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I love the excitement as my little ones wake up Christmas morning!  They scamper into the living room, and their eyes sparkle as they find gifts under the Christmas tree that weren't there the night before.

The excitement builds as they find packages with their names on them.  Their eyes dance with joy when they open their presents and find that ONE thing they really wanted!  It is so fun as a parent get to be a part of this excitement!

But as a parent, I want to offer my kiddos more than “stuff” at Christmas…I want to give them gifts that last beyond the first week, gifts that won't break, and gifts that build character and maturity.

I'm guessing that you want to offer your family something more than just “stuff,” too, which is why I have created a list of five gifts you can give your family that will have a positive impact all year long! Don't have a family?  Don't worry…these are gifts you'll love too!

1. The Gift of Self Care.

Do you wish you could say “yes” to that weekend getaway with your BFF? Or an adults only vacation with your spouse? Do you wish you could commit to train for that 10 K but are worried about how the training will impact your family? Do you wish you could take time to read your Bible, but cleaning the house, meal planning, and crying babies always seem to win?

This year give yourself the gift of self care.  When you care for yourself, you have more to give others.  You may have heard that before, but have you experienced the reality that exists there?  Taking care of your needs is important.  If you have children you want to teach them that their needs are important, as well.  When you neglect your own needs your children might wonder if their needs are important, or question whether they are selfish for wanting their needs met. When you do take time to meet your own needs, you teach those around you that you are important.

{Jesus thought you were important enough to die for!}

And you teach others appropriate ways to have their needs met.  One other benefit is, you have more to give to those you love when you aren't running on empty all of the time. This year give yourself the gift of self care and demonstrate to our loved ones how to make self care a priority without being self-centered.

Related Resource: How to get your needs met without being selfish…


2. The Gift of Time for Yourself.

Yes, personal time is a part of self care, but this specific gift is one that is often overlooked and undervalued. In a world that values stress and busyness, taking a break often appears as laziness or being unproductive.  But pressing pause to find a time for you to get away and relax, can actually be an amazing gift. Putting the kids to bed early so that you can have some “me” time, or getting away for the weekend with your spouse or best friend or by yourself can all rejuvenate you so that you can give your best when you are back in the chaos!

What if saying “yes” to time by yourself allowed you to invest more in your family?  What if taking a day to spend at the spa allowed you to stay calm and enjoy tucking your kids in that night?  What if taking time for yourself allowed you be present with your family day in and day out? What if taking time for yourself on a regular basis created space for you to show up healthier in all of your relationships in life…work and personal? If you knew you could have these results would you give yourself this gift? My guess is you would.  Are you open to giving this gift a test run?

Jesus demonstrated this gift to us during His time on earth! And if He had time to break away from the madness, you can too! He used this as a tool to rejuvenate, connect with God, and get a clear vision of the next step for His ministry.

Related Resource: Jesus takes time alone!


3. The Gift of Saying “No.”

Mike Glenn, my pastor when I lived in Nashville, often says, “When God shows you your “yes,” everything else is a “no.” This sounds simple enough, doesn't it? But as a grown up, do you feel pressure to say “yes” even when you know it isn't the best thing for you or your family? I do. But what I've found is this…

As you grow in your faith and tune in more to the “yes” God has for you, you will be more confident in saying “no.”

We look at saying “no” as a bad thing? But why?  Again, if we look at the ministry of Jesus on Earth…He often didn't go where the crowds wanted.  He stayed focused on His ministry and did only what God told Him to do.  And He said, “no!” to everything else! What a great example!

When you give yourself the gift of saying “no!” you will have more energy for the “yes” that God has called you to! You will have time to invest in your “yes” and you will have the clarity of what that next step is because you aren't distracted and drained from all the things you should be saying, “no” to. If you want to be in the center of God's Will, this is a great gift to give yourself.

Related Resource: Having more energy for your calling!


4. The Gift of Boundaries

Does the word “boundaries” make you break out in hives? Does it cause the same reaction as the word “budget”?

Boundaries are similar to budgets in that, when you set them you often are more free to do the things you love or spend time with the people you love. Dave Ramsey teaches that when you set a budget you often feel like you have a pay increase…it is permission to spend!  The same is true with boundaries.  When you set them and enforce them, you are giving yourself permission to do and enjoy the things and people that are a top priority to you.

Do you know your boundaries, but struggle enforcing them? Me, too!

Maybe, like me, you are afraid of hurting someone else's feelings, or you don't want to make things awkward.  Maybe you are afraid of being rejected if you enforce your boundary.  But here is what I have noticed…

When I clearly communicate my boundary and then enforce it, I feel more confident in myself.  And most of the time the other person honors and respects the boundary and me.  Sometimes, the other person even thanks me for being so clear in my communication. Now, do I hurt people's feelings sometimes, maybe. But I am responsible for staying on course with the “yes” that God has for me. 

Which is why the gift of boundaries often works best when you give it with the final gift…

Related Resource: Finding Freedom in Boundaries


5. The Gift of Connecting with God

All of these gifts are good gifts, but if you are not giving yourself this gift, the other gifts can lead to selfishness or can get out of balance.

The gift of connecting with God is a precious gift.  It can happen anywhere at anytime.  It is a gift that allows you be in tune with your calling, to be confident in your “yes”s and your “no”s.  Connecting with God gives you the clarity for your boundaries and the wisdom for your self-care. Connecting with God, also allows you to be in touch with your Creator.

Connecting with God can be reading God's Word and reflecting on it in your journal.  It can be memorizing Scripture or listening to music that feeds your soul. It can include a walk, hike or bike ride through His creation…It can look different at different times in your life.  It does need an element of God's Word and prayer…but how you do this can be as unique as you are.

If you want 2018 to be a year that you give yourself and your family the gift of growing in your faith, then I challenge you to be intentional about that.  Don't just say it is going to happen, map out when and where you will connect with God.  Find a reading plan or a Bible study to engage in.  Scheduling this time and making it a priority truly is the gift that keeps on giving.  Your investment in your walk with Jesus has an immeasurable return on investment. It will bring clarity to life and your calling.

Related Resource: Loving? My Life Devotional

I would love to hear in the comments which of these gifts you are giving yourself this Christmas, and in turn giving to your loved ones.

I would also love to hear how I can support you as you work towards these gifts.  As you know, I love creating resources for you as you walk through this journey called life.  I am excited about a few new resources coming your way in 2018, but if you have any resources that you would find helpful, please post them in the comments below or shoot me a message on Facebook!  You can connect with me here: Or you can shoot me an email at




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