6 Ways for the Christian Woman to Embrace Hygge

I am a mega fan of hygge, a Danish concept encompassing the mindful, cozy life. Hygge is about intentionally setting an atmosphere focused around simple joys and awareness of the intangible values in life. Anything focusing around warm drinks and cozy-living makes my winter-loving heart happy. In this fast-paced, digital age, hygge calls us to stop and truly look at what is happening. It is a way to consider the lilies of the field and watch the patterns of life to find God’s goodness. As a Christian, I am trying to be more conscious about applying hygge to Biblical principles. Here are 5 ways every Christian woman can embrace hygge: Note: This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a small percentage of any purchases made at no additional cost to you. See the footer for my full disclosure. 1. Turn Off the Television and Read More Books. Instead of binge-watching the latest Netflix craze or filling your mind with our 24/7 news cycle, pull yourself away from the screen and crack open a book. Read your Bible. If you don’t already start your morning this way, create a new routine. Instead of beginning your morning with screens, put down your smartphone, pour a cup of coffee, and spend time in the Word of God. This is one of the most life-giving parts of my day. Read more about my Hygge + Faith Morning Routine here. But read other books as well. There is so much wisdom in friends from ages past. I wish could sit down over my morning coffee and hear CS Lewis’s experience with grief, but as he died many years before my birth, I can only discover his wisdom in the words he’s left behind. There are many others, both living and dead, who I can benefit from. There are stories, like the Wingfeather Saga, that reminds me to be brave and face this life with the gifts God has uniquely given me. Whether it be in story form or through non-fiction, embrace the truths told in quality literature. Here are a few book recommendations: 2. Light More Candles (And Pray!) I have written before about using tangible, visible signs (such as prayer beads) to help you stay focused during prayer. While I love my prayer beads, I also love the idea (and very hygge notion) of lighting a candle while I pray.…

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Getting To The Heart Issue: What Allergies Revealed About My Faith

I first met Jennifer Love earlier this year and immediately knew we were kindred spirits. As our friendship grows, the Lord has revealed more and more commonalities that we can use to encourage one another (even in dairy-free living!). Because that’s what Jennifer does, she encourages. Even in the midst of trials and tragedy, she stops and remembers to show others the love of Christ. She sees people and, like our Lord, has compassion on them. I am honored to share her words with you today.  My second son entered the world with joy. He was such a calm baby, unlike all the months he had spent relentlessly kicking the insides of my ribs. But in the next couple of years, as he began to learn to speak, we learned that his insides were in constant turmoil too. He was one of the many who suffer the medical trifecta of asthma, allergies, and eczema, to a severe degree. We have been down a painful and confusing road in our health, and our relationship with God, to gain any victory over these issues. His skin would itch until it bleeds, he spent hours a day getting breathing treatments, and even as a toddler her would tell us that his stomach always hurt. He knew nothing else. For any parent this is their nightmare, to watch your child suffer and after seeing countless doctors to still hold no answers. We had tried gluten-free trials, bowel testing, steroids, ointments, and many tearful blood tests before we were asked to try now an egg-free, dairy-free diet. Dairy! A staple in the diet of a three-year-old! Milk, yogurt, cheese? This was going to be hard. This suggestion came just before we were headed to spend a summer in Germany working at a summer camp. Little did I know how challenging it would be to dine on camp cafeteria food or order and eat out in a foreign country, with only two months of German lessons. My family still laughs at me for trying hard and yet buying “egg noodles” despite my best efforts to shop in German. Under a new pediatrician, my son has also tested allergic egg, peanuts, walnuts. And the cat. I have severe eczema on just my hands and decided to cut all of these out in case they affected me too. I also thought it would help me to sympathize and cook…

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Keeping The Faith During Depression

Isn’t this a peculiar season? I spent half of last week with the windows open, curled up under a blanket, enjoying the fresh Fall air. This morning, my makeup melted off my face and I’m watching a summer storm come across. The unpredictability of the weather in Michigan this time of year means that I can count on nothing. I’m daily asking if I need to bundle and prepare for the winter ahead or enjoy little lingering bit of summer on my hammock with a book. Fall isn’t the only season causes me to fail reevaluate where I stand and what sort of day I’ve been handed.  I haven’t been quiet about my struggle with depression, I haven’t written about it in awhile. For the most part, it is managed well but some days, some seasons, I still wake up wondering what today will bring. Will this be a day when I feel alive or where I struggle to fight through the fog? Battling through depression has taught me many lessons but, perhaps most importantly, it has taught me to confront my existential crises with reality and truth. It’s hard to wake up, again and again, feeling like the psalmist whose closest companion is darkness. And it’s hard to wake up wondering who the companion will be today. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces – Isaiah 53:3, ESV It is easy to become overwhelmed, but it’s crucial that I used these times of despair to take my mind captive to the truths of Scripture. When when I face my depression against the Word of God, I see the lies it tells me and replant in my heart the truth that withstands the storms of life. Depression makes me feel alone, but I am not alone.  Sorrow is an isolating thing to endure. It deceives me into believing I am not alone or that depression means I am less faithful. But the most faithful Man who ever walked the earth was called the Man of Sorrows. If this was one of the names He was given, surely He knows my sorrow intimately. Depression makes me feel abandoned, but I am not abandoned. God has promised that all who call upon His Name shall be saved. Although this life may be hard, I can…

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I’m #Blessed When I Am Persecuted For My Faith, But Have I Ever Been Persecuted?

I have never been counted myself among the persecuted Church. Globally, I recognize that I have brothers and sisters in Christ practicing their faith in secret, boldly proclaiming the Gospel despite consequences, and even being tortured and killed for holding fast to the confession of our faith. But here, in my little apartment in America, I am not persecuted on this level. When I was young, I assumed I would have to go far and away to be a real Christian. I dreamed of boldly stepping on the mission field, somewhere dramatic and dangerous. My aunt told my cousin and I bedtime stories when we were little about our homes in Africa and our lives working in medical missions, boldly proclaiming the Gospel despite persecution. None of that happened. So instead, I prepared myself for a comfortable life and the occasional academic persecution for my “old-fashioned” faith in the God of the Bible. Academic persecution, while frustrating, seems silly to label “persecution” next to the stories in Hebrews 11 or from our own Christian history of those who have given their last breath for the Gospel. But does that mean I, an American woman who is called to live out my life here, lose this blessings? Or is there another type of persecution I am missing.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:10-12, ESV While I don’t want to trivialize the physical persecution many in our faith experience, I do want to look at the spiritual persecution in the Bible and how we can boldly withstand all that the devil and his minions would throw our way. Job knew what it meant to be persecuted for righteousness sake.  In the first chapter of Job, God boasts of Job’s faithfulness and, to try and test that, Satan attacks Job with all He has. But despite it all, despising losing land, wealth, children, and his health, Job stood firm. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. – Job 1:22, ESV Job set an example for standing against spiritual persecution. And reading his story…

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I Don’t Want To Go To Church

I don’t want to go to Church today.  Sunday mornings make me want to worship the Bed of Divine Comfort instead of pulling myself away to worship the true God.   There. I said it. I want to stay comfortable. I want to try and hide my sin, deep away. I’d rather come to some sort of peace treaty with it, like if I pretend it isn’t there and it doesn’t cause me to commit one of the “really bad” sins, we can just pretend it isn’t there.  If I acknowledge my sin and proceed down the path of holiness, I will become uncomfortable. But Church reminds me that the treaty will never work because sin wants to make me a slave.  “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1, ESV But the Church also gives me the hope in reminding me of the extravagant price that God paid for my soul.  So, when you see me at church know that it’s grace, and I’m a sinner just like you. And know that I have struggles a lot bigger than just getting to church on Sundays and I need you to walk alongside me and help me through this life. Because I can’t do this alone. I need you to encourage me in the area’s God has gifted me and to fill in my weaknesses. I need you to call out the sin in my life and remind me of holy life I am called to.  But I’m pretty sure you that too. So instead of pretending to be trophies in God’s display case of good people, let’s walk into the hospital that is the Church bearing the wounds of spiritual warfare, walking to the only source of healing. “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV Then, let’s show one another our brokenness and trust in Christ’s ability to make us whole. Let’s love one another deeply and go through our weeks bearing the burdens of our brothers and sisters and sharing ours and knowing, in the ends, that we are one body. We cannot hide something from our own…

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