Giving Our Children The Gift Of Authenticity This Christmas

Progress has stolen a bit of the simplicity of life. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for all of the things created that make life easier: Uber, online grocery ordering, hair straighteners, etc. If we don't know it, we can google it. If we don't like the way it looks, we can filter it. On and on it goes.

The ease of learning, creating and doing often make it difficult to go about just being. The bar on simply living life has been raised a bit too high.

As a culture we measure and check off boxes according to Instagram and Pinterest. I am guilty of using my news feed to determine whether or not I've succeeded at different areas in my life - namely, this whole parenting thing.

And just when I am feeling super insecure, enter the holiday season ...

Holidays spent with my family growing up were magical. So when I became a mom, I was compelled to give my children knock-out memories. Social media provides the ability to sneak a peek into the homes of everyone I've ever met and has allowed a deficiency to creep into my heart. Every swing I take at the plate to create an ambiance that will be memorable for years to come feels like a fly ball.

Suddenly, nothing is good enough. The card stock on our Christmas cards is too thin. Our table isn't decorated properly with name tags and beautiful lettering. Even our family traditions aren't special enough. I keep coming up short. I can't seem to orchestrate the perfect family Christmas. I'd bet I'm not alone in this deep feeling of inadequacy.

But isn't that the point of Christmas? We need a Savior. This was His entrance. This was His day. We needn't make it anything more special than that. And in our efforts to make more of this day, we've made less of Him.

The gingerbread houses and family nights mean nothing if we've missed the point. As parents we spend our days striving to give our family the very best of ourselves. From a place of love, we aim to fill our homes to the brim with all the things that make this season beautiful and memorable. Along the way, we may even unintentionally measure ourselves against what we view on the other side of our neighbors' fence.

And in the midst of the daily struggles, shoved between the holidays of thankfulness and starting anew - we often overlook the gift of Christmas, which sets us free from comparison and guilt; because we're too busy trying to measure up.

This year I'm cutting the cord on progress. In 2017 I won't allow the world to be my measuring stick because I've decided that's limiting the gift of Christmas and the magnificence of our Creator who willingly left His very throne to come take a seat at our table. He doesn't need fancy decorations or place settings. He wants You - just as He created you to be, no striving or scrambling required.

The thing is, you at this level - is all your family needs too. Along with all the gifts we wrap beautifully and place under the tree, maybe giving the gift of authenticity to our family is enough this year. Maybe we spend a little less time doing and a little more time being just who it is we were created to be and knowing that is enough. This leaves room for God to write His story in the intricacies of our daily lives. This is glory in the mundane. This is the message of Christmas. This is what I'll share with my family this year. In my weakness He is made strong. No Pinterest or Instagram required.

This post originally appeared on