So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

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

Katie Scott

Katie is the founder of ChasingVibrance.com 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. 

Fall into the Arms of Jesus, Little One

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Child walking

I have three younger brothers, so I know how crazy and wild boys can be. Lots of falls, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and even a couple of head stitches. My husband has two younger brothers. He’d always tell how they used to jump from the banister down two floors onto the glass coffee table. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. Pure madness and chaos.  Right now, I have a little baby boy who’s only seven months, but I know he will probably be just as wild as his uncles and dad. But that doesn’t mean I’m...

Keep Reading

10 Tips to Banish Teenage FOMO

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen with red hair smiling

Do you ever feel like the whole world is having a party—and you weren’t invited Maybe you worry about being included in the right groups or invited to the right sleepovers. Maybe you envy the relationships you see at school or youth group or feel jealous of the perfect social media posts showing others making memories together. If you’re a teen in 2022, you’re probably well acquainted with the fear of missing out. Knowing or wondering what you’re missing or who is getting together without you can leave you feeling lonely. It can leave you lonely and a little blue....

Keep Reading

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

How I Like My Coffee

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter drink coffee

I like my coffee with hazelnut creamer and a dash of almond milk. I like my coffee cold and neglected on the countertop because I’m busy soothing my new baby boy, the one who has made me a mother. In my long robe and slippers, I pace the kitchen floor and hold my swaddled son close to my heart. When his fussing grows quiet, I can hear the ticking of the big clock in the den. The dawn slowly reveals itself, brightening the kitchen in increments. It’s hard to imagine keeping my eyes open until he’s ready to nap again....

Keep Reading

Compassion Holds My Heart

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Child hugging mother

I lean my head in through the window of his van. The first thing I notice is the funny smell. Like cigarettes. And maybe body odor. The second? His tired, wrinkle-lined eyes. They’re dull, lethargic even. My daughter scrunches up her nose. I give her that look and try to hide my own misgivings. But Compassion climbs in the car with me.  And as the taxi driver guides the car toward our destination, I ask him about his story. Turns out he’s been driving all night. Till 5:30 this morning. Taking people home who were too drunk to drive themselves....

Keep Reading

I Was the Girl Who Ran Away From God

In: Faith
Woman standing in grass, black-and-white photo

I was the girl. I was the girl who’d do anything to get high as a teenager. I was the girl who craved love and just wanted to be wanted. I was the girl who wasn’t afraid of anything. I was the girl who stopped believing there was a God. I was the girl who said I would never go back to church. I was the girl who was certain none of it was real anyway because I was wasting my time going places like that. I was the girl who let the heartache and disappointment of this old world...

Keep Reading

I Prayed for You Before I Knew You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby, color photo

Baby, I have prayed for you—even before I knew who you would be.  I prayed I would be a mom one day when I was too little to know what I was praying for and again when I really thought my body would not be able to carry a baby. I prayed for you.  I prayed every day as you grew in my belly that you would be healthy, happy, and strong.  I prayed at every doctor’s appointment and scan that I would hear your heartbeat loud and strong.  I prayed for your arrival—for you to be safe and for...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, I Miss You

In: Faith, Grief
Grown woman and her mother, color photo

Dear Mom, Yesterday I went over to your house. I was hoping you would open the door, but Daddy greeted me with his sweet smile. Yes, he still has a mustache. The one you hate, but I did manage to trim it up for him. I cut his hair too.   We talked about you over coffee and waited for you to join us, but you never did. He’s doing his best to do this life without you in it, but his eyes are clouded with memories and mixed with pain. He misses you, Momma. RELATED: I Didn’t Just Lose...

Keep Reading

Spaghetti Sauce Faith

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Mother and little girl holding a bowl of spaghetti, color photo

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was loading my grocery cart higher than I ever had in my life. My husband and I, along with our two kids under two years old, had been living with his parents for three months. We moved from our Florida home to look for a house in Georgia, and they graciously took us in. This was the day I loaded up on groceries—filling an empty refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My shopping list was all the things. I needed to buy the smallest of table ingredients like salt and garlic powder to the big things...

Keep Reading

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime