The holidays are over. Today’s the first day back to school for kids and back to work for many of us. How are you surviving the back to routine blah’s?  15

I began the 2014 Holidays as a minimalist. My goal was to simplify, scale back, say no, and rest. With a child in college and one on her own, I wanted to avoid stress of a fuller-than-usual-house because I wanted to enjoy them and their siblings.

Really, that’s all I wanted for Christmas was time with my kids. No fighting.  No bickering, no disappointment for unmet expectations.

So I decorated less and am making it last longer. My “winter trees” will be up for a few more weeks yet. Candles and lights make the winter just a little more brighter.

On this first day of “normal” in 2015, here are lessons I’ve learned from the most recent holiday season.

1. A house full of laughter is a great joy. 

2. A home that feels safe is where the Holy Spirit is at work. 

3. Periods of rest are essential for overall spiritual, emotional and physical health.

4. Letting things go that aren’t worth bickering over brings freedom.

5. The spirit of Christmas can go with you every day of the year. His name is Jesus, and if He’s part of your life, bring Him, the Hope of the holidays, to every place you are.

6. God redeems. Many personal things have happened over the last several months that continue to show me God is a redeeming God. He restores the years the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25). Not just once, but over and over again as you continue to bring your wounds, sin, hurt and fears to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

7. Seasons come and go, so how don’t we live every day well? My theme for this year is Live! Why? Because we don’t ever know what tomorrow will bring. It was just a few days ago my Facebook newsfeed was inundated with people decorating for the holidays. Now, it’s all put away, another Christmas gone by….now what?

8. Great things in life usually don’t happen on “The Day.” They happen in the small, unexpected moments, like the couch conversation that wasn’t planned or the prayer you stopped and said because the Spirit prompted you.

9. The holidays can be as crazy or as relaxing as you want them, and so does the rest of your life. Really. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.

10. Time together is a gift. Sometimes we don’t realize this until being together happens less and less. 10455108_10205911903860641_9083302772833015397_n1

11. Even the most organized moms make mistakes on Christmas mornings. Yep, that was me. A story to be told soon at the “Got Laughter” event.

12. Relationships are more important than food.

13. It’s important to share things about life during the holidays rather than just open gifts. Yes, the “What’s the highlight of your year?” or “What are you thankful for this year?” questions come up at our family gatherings. Because they’re just important.

14. The perfect Christmas is a myth, but family, faith, and friends are real.

15. Jesus Christ is so much more than a baby in a manger. To me, He’s my savior, because I really do need one. He’s my redeemer because He can and does undo the things I’ve messed up. He’s my King, the authority over my life, not the enemy though the evil one wants me to believe that. He’s my Joy, because the more I know Him, the more His countenance overtakes my grossness. He is Peace on Earth and goodwill towards men.

Him, nothing else.

There is a lot more I can’t put words to. So those are my words for today. These are things prompting me to #Live2105 well.

What lessons have you learned over the past holiday season? What are you learning to take into 2015? What ways are you trying to live today? 

If you haven’t joined us on Facebook, I’d love for you too! I’ll be sharing discussions, graphics and many quotes and resources each week on how to live well in 2015 and how to balance busyness, the topic of my upcoming book. Join us here. Follow the hashtags #Live2015 and #BalanceInBusyness.

Also, if you haven’t subscribed to the blog, I’d love to have you join us! You can do that here and also receive a free ebook, “10 Ways Busy Moms Can Find Rest.”

Happy New Year from our house to yours!

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