Come As You Are

Hello brave and beautiful ones! I have a few quiet minutes before a joyful noise fills the farmhouse {my three toddler nephews are almost here!}. Instead of getting another bed ready, the kitchen cleaned or presents wrapped, I feel God nudging my heart to sit down and spend a little time with Him…right here with you. I don’t know what to write; I just know that when I sit down, my heart opens to God and words begin to flow. So here I am…wanting to do the needful thing instead of all that feels like it needs doing.


Here’s the question God is burning in my heart: how do you come to Christmas? 

Are you afraid of imperfection…or are you embracing the mess? Are you aware of the weightiness of the season…or are you trying to avoid all things hard and heavy? Are you performing under pressure…or are you free to let things go? Are you filled with joyful anticipation…or battling an undercurrent of heartache and fear?


However you come this Christmas, just come.

I think Jesus would say His birthday is an open to all, “Come As You Are” party. {Rememeber those? Wake your friends up and drag them to your party in their PJs, bedhead and morning breath!} We know the shepherds and their sheep didn’t clean up for Jesus. They ran right out of the fields and into the manger scene with all their dirty, stinking mess. No showers, no change of clothes, no clean sheep. I still can’t get the barn smell out of my nose when I think of the night Jesus was born. I’ve even lingered in the barn a few times this week to ponder his arrival a little more deeply. Oh, the crazy way He came! I still don’t get it. {And that feels okay.}


But I’ve also been pondering something else these days: Jesus will come again. 

Did you know that Advent means coming? It doesn’t mean came. It’s something that’s still going to happen. So if you feel like you missed Advent this year…if you feel like you didn’t light enough candles, read enough devotionals, create the right environment for your family to soak in all the meaning of the season, there’s still hope. Because He’s still coming. You haven’t missed Him. There’s still time. Right now…right this very moment.




Invite Him into your heart right here in this place.

Believing Jesus will come again changes everything this Christmas. It means we don’t have to put pressure on ourselves to have the perfect celebration, the perfect decorations, the perfect gifts or the perfect joy. It means we don’t have to mask our pain or ignore our deepest longings and desires. It means we can live with a deep sense of peace in the midst of our struggle. It means so much more than my mind can grasp or my words can say. Because He’s not finished yet!


I think one of the reasons we can burn out on Christmas {and if we’re honest, most of us do after enough years of trying really hard to make it super magical and meaningful} is because we keep trying to repeat the celebration of this thing that already happened: Christ’s birth. Don’t get me wrong, that was a HUGE event…a fulfillment of multiple prophesies and promises. But there’s so much MORE!


What if we begin to look forward? What if we begin to anticipate the day He will come again? What if we allow our longings to increase and our celebratory spirit to embrace the future instead of simply replaying the past? What if we get excited about the promise that all things will be made new and all tears turned to joy? That all relationships will be mended and all broken hearts healed? That we will see all of creation in its full, intended glory? That we’ll see each other and ourselves as we truly are? Now, that gets me excited!


My daughters love Christmas. They want a perfect one as much as you and I do. But they also know that our replay of the Christmas story never fully satisfies their deepest longings. As my oldest said last night, to repeat the excitement of Christmas again and again is like trying to keep a fire burning when you’ve run out of wood. There has to be more. Amen, daughter. Amen.


So let us take the pressure off of ourselves this Christmas and put it squarely on the promise of God: the promise that He will come again…that this Christmas isn’t all there is…that He’s not finished yet.

What do you say, Bravehearted Beauties? Shall we shed the burdens, the shortcomings, the ways we fall short and just come as we are? I say YES! You?

Merry Christmas….with so much love,

Linsey signature 100pix



P.S. I hope today’s photos make you smile. We finally removed the pumpkins from the porch, but our attempt to create our own version of a “perfect” Christmas ended in falling trees, a wind-damaged nativity, dead poinsettias {I guess they aren’t porch decor here in Tennessee; we didn’t have to worry about freezing temps in Houston!}, and paper goods at the dining room table {I don’t own china, so it’s not even an option!}. Whatever your story this Christmas, it’s ALL good. Just come as you are.


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  • Julie - Linsey – I feel like you wrote that post just for me. And I pray each person reading feels the same. Thank you for following God’s leading. Yes, in our attempts to make Christmas magical and meaningful for our children, families and maybe even ourselves, we can become downright exhausted! I’m so thankful for Jesus – HE is the best gift for our children and for us. And I’m so thankful that as a Heavenly Father, He understands us! Also grateful that we can come as we are and He receives each of us! What a relief…

    Thank you for sharing some real-living photos! 🙂 The beautiful ones are always inspiring… but the real ones lift my heart! Oh good, she’s real too!! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Come as you are. I love that, Linsey. This week always feels like the final push to “do Christmas right” with my family. Rather than trying to figure out what that looks like, it’s time to lay it down and ask the Lord to convict me in the things that feel unsettled.ReplyCancel

  • Mar - Beautiful words and beautiful pictures. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.ReplyCancel

  • meredith - needed this more than u know!!! love and hugs to you all!!ReplyCancel

  • Gracia @ Gracious Offering - Linsey, love this post! So glad Jesus says, ” Come as you are!” Our churches would be full if we truly conveyed that message to a hurting,searching for meaning, world. We can’t put poinsettias outside either…and even two small ones on my kitchen windowsill froze…sigh. Trying to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas as the day approaches…I get so easily caught up in the desire to have everything just so right. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family, nephews and all!ReplyCancel

  • Sherry - Merry Christmas! You have the most uplifting and inspiring writings! Thank you for all you do.ReplyCancel

  • Holly - Love your heart and thank you for sharing your words with us! May you have a wonderful imperfect Christmas! Ours is messy – messy counters, tables, floors, noses, fingers — I’m learning more and more to embrace the mess. In looking at the mess around me I am reminded of the Beautiful mess all of us really are on the inside too! We just get good at hiding the mess as we get older! And that is why Jesus came and is coming back again! He came to seek and save the Lost, the messed up, the broken….and He is coming back again to redeem us again! Can’t wait for that day! Holly (Lieder) ParkerReplyCancel

  • Lori - Linsey, Thank you for sharing!
    I get so caught up in the fact that He came, which is important but, that is only half of the story. He is coming back! Thank you for reminding me that His return is just as much to celebrate at Christmas as His birth!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!ReplyCancel

  • Chris - Thank you for reminding me to look to the future when Christ will come again, and to teach my children to do the same. I didn’t quite do all I wanted to make this Christmas all about Him, but I have each day in front of me to be looking for Him just as the shepherds did! I appreciate your insight, and always looking forward to reading your posts and seeing your beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel

  • teresa - I fell so short of doing it all right this year…..Can I have a do over?
    Thanks for the post and reminding us to remember that He is coming again!
    Have a wonderful New Year.ReplyCancel

  • Meredith - Would you mind sharing where you got your oval side chairs for your dining room table?
    I look forward to hearing from you!ReplyCancel

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