Does everything have to be perfect?

Many of you are extraordinary at making a house feel welcome and warm. Some of you are creative and the beauty you bring to Christmas is awe inspiring. That’s the way God made you and you find joy in it. Not only that, it brings joy to others.

But what happens when perfection is the goal?

For most of us, it sets us up for failure. It throws us into exhaustion. It makes for beautiful pictures, but not always beautiful memories.

One joy stealer is setting impossible standards in our relationship with God and others.

When it comes to Christmas, we may feel that if Christmas isn’t perfect in every way, that somehow we’ve failed to measure up. This is something we can carry over into our faith as well. We continually place higher expectations over our heart and life than God does.

Here’s your Christmas JoyKeeper challenge for today.

  • Refuse to compare
  • Redefine “perfect” to “welcoming”
  • Ask for help, if you need it
  • Choose a good memory over a great picture
  • Be flexible

Your child or even your grown children might appreciate how beautiful everything is, but what they really love is laughter, impromptu moments, feeling welcome, and knowing that you are having fun as well.

Asking others to bring something, or to help, not only takes the burden off you, it is an invitation to experience Christmas together. You have the opportunity to appreciate that person’s experience or tradition, along with your own.

Be flexible and open to new ways to experience Christmas. It doesn’t have to look a certain way, or fall on a specific day. Be open to the new. I know it sounds trite to say, “this is really about Jesus,” but it is truth. Nestled in all the traditions is the message of hope and love of Christ.

Last, be flexible. Laugh at the little things that go wrong. Maybe the turkey burns and you have to make tacos. Everybody loves tacos! It’s okay. Making room for mistakes leaves lots of room for a shared appreciation of what really matters.

Here’s your JoyKeeper Truth for today:

Stop trying to measure up, sister. Instead, ask for a greater measure of Jesus in the midst. You are seen, loved, appreciated, and known.

Suzie Signature



Resource just for you: JoyKeeper

Liz Curtis Higgs

author of 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path

Some books fill your mind and others fill your heart. JoyKeeper does both, and then goes a step further, guiding you through the process of knowing, keeping, and living joy in the midst of challenging circumstances. Suzie Eller shares honest struggles and hard-earned wisdom on every page, always pointing us to Scripture, always circling back to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross. And what a delight to find a thirty-day devotional included in the book, offering daily encouragement for all of us who want to embrace a JoyKeeper life. So well done, and so needed.