5 Things Every Girl Needs For the Christmas Season

What I’m Listening to: Wait for Me by Kings of Leon

Less than a month ’til Christmas Day! With that in mind, you know there’s never a better time to make a list (and yes, maybe check it twice) to make sure you’re ready to have a terrific Christmas this year.

5. A Great Playlist

I don’t just mean Christmas music, (though that’s basically a given). I’m talking about the kind of music you love to get ready to, the kind of music you like to wrap presents and bake Christmas cookies to. A versatile, fun, up-beat playlist that always makes you feel pretty, chic, and maybe even a little bit dangerous.

4. A Killer Dress

Christmas is a time for parties, and whether you are the world’s biggest introvert or the social butterfly to end them all, you should have at least one dress that makes you look fantastic. Every girl has a few styles and colors that suit them best, but don’t be afraid to try something new.

3. A Checklist

I know, I know, nobody likes a checklist. But as one of the few who do, you know it’s my duty to let you know how simple they’ll make your life. (I definitely don’t have an endless supply of color-coded lists that span across multiple devices and notebooks.)

2. A Pretty Lipstick

It doesn’t have to break the bank, though if you are looking to splurge you know I’m going to suggest YSL’s Rouge Volupté Shine. Their colors are perfect for whatever you’re looking for, from darker shades to a super pale pink. For those looking for a less expensive alternative I think that L’Oreal Colour Riche lipsticks are smooth, color-rich options that won’t put a dent in your Christmas shopping budget.

1.  The Christmas Spirit

I bet you guys knew I was gonna get sentimental, but it’s true and you know it. After all, the most important element of Christmas, is Christmas. The excitement, the joy of Kroger selling Sweet Tart candy canes, and of course the sense of a new beginning that’s so integral to the Christian celebration of Christmas.

Peace (on Earth),

Kick

Week Four: Grace & Faith

What I’m listening to: Man in Black by Johnny Cash

Welcome back to the fourth and last week of my month long weekly devotional series! As always, if you’re new, be sure to check out my previous posts in the series. The intro post has some additional information about our September of Peace devotionals. 

 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

                 – John 16:33 (NIV)

God does not want to scare us into inaction. Yes, the world is a hostile, angry place, but we were put here for a reason. In this verse God is letting us know that the peace we desire can be found in Him. He conquered the world, not so that we would never face any obstacles, but rather that we would know that we

 “can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

              -Philipians 4:13 (NIV)      

So, as we wrap up our September of Peace, I want to take the opportunity to sum up our series as two points. 

1. We live in a shattered world that we can never begin to repair, and we ourselves are shattered because of it. 

2. Our God isn’t asking us to fix it, or ourselves, only that we rely on Him; that He might do miracles both around and through us. 

Prayer Prompt: That we might be as blessed with understanding and guidance as we are with God’s infinite grace and wisdom. We pray for these things not for ourselves, but for His cause, to be able to be used as forces of good in this fallen world. 

Week Three: Strength & Sin

What I’m listening to: Human by The Killers

Welcome back to week three of my month long weekly devotional series! As always, if you’re new, be sure to check out my previous posts in the series. The intro post has some additional information about our September of Peace devotionals. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

                          – James 1:2-3 (NIV)

I know that the Bible teaches us many things that may seem to go against the grain of what we have both learned and know it our lives, but this verse is extremely difficult. Endure? Yes. But “pure joy”? That seems crazy. However, as with most things in the Bible, the next verse clarifies. We should rejoice, not because bad things are happening, but because we are becoming better Christians. The benefit of living in a sinful world is becoming a stronger Christian. God has promised to never lead us astray. Anything that the Lord sets in our path He has also set a way through, through Him. It is because of this that we must persevere and attempt to find joy, because God can save us from anything.

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. 

                      – Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

Prayer Prompt: That we may find peace in the Lord, even if the world is working against us right now, for we know that His light will shine in the morning.  

Week Two: Rebellion & the World

What I’m Listening To: Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis

Welcome back to week two of my month long weekly devotional series! As always, if you’re new, be sure to check out my previous posts in the series. The intro post has some additional information about our September of Peace devotionals. 

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 

                   ~ 1 John 2:15 (NIV)

That can be a tough pill to swallow, that even loving the world just a little means that we don’t love God. That’s not to say that we can’t like, or enjoy the things of the world; rather that we should be wary to not let them consume us and become our idols. This is made much easier if we remember two things that God tells us. One, that the world hates us because we are not like it. Yes, God makes it explicitly clear in John that the world is not merely unfeeling, but actually despises us. 

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 

                      ~ John 15:19 (NIV)

Two, that not only has God chosen us out of the world, but that we are actually not of the world the same that He is not. 

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 

                     ~ John 17:16 (ESV)

It is because of our likeness to God that the world does not like us. Why should we love anything that hates us for being like our Saviour? Therefore, we should rebel against the world, and turn to God, that the world might be pushed away from us through the love of Christ. 

Prayer Prompt: That we might be granted the strength to turn away from the Faustian offers the world attempts to bribe us with, and instead turn our face toward our Redeemer and the promise of Heaven. 

Week One: Sin & Mercy

What I’m Listening to: Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line by Waylon Jennings

Welcome to week one of my September of Peace! (And a happy Labor Day Weekend as well). 

It can be easy to think of ourselves as “good people”. We donate to charity, we try to be nice, hey, we even paid for the person behind us at Starbucks one time. This is dangerous thinking. In Romans, the Bible teaches us that

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

                            – Romans 3:23

Now I hear you, you’re saying that you thought yourself a good person, but not like God-level good. Just, you know, better than average maybe. Definitely better than some. This is the heart of that dangerous territory. We can never save ourselves; Isaiah reminds us of this in this passage. 

All of us have become like one that is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 

                   – Isaiah 64:6

Think about that. Not only are we all horribly unrighteous, but our good deeds are useless in the face of our immeasurable sin. What should we do in the face of these (rather harsh) facts? Well, thankfully the Lord has the answer to that too. 

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

                         – Proverbs 28:13

The truth is, we are all innately sinful, but God’s not asking us to fix ourselves, He’s just asking us to be honest. Like a tinker, he can fix anything; but only if we give it to Him to patch and heal. We will always be sinful, but if we allow the Lord into our life we will also be sinless. 

Prayer: May the Lord help me to not attempt to fix my sin myself, but instead be honest about it in the face of His immeasurable mercy. 

September of Peace

What I’m Listening To: Daddy Sang Bass by Johnny Cash

Your suspicions are correct. Every Sunday for the month of September I’ll be doing a short devotional. Each will tie in with the larger message of why the world, and the trials that we face during our time in it, present us with the opportunity to become better Christians, not worse. As for the name? I’m calling it ‘September of Peace’ because September is a month of relative quiet, a sanctuary between the end of summer and the beginning of the holidays. I hope that you will follow along with me on this journey as we attempt to find peace in the Lord this (pre) holiday season.

Peace (literally)

KJ

Easter!

What I’m listening to: She Moves in Her Own Way by The Kooks

What’s up, its Easter, I’m high as a kite on Cadbury eggs. Now that we’ve gotten the formalities out of the way, let’s talk about what I’ve been doing today (besides trying to send myself into certified sugar shock). First off, the start of it all; the Easter basket. 

 Just by looking at it, I’m sure you can see why I can hear colors right now. I got two non-candy gifts; another Deadpool compilation to add to my collection, and in the small black box, a gold cross necklace. 

  

 Of course Easter wouldn’t be complete without an Easter egg hunt orchestrated by yours truly for the minisister.  

  Btw, I am I love with my Carhartt overalls! They are so adorable/comfortable whether I’m taking photos or relaxing in a field of daffodils, as seen here:  The things I do for the sake of aesthetic y’all. 

peace + daffodils = 

KJ
 

Advent Day 24

What I’m listening to: The Twelve Days Of Christmas by Ray Conniff

Welcome to Day 24 our Advent series! I can’t believe today is our last day!!If you’re up to speed, congrats(!), if not, be sure to check out the previous posts. The first one explains a little more about the series. Now for today’s verses from Luke. 

“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”

                     Luke 2:34-35 (NIV)

It can be easy to feel like nobody, even God, understands us. However, here in Luke we are shown that the Lord does know our hearts, and can fufill the desires within them. Everyone, deep down, has similar true desires; love, acceptance and success are all common. Jesus came to Earth to fufill two of those needs. We have a Savior who both loves us without end and accepts us even though we are sinners. What could be a better present? I certainly can’t think of one. Merry Christmas and praise the Lord. 

Prayer Prompt: This Christmas take a moment to thank the Lord for all that He’s done, but especially for sending His Son to Earth all those years ago to fufill your heart’s hopes.  

Advent Day 23

What I’m listening to: The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) by The Chipmunks 

We are on day 23 of our advent series!! As always, if you’re new, be sure to check out my previous posts in the series. The first post also has some additional information about our Advent devotionals. Now let’s dive back into Matthew!

 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

                 Matthew 2:19-20 (NIV)

Do you ever feel like God is never going to give you something you want? Whether it be a job, a date or something else entirely, most of us have wondered when or even if God was going to come through. As illustrated here in Matthew though, we are reminded that not only does the Lord have a time for everything, He also has a reason. We should not become discouraged simply because something isn’t happening on our time schedule. Just because it’s not lining up with your plan doesn’t mean God is ignoring you. He wants and knows best for us, and He will bring about great things in His time.

Prayer Prompt: Pray for patience so that you may be grateful instead of exasperated when God gives you what you wanted. 

Advent Day 22

What I’m listening to: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer by Elmo and Patsy

We are on day 22 of our advent series!! As always, if you’re new, be sure to check out my previous posts in the series. The first post also has some additional information about our Advent devotionals. Now let’s dive back into Matthew!

 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 

 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

                  Matthew 2:16-18 (NIV)

Today’s verses come from one of the darkest moments in the Christmas story. Perhaps the slaughter of innocents was a symbol of the struggle the Lord’s children would face in the coming years, and in many cases continue to fight today. For the last two days we’ve been talking about the first two gifts from the Magi. Today we’ll be talking about the final gift: myrrh. Myrrh was used as a  anointing oil, a symbol of Jesus’s future death for us. It may have also served as a sign of the massacre described here in Matthew that the baby Jesus would narrowly escape. While it can be hard sometimes to understand why God lets bad things happen, we must always remember that there is a reason. We may not understand that reason, but we do not have to. We only have to trust that our loving God understands the rationale behind it. 

Prayer Prompt: Pray for Christians facing persecution this Christmas season, that the Lord will protect them as well as guide them in the new year.