasn’t been seen in two millennia. Incredible, right?...

Keep Reading

Choose to Be a Mother, Not a Martyr

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, black-and-white photo

There is a trend in motherhood right now . . . maybe it’s happened for a long time, but now since I am a mom, I am experiencing it: this idea that everything we do as moms makes us a martyr. And honestly, I am guilty here more times than I’m not. RELATED: You’re a Mother, Not a Martyr We have these inner, silent dialogues between us and our husbands, parents, in-laws, and friends. Things we say and think, but they never hear. They compound on each other in the hallways of our hearts before bitterness creeps in without us...

Keep Reading

Motherhood Reminds Me How Much I Need Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby in nursery, color photo

Parenting is not only about the work it takes to raise up a child, but it’s also about continuing the work of being raised in Christ. Stripping back our innermost layers of selfishness and laying our pride exposed. Seeing ourselves as the center of our own personal schedule is no longer an option. Feeling like we have power over anything quickly vanishes into thin air. Parenthood pushes us to surrender and accept God’s sovereign control. Parenting sanctifies us.  Parenting shows us our sinful attitudes. When plans are ruined, when another blowout spoils the perfect outfit you chose, when your toddler...

Keep Reading

When Did I Become Such an Angry Mom?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman with head in her hands

My oldest children and I had just navigated a tabletop board game. My son lost. My daughter won. I also lost. She’s four. For the record, I was trying my best. We were all putting the game away together when my son grabbed my daughter by the face and yelled, “IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYWAY BECAUSE YOUR BREATH STINKS!” And then, Mount St. Meredith erupted. I (not so gently) removed him from the situation and (not so calmly) insisted that he . . . brush his own teeth. Yep. For the record, I was trying my best. RELATED: Mom Anger: Taming...

Keep Reading

Angel Babies are Heaven’s Gatekeepers

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Mother and baby silhouette

I never seemed to have the right words. I didn’t have the right words at four years old when my parents lost my 11-month-old brother, and I never seemed to have the right words as I watched family members and close friends lose both the new life growing within their wombs and the beautiful, precious life resting in their weary arms. So, I did what I thought would offer the most comfort. I simply tried to show up and be there the best I could. I shopped for their favorite treats. I dropped meals off on front porches and toys...

Keep Reading

Secondary Infertility Took Me By Surprise

In: Baby, Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler by open door

Selfish. Unfair. Guilt stricken. Shameful. Those were just a few of the words that regularly stabbed my lamenting heart as I longed for a second child. Yes, I was grateful for my healthy, beautiful boy who made my dream of motherhood come true, but why did I not feel complete—was he not enough? Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong and didn’t deserve a second child? Why did I long to give him a sibling so badly knowing millions were aching for their first—how could I be so insensitive? So many questions, so many buts and so many whys....

Keep Reading

So God Made a Farm Mom

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Family walking on farm road at sunset

One day, God looked down at all the fields, barns, pastures, and farmers and knew He needed someone to take care of all the families on the land. He knew it had to be someone confident in herself to see that the farm doesn’t come first, even when it sometimes feels like it does. He knew the farm needed someone who understands her role is important, too—especially during the seasons of motherhood when she’s not out driving a tractor. Someone proud to stand by her farmer’s side.  So God made a farm mom. God knew farm kids would need someone...

Keep Reading

Even If It Doesn’t Feel like It, God Is Holding You

In: Faith
Woman sitting against tree outside

Sweet friend,  When you’re sitting in that doctor’s office, waiting to find out what is wrong, I know you’re scared. I wish I could come and sit down beside you, hold your hand, and reassure you that it’s going to be okay. No matter what news she tells you, it’s going to be okay.  Your world might change in an instant. I know there are so many feelings swirling inside you and that you’re fighting back the tears, but it’s going to be okay.  Even if it doesn’t feel like it, God is holding you. He knows exactly what’s going...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Make Mistakes, Even When Motherhood Doesn’t Look Like You Planned

In: Faith, Motherhood
Teen with Down syndrome sits on couch with mother

I see you trying to keep your head above water every day, trying to juggle all of your responsibilities, have time for things you want to do, time for self-care in a world that glamorizes it, to meet the needs of your other kids, your husband, and have a social life on top of therapies, IEP meetings, meltdowns, evaluations, working with your child one-on-one, and just all the additional stresses that come with this life. There are too many to list, but if you know you know.  I see you wondering if you’re doing enough for your child when you...

Keep Reading