Loving My Actual Christmas

Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season
By Alexandra Kuykendall

IMG_7431.jpg

I was so ecstatic when I saw that Alexandra Kuykendall put out a call on Instagram for women to be a part of her upcoming Christmas book launch team.
Not only is Christmas my favorite holiday, but I enormously enjoyed her other book, Loving My Actual Life, which had a huge impact on my life and gave me perspective on where God has me in this season of my life; MY actual life.
Through my posts about her other book and helping to launch this book, I feel as if I have gotten to “know” Alex. You guys! She is just like us. She is down to earth, she is a hot mess of a mom, she is trying to just live in her actual life right here and right now while keeping herself and her family entrenched in His word. She needs Jesus just as much as we do. She is human just as much as we are. She just happens to write books is all.
Read her book. You will NOT be disappointed!

*************

Through her new book, Alexandra Kuyukendall gives us a marvelous fresh perspective on how we should slow down, stop and enjoy the Christmas season that we are living in RIGHT NOW. Because that is all we have, is the RIGHT NOW; our actual life. She beautifully entwines real life with scripture and biblical principles on how to not just “get through” the holiday but to relish in and enjoy the season that celebrates the beautiful birth of our Savior.

IMG_7429.jpg

Pause from the hustle and remember.
Remember a baby.
Remember a savior.

 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. ~~Luke 2:11

We are only human. We can only do so much. We only have so many hours in a day and some of those we need to use to eat and sleep. We do not need to do every.single.holiday activity that is out there. If we tried to do that, it would take us an entire year. And then, Christmas would loose its magic, its significance and its importance.

Rather than overspending, overeating, undersleeping, and underrejoicing, I want to notice the goodness God has offered in the here and now. In this year. This. Christmas. Regardless of the circumstances. Because I don’t want to resent this actual Christmas, I want to love it.

Don’t you want to love your Christmas this year? This Christmas. Not last year’s Christmas or next year’s Christmas, but this one. The one right here, right now, in front of you, staring you in the face.

Hope.
Love.
Joy.
Peace.

The four weeks of Advent.

Alexandra takes us through each week of the Advent in her actual Christmas. As we journey through her life with her, she gives us scripture to steep ourselves in, biblical knowledge and tangible ideas that we can use to help us love OUR actual Christmas.

She reminds us that the celebration of the birth of Jesus does not end on December 25th. Amidst the wrapping paper, dropped needles all over the floor and new gadgets and gizmos, we have 12 more days in the liturgical calendar to relish in our magnificent Savior.

Advent is the period of expectation and waiting. Christmastide is the season of celebrating his arrival. I celebrate here in the middle of my actual life with my actual circumstances.

Celebrate YOUR Christmas in the middle of YOUR actual circumstances. Amidst the busy, amidst the crazy, the grief, the joy, the shopping and baking, the school plays and concerts, amidst the impatience and frustration, the strained budget, and even amidst the brokenness.

And you want to enjoy this Christmas. The one right in front of you. In the midst of all the imperfect circumstances. You want to remember it as one filled with celebration and love, rather than frustration and regret. 

Find Hope within it. Find Love within it. Find Joy within it. Find Peace within it. Find Your actual Christmas. Because we only get this actual Christmas once in our life. We cannot do it over again.

*************

I cannot recommend this book enough. And you need to get it now. You need to read it now. BEFORE the craziness of the holiday season overtakes your life. Because then, just maybe, this Christmas won’t be crazy. Then read it again throughout the Advent and Christmastide season. It will keep you grounded in His word and the amazingly beautiful story of a baby who came to rescue a fallen world.

Loving My Actual Christmas: An Experiment in Relishing the Season

I received a free digital copy of the book in order to do this review.
*Post contains affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps to stock my library shelf*

IMG_7430.jpg

Loving My Actual Life

Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me
By Alexandra Kuykendall

IMG_6308.JPG

This right here. This is my actual life. It is busy. It is messy. It is chaotic most times.
It is not perfect. But it is MY actual life.

“Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.”
~Galatians 6:4~

I am a work-at-home, homeschooling, every kid in sports and activities, 2 kids with autism with another 1 on the maybe side, trying-to-hold-it-together-sometimes kind of mom. My life is often quite challenging.
I know life is challenging for everyone and everybody’s story is THEIR story. However, God has thrown some gigantic, demanding wrenches into my story.

Recently, after some of my posts on Facebook and many weeks of showing up looking quite frazzled, a friend of mine recommended this book to me. I will be forever grateful to her for that recommendation. Just from the title alone Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me, I knew that I needed to read this book.

I have struggled many days loving the life that God has granted me. My life has been filled with battles, dark days, and questions as to why God allowed me down this particular path. I found it difficult to truly love my actual life.
If He had pulled me from the wreckage of all that rubble, then WHY had He not put me on a path to do exceptional things with that mess? WHY wasn’t I living in abundance, full of overwhelming joy and happiness; much like I continued to observe from those around me?

IMG_6309

Enter this book. In a time when my life was feeling low, when I felt like the endless chaos was at its highest point, when I was feeling utterly lost, completely broken and profoundly insignificant.

This book has taught me much; tangible things that I can DO as well as a change in my   perspective about my actual life.

What if our big is found in the small? What if we do each small thing with great passion because we can? Because we are here and we are able to and yet do it with the knowledge we can’t change the world in a day. But we can leave our small, unique imprint on it. ~Alex Kuyukendall

Alex helped me realize that my actual life is not about this giant, amazing big work of art. My actual life, in this moment, is about my husband, my children, my family, my friends, those dirty dishes, those piles of laundry, those endless trips back and forth between sports and activities, feeding the dog, wiping down counters, putting toys away, and cooking meals. Those things create my giant, amazing big work of art.
THAT, is where I need to be, right now, Loving My Actual Life.

One life. Portioned into segments. Years. Months. Weeks. Days. Hours. Minutes. Seconds.
One life. God has granted for now. It is temporary. It is now. And if I’m not careful I might miss it.
One life unique to me. Not like anyone else’s, nor should it be, and yet I’m always longing for that next thing.
One life I want to cherish. I want to hold close and appreciate. To not waste. To not take for granted.

~Alexandra Kuykendall~

I highly recommend this book. It will change your perspective, it will impact the monotony of your days, and it will guide you in learning to love YOUR actual life.

 

 Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps to stock my library shelf*