Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

How to simplify Christmas gift giving

5 Ways to make holiday gift giving easier!

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The Christmas season is both awesome and stressful. Figuring out how to pull off all the extras on top of your regular tasks isn’t always easy. And don’t even get me started on Christmas gift giving. I don’t think I’m the only one who has people on my list impossible to buy for, right?

So I did my best to come up with good ideas and tips to simplify Christmas gift giving. The Christmas season and gift giving should be more fun than stress. These ideas can help you have less stress this year!

Organize your Christmas gift ideas

I’m big on lists. I’m the kind of person who makes lists for everything — and you know that’s going to include Christmas gift ideas! Until this year I’ve made my Christmas gift list in a spreadsheet. It works, but it gets a bit unwieldy as I do my best to add in product links. And then when it’s time to send those gift ideas to others (like grandparents), it gets a bit wearisome.

So I was super excited to discover the Amazon Holiday Gift List. I have used Amazon lists before, but I hadn’t tried the Holiday Gift List. The difference is that you can have one main list with various tags. Basically you can organize links to all your gift ideas for various people in one place. I know! It’s my newest, most favorite organization tool for Christmas gifts this year!

You can set the list to be private (meaning only you can see it), shareable (meaning only people who you give the link to can see it) or public (everybody can see it). Right now, I have mine set to private, but I’m going to switch it to shareable and pass it along to my parents and in-laws.

Once you’ve created your Amazon Holiday Gift List, you add items to it by clicking on the “Add to registry” button instead of the “Add to list” button in order to find your list. You can tag items from there as to which person they go with. For example, I created a list called “Christmas 2021” and created tags for each member of my family.

I have a second list called “Other Christmas Gifts 2021” with tags for extended family members, teachers and anyone else we are going to buy gifts for. Then I can organize my gift ideas for those folks as well. Then I’m free to share my family list with my parents and in-laws while also keeping my gift ideas for them a secret from them.

I’m quite loving the Amazon Holiday Gift List this year. My kids even used it to add items for themselves. My 12-year-old helped my 8-year-old add his items. Nice!

Other nice features with the gift list is that it keeps track of who buys what to make it easy for sending thank you cards and it also has a variety of different gift ideas on the main page to help you out as you come up with ideas. You can even customize the photo at the top of your Amazon Holiday Gift List!

Have some general Christmas gift ideas in mind

One of the most difficult parts of Christmas gift giving is coming up with ideas for everyone on your list. Christmas gift lists abound, though, to help make life easier. Check out the following links to ideas!

Christmas gift ideas for people who are hard to shop for: If you’re buying for people who basically have everything, you need these 40 gifts under $30 that everyone will love!

15 Christmas gifts under $20 for almost everyone on your list: If you don’t have much time, start with this short list that’s packed full of great ideas for everyone from your mother-in-law to your kids’ teachers.

Gifts for everyone: If you need to just explore and find all sorts of ideas, Amazon has you covered with lots of categories from fashion to toys to stocking stuffers. You can also easily look for gifts in price ranges to fit your budget.

Quirky, fun holiday gift ideas under $25 for everyone on your list: For gifts that are a bit out-of-the-ordinary and fun, this list has you covered with more than 44 Christmas gift ideas

Handmade holiday gift guide: This gift guide from Amazon is packed with ideas of personalized and unique gifts from some of the small businesses who sell on Amazon.

30+ White elephant gift ideas under $20: Find more than 30 ideas under $20 for white elephant gifts that are fun and not embarrassing.

Find a couple of designated hiding spots for Christmas gifts

I don’t like waiting until the last minute to get or order Christmas gifts. So I have to come up with a solution for hiding the gifts once they start arriving. I try to keep them in one or two spots so I don’t forget anything, which has totally happened!

The best hiding spots are ones that your family members seldom access. Use a plastic tote in your garage, the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet nobody else uses, a box in the back of a closet. But keep in mind where you put things. With your Amazon Holiday Gift List, you’ll be able to keep track of what you’ve purchased and know what you should have. You just need to make sure you know where they are!

Wrap as you go

Another great strategy for simplifying Christmas gift buying this season is to wrap your gifts as you go. First, it will make hiding them easier. Even if prying eyes find them, they won’t know what’s under the wrapping paper! Second, it will save you from having a wrapping marathon session.

Honestly, I don’t wrap each individual gift as I go, since in the early days of shopping they trickle in slowly. Instead, once I have a few then I do a small wrapping session to help cut down on my stress just before Christmas.

Ship Christmas gifts directly to out-of-town friends and family

Figuring out how to get Christmas gifts to friends and family who live away from us is easier than ever. While postal rates have increased, many stores include gift wrapping options and will ship straight to your out-of-town recipient. I’ve utilized this feature from Amazon for my niece and nephews who live states away. It’s usually $5 or so for gift wrapping and looks nice.

Another option for shipping directly to your recipient is doing a subscription box. With a monthly box arriving to their doorstep for however long you choose, you don’t have to do anything more than pick the subscription and pay. Pretty easy peasy! Amazon has a wide variety of subscription boxes in various price ranges for both adults and kids.

Digital subscriptions are another easy option for gift giving. A few years ago, my husband gifted me with Kindle Unlimited. There are so many books available to read for free. I’ve maintained my subscription because I like it so very much and find it even easier than downloading books from my library. I highly recommend it for readers! And “A Family Christmas: 25 Days of 5-Minute Family Christmas Devotions” is included in Kindle Unlimited.

Finally, if all else fails, go with gift cards so they can purchase what they want. I’m a big fan of Amazon gift cards just because you really can get anything on Amazon. You can even send the gift cards digitally, which is great if it’s a last-minute situation!

A message for my oldest before she becomes a big sister

What I want my daughter to know before her brother is born

I originally wrote these words two weeks before my son was born in January of 2013. I was preparing to become a mother of two. And I also tried to prepare my daughter for becoming a big sister. While we have grown and changed throughout these years, the message here remains the same.

As I get closer and closer to having our baby boy, I’ve been thinking about the things I want my daughter to know. I know that becoming a big sister will forever change her life. Because I am the youngest of two, I will never completely know her station in a family. I’ve never been an oldest sibling. I know my own older brother wasn’t too excited to have to share our parents with me when I was born, but I like to think he came around eventually.

Right now, my daughter is excited. She talks about the things she will teach Baby Brother. When my parents and in-laws were here painting his nursery just over a week ago, she sat at the kitchen table and painted him pictures to hang on his wall. With every stroke of her paintbrush, she talked about how he would love them. And he will one day. We will hang them on the wall in the midst of the superhero art we’ve chosen as the nursery theme.

However, she still doesn’t really know what’s coming. We’ve tried to prepare her as much as possible by explaining that Baby Brother will be small to start with and not able to play with her. We’ve explained that he might cry a lot, because that’s the only way babies can communicate (or “investigate” as she sometimes mistakenly says). I’ve even mentioned to her that he might wake mommy up a lot a night, so I might be more tired after he’s born. I’ve talked with her a little bit about nursing so she’s not utterly shocked or anything. 

But, I can’t explain to her what having a newborn in the house is like. I can’t really explain to her what it’s like to go from an only child to a sibling because I’ve never done it. I was born a sibling. So was my husband.

I am incredibly excited to have this new member of our family. At the same time, I know it will be an adjustment for my daughter (and us!). I’ve been praying about it. And I’ve been thinking about what I want her to know before he’s born and she becomes a big sister. There are things I tell her, but there are other things that she just isn’t old enough to understand, yet. Some things I want her to know I will just have to show her and go without saying because she’s still only a 3-year-old.

I will always love you.

I want my daughter to know that no matter what, I will always love her. My heart is big enough to love two children. I have loved my husband for so long and love him so completely. I can’t imagine life without him. When our daughter was born, my heart grew to include a deep love for her that is complete and so strong it takes my breath away. Already my heart has grown to love this child along with my daughter. A mother’s heart has plenty of room for love.  I never want my daughter to question that. I want her to always feel my love.

Having a sibling is cool.

I want my daughter to know that having a sibling is cool. My brother and I aren’t super close, but he’s my brother. He’s the one other person in this world who grew up with the exact same parents I did. We’ve been through challenges together throughout the years. We’ve learned how to work together to help our family through crisis as adults like we did back in 2005 when my dad had an accident and his life dangled precariously in the balance for weeks. 

I want my daughter to know that her brother will be her brother for life. And she’ll always be his big sister. My prayer is that the two of them are close and have a good friendship and relationship. I want her to know that even when she has times he drives her crazy (and vice versa!) that at the end of the day, they will still have each other and the love of a sibling.

Being a big sister is an important job.

I want my daughter to know that she will be a role model. One thing I know as a younger sibling is how much we look up to our older siblings. I looked up to my brother and my cousin who was like another older brother for years. Her Baby Brother will do the same. It’s a cool responsibility to be a role model. She’ll be a good big sister with her compassionate heart and sensitive spirit. I’m excited to see how she rocks her big sister journey.

You don’t have to be a little mama.

I want my daughter to know that she’s a good helper, but she doesn’t have to be a little mother. She only has to be a big sister. My daughter loves to help around the house. With any task we’re working on, she’ll ask if we need help and try to help however she can. There have been many times I’ve carried the laundry basket lower through the house so she can hang on to one end and help me with it. She loves helping unload the dishwasher. Yesterday she wanted to help wipe down Baby Brother’s crib, so I armed her with a baby wipe and she had a great time. She just loves to help.

I will love for her to help and feel included with the baby, but I never want her to think she is responsible for him. First and foremost she is a little girl and I want her to enjoy being a little girl for as long as she can.

Life can be good, even when it’s difficult.

I want my daughter to know that even when life doesn’t seem fair, it’s still good. I know there will be struggles coming our way with who’s getting the most attention. Newborns are needy. They aren’t one bit understanding. Honestly, 3-year-olds aren’t super different in that department. There will be times she won’t think it’s fair for me to be doing something with the baby when she’d rather I was playing with her. I know that will happen. It can’t be avoided. 

But I want her to know life is still good. I want her to come to understand that if she gives me a few minutes to take care of Baby Brother then I will have more time to peacefully play with her later. And when he gets older and does things like knock over the blocks she’s building or tears a page in her favorite book, I pray she’ll have compassion and understanding with him.

You will always be my baby girl.

I want my daughter to know that she will always be my baby girl. I tell her this often. She agrees that even though she’s a big girl now, she’s OK with still being my baby girl. But, she doesn’t really know what I mean. What I mean is that no matter how big she gets, I’ll never forget the first time I saw her after she was born. I’ll never forget looking deep into her eyes during middle-of-the-night feedings and wondering about the person she’d become. I’ll never forget snuggling close with her at all stages of her life thus far. Of course, I’ll never forget her first steps or her first words. I’ll never forget her own language she created for a while before she could really talk. 

There are so many things that I’ll always remember every time I look at her. She is my precious girl. And just because I will have another baby with whom to experience so many of these things doesn’t make the times I shared with her any less precious.

Change is coming around these parts. It will be good, and it will bring challenges. My daughter continues to have lessons to learn as she navigates life and my son will be coming right behind her. Their dad and I have a big responsibility in raising them together. We’ve all got messages we need to hear from one another loud and clear, even when they come through actions. After all, that’s what being a family is all about.

Looking for more content about baby and toddler days? Don’t miss these posts!

Create a laundry routine that works

10 tips for a no-stress laundry routine

Affiliate links are used in this post. If you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

I have joked that as a mom my life revolves around food and clothes. But it seems so very true. I spend lots of time making food, shopping for food, washing clothes, folding clothes, making sure everyone has clothes that fit, cleaning out outgrown clothes and so on. It is a cycle that repeats time and again. So I’m all for figuring out ways to make these jobs easier. Through the years, we have nailed down a laundry routine that works well for our family of four.

When it comes to routines, the simpler the better. Just like our family has other routines in place to make life easier, laundry needs some sort of routine as well. While I can often just stick with how I’ve been doing things for years, my husband has a great mind for being efficient and coming up with better ways to do things. He gave me some suggestions for the laundry, and I gave them a try. Between his suggestions and my own, we now have a laundry routine in place that keeps the laundry from getting out of control.

1. Buy multiple laundry baskets.

One of the best ways we’ve streamlined laundry is by having multiple laundry baskets. I keep two of them side-by-side in the laundry room for my kids to use. They use one for their darks (clothes) and one for their whites (mainly towels and wash cloths). Their bedrooms are right beside the laundry room, so they can easily take their clothes in there after changing or bathing. (And we have worked through some phases where they left dirty clothes on their floors and had consequences as a result.)

Because my husband and I get dressed in our closet and ready in our own bathroom, which is away from the laundry room, I have two additional baskets for us. I keep one in our closet for darks and one in our bathroom closet for whites.

The goal is to have the baskets where they are needed and organized so the laundry is pre-sorted ahead of time. I love these 19-inch square Sterilite laundry baskets. They hold one load of laundry, so I can easily tell when it’s time to put in a load to wash. I keep five baskets total. That gives me an extra basket in play for transporting laundry to fold while still having the other baskets in place to collect dirty laundry.

2. Keep laundry supplies handy.

I love storing things where I need to use them. The laundry room is no exception. I have front loader machines, so I have storage drawers underneath them. When I had top loaders, I had a shelf above the washer and dryer for supplies. Of course you need laundry soap and fabric softener, if you use it.

I like Tide Pods 4-in-1 with Febreze. To make my life even easier, I have them set up as a subscription through Amazon, so I get two containers every four months. It’s the cycle that works for my family and I don’t even have to worry about running out of laundry detergent.

But, I keep more than detergent and fabric softener in the laundry room. I also have a pair of scissors for errant threads or tag clipping in the laundry room. I also store a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide beneath my washing machine. Peroxide is the BEST for removing blood stains. Spray (or pour) some onto blood spots. Let it set until the fizzing stops. Add a bit more to see if it starts fizzing again. If it doesn’t, then you’re good to go. If it does, then just repeat.

I also keep a bottle of Dawn Powerwash dish soap in my laundry room. While I’ve been using Dawn dish soap to remove laundry stains for a few years now, my mom suggested I try the Dawn Powerwash a few months ago. It is totally worth it! With regular Dawn, I would pour some on the stain and then add water and scrub. With the Dawn Powerwash, I spray it on the stain and usually it’s good to go. If it’s a set-in stain, then sometimes I use a denture toothbrush I picked up at Dollar Tree to scrub it a bit. But I almost never have to do that. Game changer! This works even on stains that you washed and dried because you missed them the first time around.

3. Hang up your clothes as you take them out of the dryer.

If I’m touching clothes to take them out of the dryer, then I might as well hang them up while my hands are on them. I have a pole in my laundry room where I keep hangers and then hang clothes to finish drying. Most of the time, I dry them about 75% of the way and then let them air dry the rest of the way. But either way, hanging them up as they come out of the dryer works best. You’re not moving them as much. They don’t usually wrinkle. And they are ready to go to your closet.

Do I ever leave clothes hanging in the laundry room for a couple of days? Yes. It happens, but it’s easy enough to move them to closets at least before you start your next load!

And in order to have the needed hangers in the laundry room, I have an area in my closet where we put empty hangers when we take clothes off of them. So when I am ready to wash, I grab the stack of empty hangers to go to the laundry room. My son doesn’t have most of his clothes hanging up, but my daughter has many hanging up now and she’s been working on getting her empty hangers into the laundry room as well.

4. Buy the same color of towels and wash cloths.

A few years ago, I made the switch to all white towels and wash cloths. I’m so glad I did. Now there is no sorting towels to wash. I don’t have to worry about white towels getting dingy or dark ones getting faded. Everything is white, so it all goes into the same load together with some bleach. Easy, peasy!

If you prefer dark towels and wash cloths, then go for it. I literally asked for white towels for Christmas a few years ago. But you could also make the switch gradually (unless you have the budget to go out and buy new towels all at once). I’ve also ordered them on Black Friday or other times there are good sales going on. You can use your old towels for household chores and cleaning or donate them to a local animal rescue center.

5. Get your family involved.

I know some families have each kiddo responsible for their own laundry, but I don’t like that system for us. First, I want to be in control of the laundry room to avoid piles forming because someone is busy. Second, my youngest is only 8 and not yet ready to be fully responsible for his clothes. Third, I spend hard-earned money on clothes, and I don’t want to see them get messed up by being washed improperly or not pre-treated when they need to be.

Instead, we use a family teamwork approach to laundry. I generally am the one who does the washing and drying (not always). But I usually host a “laundry party” once a week where we all hang out on my bed and fold clothes and/or towels then put them away. Now that my kids are both older, I no longer put away their clothes. They are responsible for transporting them to their room and expected to put them away in their drawers or hang in their closets.

Over the summer, my daughter was interested in doing laundry, so she wrote out directions for how to wash clothes and left it in the laundry room to refer to. A list of directions is a great idea for kids learning how to do laundry. We used a small canvas from the Dollar Tree to put our instructions on, so it’s sturdy enough not to get easily crinkled.

6. Wash as needed instead of on a schedule.

My grandma washed clothes every Monday and ironed every Tuesday. I have tried having certain days scheduled for laundry, but it just hasn’t worked as well for me. So our laundry routine is more when laundry needs washed, we wash it. If I see the baskets are full, then I know it’s time to do a load. My husband does that, too, and my daughter has a couple of times as well.

It just works easier for our family and puts less pressure on me to make sure I get laundry done on a certain schedule in the midst of everything else I juggle. Some weeks I do multiple loads in one day and other weeks, I spread the loads out over a few days. It just depends on the day, the amount of laundry and what else I have going on.

7. Keep a small basket for pretreats and/or delicates.

One of the problems I needed to address with our laundry routine was what to do with clothes that needed pre-treated or washed on delicate. Previously, I would put them on the floor beside the laundry basket. But that was bugging me. It looked messy and often resulted in those clothes getting thrown into the basket and washed with everything else.

A few months ago, I bought a small plastic basket. I put it on top of the washing machine and instructed my family to use it for items needing pre-treated or washed separately. It’s been great. I’ve used it for some dark dish towels. My daughter has put some of her lighter colored shirts in there. I’ve even pulled clothes out of the dryer, found a stain I had missed and toss them in the basket to hit them with Dawn Powerwash before I re-wash them.

8. Set a timer on your phone to remember your laundry.

My washer and dryer both have signals that can sound when they finish. However, I get distracted with work and mom stuff. If I set an alarm on my phone, though, I don’t forget to switch out laundry. The alarm helps me remember to hang up clothes from the dryer before they get wrinkled. I’m a big fan of using alarms to keep myself on task!

9. Have enough clothes to last 5 to 7 days.

I don’t like the feeling of scrambling around to get clothes washed and dried so one of us has what we need for the next day. Though I usually do laundry a couple of times a week, having enough clothes for each of us to get through five to seven days helps keep the laundry scramble from happening.

For example, I noticed a couple of months ago that my daughter seemed to always be running out of clean leggings, even though I hadn’t changed up my laundry routine. Then it hit me. Three days a week, she was wearing two pairs of leggings per day thanks to working out at the gym. I bought an additional three-pack of her favorite black leggings, and our problem was solved.

10. Fold clean laundry on your bed.

This sounds like an odd laundry routine tip, but it helps us. Let me explain. I used to fold laundry in my living room. Sometimes I watched a show while I folded (I still do that!). Then I put the laundry back in the basket, and it sat in my living room for a couple of days.

Now, I fold my laundry on my bed. I need my bed every night, so I have to put the laundry away in order to sleep. I do have my kids put away their own laundry and will tell them it’s on my bed. We also lie across my bed to pray and read together before bed, so the laundry has to be put away for that to happen.

Even if it isn’t your bed, folding your laundry somewhere that you need to keep cleaned off to use works as a motivator to make sure the clean laundry actually gets put away!

God’s promises for hard times

Encouragement and Bible verses for difficult times

God's promises for hard times Pinterest image

Earlier this week, my youngest woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. He ended up waking both my husband and me. I got him settled back into bed and laid down myself. I prayed that my son would be able to get back to sleep and rest well. Then I also prayed for my husband and me the same way. Finally, I thanked God for taking care of us before saying “Amen.”

As I snuggled into the covers, listening to my dog begin to softly snore, I thought about that. In the middle of the night, in the darkness, God reminded me that He will always take care of me. And it was exactly what my heart and soul desperately needed.

God shows up when we need Him

The days prior to this night hadn’t been easy ones. Sometimes life throws a curveball your way, and it knocks you down. Throughout the previous few days, I’d been thinking how knowing God’s will for a situation doesn’t make it hurt any less. Sometimes in the middle of our hurt and hard times we can feel so alone (even when that isn’t true). Yet, God promises that He is always with us.

As I slowly settled in to fall back asleep, the old hymn “God will Take Care of You” drifted through my mind.

Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
God will take care of you;
Beneath His wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you;
When dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.

All you may need He will provide,
God will take care of you;
Nothing you ask will be denied,
God will take care of you.

No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
God will take care of you.

God Will Take Care of You
Civilla D. Martin, 1904

I needed that reminder so very much. Maybe it was in the stillness and quietness of the night that God knew I would be better able to hear Him. Perhaps He knew I’d lie in bed with no distractions, and He could gently remind me that He will always take care of me. Unsurprisingly, He was right on time. Yet again, He spoke truth and encouragement into my heart while giving me a song to go with it. Music ministers to my soul so very much.

Remembering the past

One of the other lessons I’ve learned through my decades of walking with God is that He really is ever faithful. Each time I face a new hard time or challenge, I remind myself of other times I thought I couldn’t bear. And I remember how God has brought me through all of them in ways I still don’t even understand.

I am thankful that even though I have stories of hard times, I also have stories of His faithfulness through them. For example, there was the time my husband was without a job for an entire year that we somehow managed to pay our bills. Then in all of my health struggles with chronic conditions, God continues to give me strength and encouragement. He remains faithful.

Sometimes looking back at what God has done in the past can help us as we encounter new challenges and hard times. I have to watch out when doing this, because I can sometimes get distracted and start having a pity party for myself about all the hard times I’ve had in my life. And that’s not helpful. I have learned to stop myself when I start going down that path. It certainly isn’t going to help me like remembering God’s faithfulness and provisions will!

What the Bible says about God’s promises for hard times

Listening for God and remembering what He has done in the past is helpful in getting through hard times. But I also have learned that finding Bible verses of His promises is helpful. God gave us His Word for us to use as a tool to help us through life. So, I put together seven of the many verses of God’s promises for hard times in life.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” — Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

I love this reminder, because during hard times, we feel so weary and burdened. I’ve also had the song “Worn” from Tenth Avenue North running through my head lately. It goes right along with this verse. “I know that You can give me rest, so I cry out with all that I have left.”

“So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

I’ve shared this verse multiple times, because it is truly my all-time favorite Bible verse that applies to so many situations. While I first fell in love with the verse for God promising to always be with me when I’m afraid, I later learned the entire verse and love all parts of it. For hard times, I especially love God’s promise to strengthen, help and uphold us.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” — Psalms 9:9-10 (NIV)

Psalms 9:9-10 NIV

God is our shelter and help when we are having a hard time. He promises that we can trust in Him and that He will never leave us. I cling to that promise!

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” — Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

I think sometimes this verse gets relegated only to graduates and young people. But it deserves a second look. God is promising that whatever our hard times are, they aren’t part of a plan for Him to harm us. His plan is to give us hope. And He promises to listen to us when we pray. He also promises that when we seek Him with all our hearts that we will find Him. He is always there.

“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.'” — Hebrews 13:5b (NIV)

God is always with us. He doesn’t wander off. He doesn’t sleep and miss out on being there. God is always with us!

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” — Psalms 34:18 (NIV)

Hard times can make us feel alone. But we are never alone. When we are brokenhearted, God is right there with us. We may not always feel Him or see Him. We may get too distracted and overwhelmed to notice Him, but He is always there with us. Always!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” — Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

Hebrews 13:8

This Bible verse is an easy one to overlook because it’s something we’ve probably heard many times. But I remember one of the very lowest moments of my life going to church, noticing the cross and remembering this truth. When life is difficult and things are topsy-turvy, knowing that Jesus is always the same and His promises never fail is comforting.