Why do you do that?

I had the privilege of sitting next to the beautiful Katie Sadler at the Allume “Newbies” Dinner and let me tell you, she is just as beautiful on the inside as she is out. She speaks my language of intention as she writes about intentionally pursuing God in all areas of her life on her blog Intentional Pursuit.  I have asked her to share with us today her thoughts on living with intention and grace this Christmas season, and here are her words of wisdom.

As the sounds of Christmas music and family laughter fill the air, Sally and Mom don their matching Christmas aprons to finish up dinner. “Mommy, why do you cut off the end of the Ham?” Sally’s inquisitiveness was never on hiatus.

“Well,” Mommy hesitated and thought. “Well, Honey, I guess it’s because Grandma cut the ham. Hmm, maybe we should give Grandma a call and see why.”

Laughter burst through the phone as Mommy asked Grandma what the significance of cutting off the end of the ham. She had mimicked her mother and was speechless as to the reasoning.  Fortunately Granny was still around to answer the questions that took 4 generations of cooks to ask.

Her response “Well, sweetie, my pan was too small for the ham to fit, so I always cut off the end.”

Traditions are good. They help us build a sense of home and anchor us with family and friends. But when are traditions…just that…tradition with no meaning.

The Christmas holiday is fleeting.  The Holiday bustles in and leaves with a whirlwind of activities.  If you’re not careful, you will miss it!  Each year I have to remind myself to be intentional as I schedule activities.  Each year Christmas looks a little different in our home. Some traditions are kept, some are tweaked, and some are all together thrown out.  We even begin new ones as we evaluated the why to what we are doing.

Our traditions should bring LIFE. If your traditions breed death to your family, maybe a re-evaluate is in order. Take a deep breath. Pray. Ask the Lord for an extra measure of Grace to be poured over you and your loved ones. Ask the Lord to reveal what He has planned for your family this holiday season.  It’s never too late to begin a new, life-giving tradition. After all, isn’t that what the season is about…LIFE!

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

May this season bring Joy, Peace and Life to you, your family and loved ones.  May your traditions be talked about for generations because of the unity it brought to your family.  May your children’s children know why you cut off the ham…and may you laugh!



Cultivating Intention:

Think about your family holiday traditions. Do you know the why for each one? Are there any that need to be tweaked or even thrown out? Are there more meaningful traditions that you would like to add?

Cultivating Grace

Like Katie said…Take a deep breath. Pray. Ask the Lord for an extra measure of Grace to be poured over you and your loved ones. Ask the Lord to reveal what He has planned for your family this holiday season.

Wishing you a beautiful and meaningful season!



v904This post is Day 24 of the 31 day series I am writing on cultivating a life of intention and grace. For a complete index of posts in this series, click here. To read more 31 Days series, please visit The Nester.

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  1. What great words to read as the final days are pressing on us. There is so much freedom in this post if one is feeling overwhelmed by all we think we are ‘suppose’ to do because of tradition. Keeping, tweaking, and throwing out- perfect advice. I did exactly this thing last night when plans were being made to fit everyone’s working schedule. Doing everything ‘just because’ would have brought pangs of death to our celebrations. The tweaking and throwing out brought the life back. Way to team up you two beautiful women! Wouldn’t it be great to sit down to that dinner once again?

  2. I really like this thought. It is freeing to be nostalgic while not becoming a slave to the traditions themselves. We’ve had a lot of sorting out of things like this as life changes happen – with marriage and moving and travel, etc. Not everything done in previous years is sacred for this year. And new traditions bring a lot of life!

  3. I love this! We too have thrown out, tweaked, revised and added! Love Katie!!

  4. “Our traditions should bring LIFE”-Absolutely! I think sometimes we get stuck in “but we’ve done this every year…” and we ignore the burden that something places on us. This blessed season shouldn’t be filled with burden and dread. I love that we can ask for the grace to let those burdens go, and instead be filled with joy and hope.

  5. So true. I learned to toss out most tradition, but one. Till the day my daughter gets married we will be camping out in the living room on Christmas Eve. At age 24 she still wants to sleep with her mommy. ha ha. This tradition has brought life into our relations with memories we both treasure.

  6. Thank you for reminding us of this. I’m always consciously trying to make sure I’m making the right decisions and paying attention to my children. I do find myself occasionally doing the same things you mentioned when I’m “busy” or overwhelmed with a project. I try to take time out of every day and make sure the kids get my undivided attention. I’m always praying for patience and will continue to do so.


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