Reason for the Season - A Christmas Devotional Series on Instagram


My dear friend Ella Connolly came up with a brilliant idea this Advent season — gather writers from around the world together and have them share thoughts on Instagram about Scripture, Christmas, and Christ. We each took one day leading up to Christmas Eve, sharing briefly about what the Lord was teaching us, hoping to encourage others and shine a light on Him.

It was such an honor and a joy to take part in this fun project, especially as the first one to post and get things going! I wanted to gather up all of the posts to share in one place — they are beautiful and deeply meaningful. I know I’ll want to return to them in years to come as reminders of His peace, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.


day one:

by me!

day two:

by Manda Carpenter

day three:

by Bridgette Brandon

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I’ve been thinking a lot about Matthew 5:14-16 recently and what it has to do with Christmas, but let’s be honest, pretty much everything has to do with Christmas because hello, Jesus! Anyway, the scripture goes, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” I really love this because it’s an invitation to follow in Jesus footsteps, to follow His example and be a light—The moon, a reflection of the Son. When we sit and think about all we want to do this next year, I think adding that to the list is a good idea. Sure, not hiding our light takes bravery, it takes guts, but the best part is, it’s so practical and honestly simple. When you’re at the store, love on the cashier. When you go home and you’ve gotta spend two weeks with your crazy family, listen to their stories and be sweet to em. Pay for the coffee of the person in line behind you. Text that person you’ve been thinking about an encouraging word. It’s simple. Be a light. What are some ways you can be a light this season—Be a reflection of Jesus? | This is Day 3 in the Reason for The Season devo series, I’ve tagged all the other ladies involved in the photo! Follow along in my stories to catch the rest of the days.

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Day four:

by Jena Holliday

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I’m mindful this season of Mary’s unwavering faith in the goodness of God. I can’t confidently say that had I received the news she did about giving birth to Jesus I would have responded with the grace and confidence she did. "I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” I can’t help but wonder if she had already resolved deep down that she was neither accidental nor incidental to the story. I believe she knew she had a roll to play and that God would equip her to play it, regardless of factor or feeling. I’m challenged by her gumption to stand strong in our own fields. To stand strong in order that those lost or seeking within the very fields that we are planted in can witness something on our lives that will set them free. I believe now more than ever, the world needs to see a Church that is upright. It needs to see a church that is peaceful — where Peace has been set a-sail. A people who are resolute and unshakeable. I pray in this new year, we’d be a people who learn how to take authority of our own space, mind, soul, and spirit. I pray we live overshadowed by the same Spirit that was at the critical juncture where we see Mary's life come into play. I pray we remain under the shadow of the almighty all the days of our lives and that it would set in motion the mandate that has been placed upon us for such a time as this. I pray all of these things for you, and for me. x

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Day six:

by Ella Connolly (the genius behind this whole idea!)

Day seven:

by Faith

Day eight:

by Natasshia Neary

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As the days become shorter, and nights grow longer, I find myself seeking for more light. Sure, this time of year, we light candles, decorate the tree with twinkling lights and are mesmerized by the flame of a fire. However, I feel that my heart aches for more than just the superficial light; it seeks for something more profound. Thankfully, there is hope. During this season of darkness, we can be reminded that Jesus was born and lived to be our guiding light. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) If your heart also feels lost, or your entire being yearns for a sense of direction, then let me pray alongside you today. I pray that God’s light will shine down on us to cast the darkness away. Let us believe that He has already set aside all our fears and made way for our hopes and dreams. That He is walking alongside us as we forge into our adventure, willingly shining His light forward. This I pray to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, Amen. ✨ . If you need more encouragement during this time of year, I invite you to visit the pages of these lion hearted women I’ve partnered with for this project. I certainly have been inspired by working alongside them 💕 . @racheladawson @mandacarpenter @ellascribbles @alwaysaugust @aspoonfuloffaith @oaholland @emmakateacton @samanthaecollin @abounding.grace . #reasonfortheseason18

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Day nine:

by Ronja

How I'm Stewarding the Season of Advent This Year

How I'm Stewarding the Season of Advent This Year

With the upcoming season of advent, I’m reminded again of how beautiful the changing seasons are, and how they always tend to align so well with the changes going on in my own heart and soul. Advent is definitely a season I want to steward well.

A Coffee Date // December 12

A Coffee Date // December 12

I shared a few fun little letters on Friday, but let's dive into the real stuff today. These virtual coffee dates are my favorite way to share heart to hearts with you!

Little Letters // December 2016

Little Letters // December 2016

Sharing short and sweet little love notes to all the best things about my life lately!

This Sweet Advent Season

This Sweet Advent Season

This season, my soul rests in Him. This Advent, my soul longs for Him. Each morning, I read the words that tell His story, and I engrave them on my heart bit by bit. 

Craving A Slow Season

This season, I want slow. Mugs of creamy coffee turned cold because conversation rambled on instead. Evenings spent curled up on the couch staring at the tree, lights blurring in sleepy eyes. Mornings surrounded by Bibles and books and pages full of slanted script.

Our hearts needs slow. We don't need more, we don't need hurry, we don't need busy. We need rest, peace, slow, quiet. The songs sing it, our voices join in, but do we welcome it? Do we open up to the silent night, the holy night? Or does the frenzy take us over?

The best of winter, the best of Christmas, is the way it draws us in and close. Around fireplaces, around bright trees, around a manger scene, around a kitchen table, around a living room, around a sanctuary. The cold is outside, harsh and bitter, but we are welcomed in toward the warmth, toward the heart of all goodness and glory. We are invited in to the stillness, the silence of that holy night, invited to shed our stresses as we shed our coats, and sit before a Savior as he sleeps.

The nativity scene isn't a decoration, it's a declaration: our King has come. The infinite as an infant. The Savior as a swaddled babe.

Let's rest in that. Sit slow as that truth floods us. Gather together with the ones we love and share the sweetness of this season. 

Our souls need this. I've never felt that so strongly as now, that we need this rest, this waiting, this expectant anticipation. We try to race to Christmas, rushing through December, but it burns us out and steals our joy. Like the ones who traveled slow and steady to visit a family far away gathered around a manger, let's journey slow and steady to Christmas, absorbing the beauty and the truth and the mystery of it all.