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3rd Day of Christmas Giveaways with Summer Saldana

12 Days of Christmas at KarenEhman.com

Welcome to the 3rd Day of Christmas Giveaways!!!

Summer is giving away a Gratitude Journal and will be sharing how she is keeping it intentional this Christmas season. Summer is one of those women who certainly isn’t trying to hide anything — except maybe what is behind her beloved bangs.

Summer Saldana She is refreshingly open about her mommy meltdowns (she has 2 children, but one is strong willed, so it’s more like 4), her faith, and her obsession with thrift store shopping and makeup/skincare hauls.But whether it’s through writing, speaking, or sharing her health, beauty and fashion tips on YouTube, Summer’s greatest passion & hope is that through these bonds of beauty, deeper connections and friendships are created! Connect with Summer Saldana on her Blog or on You Tube.

To join in on the fun and be entered to win this prize, simply leave a comment on the post answering the question of the day. ALSO—one grand prize will be given to one person who comments on all 12 days.

The Grand Prize is a $50 gift certificate to Proverbs 31 Ministries store and a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.com!!!

Now, here is Summer to offer you today’s post…

Season of Intentionality

My Favorite Christmas Tradition…has become more about a change within our hearts, than it has been about a change in our activities.

Recently my pastor preached through the beginning of John 12, specifically on the moment between Jesus & Mary, when she took a pound of expensive ointment, and used every last drop to wash the feet of Jesus with her own hair. All throughout the message, he stressed to us that it wasn’t the gift, or the cost or even her welfare that was the point, rather it was her focus…her aim…her intention… And Mary’s was simply to worship and serve the Lord she loved.

He ended the message with the reminder that in all things our focus, our goal, our aim…must be one of worship, intentional worship with all of our heart, mind and strength.

Of course this biblical truth applies to our lives in all times and all seasons, but it was especially meaningful to me during this Christmas season as well.

One Christmas, long ago (okay, only a few years, but still…), we missed the meaning…we missed the purpose. We got caught up in the plans and the bustle and the shopping and the spending and the need, want, must buy nows!!! And we realized one Christmas morning, when we had proudly accomplished giving our children what we believed was, “THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!”….that maybe more was not necessarily better. Our children were unsatisfied and left with a feeling of want, even when there were piles and piles of gifts and wrapping paper surrounding them.

We knew in that moment that we needed to refocus the Season on what really matters.

The first change we implemented was to adopt a new tradition. Rather than spending on an abundance of gifts, we purchased only four per child…
“Something you want,
something you need,
something to wear,
and something to read.”

Each year they get one affordable gift per category, nothing more, and never have I seen my babies more satisfied and content.

With this change and many others, Christmas has become to our family not a season of getting, but a season of intentionality.

It’s a sweet precious time to slow down, take notice of those around us, serve, give, love and spend time with the ones God has blessed our lives with. We try not to focus so much on our needs or wants, but instead remember that we get a whole month specifically dedicated to reminding us of the Ultimate One we worship and serve.

And so, I would love to encourage you all to take what often becomes a season of need, greed and busy, and instead start a new tradition of making it a season of intentionality and worship.

Whatever you do, whatever you give, whatever you say, whatever you fill your time with….remember the aim, the goal, the purpose….is worship to our King.

“The aim of our welfare should be worship, not welfare.”
-Pastor Matt Smith

What new traditions can you guys start this season or even in your daily life to bring about more of a heart of worship in your own family? Share your ideas below! A winner will be selected from the comments.

Gratitude Journal Giveaway Image

Today’s Giveaway:

As a way to cultivate a heart of thankfulness, intentionality and worship, Summer will be generously giving away this beautiful Gratitude Journal by Catherine Price.

***All the winners will be announced Tuesday, December 22.***

Giveaway at KarenEhman.com 12 Days of Christmas


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  1. My most favorite change this year is that I have beeb blessed to move on a farm in the UP! I get up in the morning with my hubby, have a cup or 2 of coffee after he has gone to work and then I go out and let my chickens out, check all the feeders, then go for a nice long, quiet time with God walk praying for our farm and all those who visit. I have also asked God to show me the needs of my grown kids for thier Christmas gifts this year.

  2. Lately we have been cranking up the Christian radio station or CD’s and singing along and dancing in worship. It’s so great to see my daughters join in. And it can really put your mood in check!

  3. Our family is working on closing our day with prayer TOGETHER- all 5 of us- welcoming in God’s presence as we sleep. We have very busy kiddos- ages 23, 20 & 16…a teacher/writer..a computer science major/hockey player & a violin playing ballerina…our evenings are spent all over the place, but we can join our hearts and lives together before closing our eyes in sleep! Come Lord Jesus, fill us with Your presence!

  4. Put together hygiene packages and keep them with me in my car so as I am out and about, I can share them with those in need.

  5. This year I started reading an Advent Devotional with my son at bedtime. It’s been a great way to remind him of what the season is about.

  6. In the past we have been known for homemade Christmas’s – my husband and I would make most of our gifts for family and friends. Last year I was pregnant and I made a few thins, but not like in the past- I so missed it. So this year it is back to the sawdust and then into the kitchen for homemade gifts!

  7. We started an advent kit this year that includes balloons and daily activities. The three gift idea is something I’m seriously thinking about starting next year. Thanks Karen for the idea!

  8. If I had a gratitude journal I would write in it about my Grandchildren. Sometimes I start looking at the frustration instead of that I am blessed to have them. I need to be more thankful in my everyday life. As I am in the struggle with weight loss I get really frustrated when I don’t lose. I need to look at the fact maybe one day I didn’t eat a dessert and go from there and not beat myself up when I slip. I should look at this as a test. We are tested everyday with our faith and we must look at things like this as a test instead of beating myself up. I think God everyday for the strength he gives me. I am hoping someday that I will automatically look at it this way instead of having to struggle to remember.

  9. We have talked about skipping the gifts all together in the future and maybe going on a trip. Everyone remembers a great trip!!!

  10. Interestingly I have been using a gratitude journal myself this year and enjoying it. So I had been looking for gratitude journals to give to all my family members to give them for Christmas, but hadn’t found any. Now I have!

  11. Something I would like to do this holiday season is give back to a family/someone in need. I would like to also include my daughter in this so that she SEES how important it is to give back.

  12. For many years now, we choose an organization to support that ministers to the next in some way. We choose together and then everyone chips in to donate. I’d like to expand this to replace more of what we receive as gifts as our kids get older.

  13. We started doing an advent wreath. This can, if we allow it, help,us get a heart of worship as it brings our focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

  14. We have cut back on the presents this year and are only giving 3 or 4. This has caused us to put more thought into what would make the other person happy rather than what we want to give them. Maybe a gift card to their favorite store or a prayer journal. I’m wanting to read the Christmas story with the kids this year. They already know the true meaning of Christmas but I think it’s important to be reminded from time to time. There’s something powerful about reading/hearing about the savior’s birth at Christmas.

  15. Merry Christmas and happy birthday, Jesus!!
    I love what Pastor Matt said:
    “The aim of our welfare should be worship, not welfare.”
    If you’ve never had handouts at thanksgiving or Christmas time then you may not realize the fullness of this quote. Thank you for all the times when I was a young kid with four siblings that we did get a few things from the church or food pantry.

    My focus this year is on changing my heart to not get caught up in the “slogans.”
    Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas… I will keep my focus on worship of Christ, the new-born King!!

  16. I love what you wrote about! The last few years, I have been paring down how much I decorate and how much I do during this season. I was stressing myself with the expectations I had put on myself. We are all enjoying things more and focusing more on Christ now that things are simpler and calmer (including me!). There are a couple of areas I am evaluating this year, as well. I find I look forward to Christmas more when I am able to take the time to be with Him instead of doing all the things to celebrate what is supposed to be HIS day.

  17. When our children were young, we purchased a new Christmas story book early in the season which was Christian-themed and would read it often, along with past ones, during the holidays. This allowed us to have a new and fresh story book, while reading the former ones as well. The kids loved it! Now, new devotionals for the coming year are given to each of our daughters.

  18. I love this idea and wish I could have thought of this back when my kids were little. Instead I think we will start with the grandchildren.

  19. I want to teach my son the gift of giving. This year and every year to follow, we will “adopt” a child and buy their Christmas. This year he loved picking out the presents and helping me wrap them

  20. This year we will begin selecting a ministry to support. We have volunteered in the past but want to expand by giving globally.

  21. Our newest tradition is to serve together as a family in an organization that is close to our hearts. This year it is Feed My Starving Children, next year it is the Ronald McDonald house near the hospital my son spent Christmas at in 2008. There is no better gift to give than to those who can’t repay you.

  22. We are not starting a new tradition this year. But we are setting money aside all year to pay for gifts and to also buy a few turkeys to help with our church food pantry. They give out groceries all year long and they like to help with holiday dinners. So we would like to be able to purchase a few turkeys to help also.

  23. Lots of organizations around that need help. Just about all the activities my kids are in support one in some way that help out families that need help this time of year.

  24. We also share with others through various ministries throughout the year. We want to enjoy time with family and worship our King.

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