Does it mean that we are bad parents, if we can’t get that perfect Christmas card picture?

Not a chance, but if your family is like mine, this can be a frustrating experience.  Our girls sense it coming and immediately rebel.  I’ll admit, as a husband, I need to do a better job of making it happen.  If I’m honest I rebel a bit as well.  Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking –

The perfect picture isn’t an accurate representation of who we are!

I worry sometimes that the church holds up perfect pictures (aka that Christmas cards where everyone is smiling and pretty and behaved and…) and say to families, “This is it!  This is what it should look like!”  I greatly appreciate the words of Reggie Joiner and hope they encourage you as well,

“God doesn’t use perfect pictures.  God uses broken people.  God’s desire is to work through every family to bring redemption and restoration.  It’s not about better pictures, it’s about a bigger story.  Family is a platform God uses to demonstrate His story of redemption”

This Christmas season, don’t worry about living up to a perfect picture, just lean into the messy joy of being family.  Lean in  and engage much like our Creator did through sending his son to walk among the messy joy of humanity.  Your brokenness and God’s activity in the middle of it are part of grand story God is unfolding.  Your family is perfect for this task!

I hope you all got the perfect picture for your card this year!  I really do.  But also remember that where there’s a gap between the picture and reality, Emmanuel (God with us) is there to fill it with grace and redemption.

Praying for rest, joy, relationship, and a nearness of God’s presence for your family this holiday season.

Merry Christmas!


For a little extra encouragement, here is an excerpt from a post that has been the most popular on this blog.  You can read the full post here:  “I Have Nothing To Wear”


There is a temptation as parents to think we haven’t got what it takes.

The truth is you have everything you need to be successful as a parent!  Still, many of us don’t feel this is true in our daily lives.  We are like the person staring blankly into a closet full of clothes and proclaiming, “I have nothing wear!”

Being the Broken Parent a Kid Needs

We are all broken – you, your kids, your parents, your spouse.  The best thing for our kids is for us to own up to this fact.

When we own up to our brokenness we give our kids a front row seat to God’s activity in our lives.  Our kids don’t need to see us be perfect to be the kind of human beings we want them to grow up to be…They need to see God’s redemptive activity in our lives taking what’s broken and making it new.

So let’s make this simple.  You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to measure up to whatever comparisons are out there.  You simply need to be willing to grow – to be the person God is calling you to be.  It looks more like surrender than striving.  It’s a matter of being willing to engage more than being an expert.  I love this quote from Brene Brown,

“Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.”

Forget what you know about parenting, who are you becoming?  How are you engaging the world around you?  How are you growing and seeking relationship?

“Faith is caught more than it is taught” is an absolutely true saying.  Let’s give our kids a front row seat to God taking us, broken people, and accomplishing great things that we could never do on our own.  The world has a way of getting us searching – thinking that we need what we are already have!  But, I promise you this…You have everything you need to be a great parent!!  Now, just lean in, engage and watch God do what He does best!