About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She works full-time for DaySpring from Minnesota, where she lives with her husband and four kids. Anna shares the good stuff of the regular, and encourages you to see the ordinary glory in your everyday.

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  1. I am a worrier. I try to remember it doesn’t help to worry. At some point I will read the bible verses, I will say the prayers but I still fret. It is frustrating. So thank you for sharing this. I know I am never alone, but it is reassuring to know that others are feel like I do. And, the Message translation really helps.

  2. Thank you for your real and vulnerable post Anna. It is so true there is so much hurt and sadness around us, and what I have learned that it is ok not be ok sometimes. To feel those feelings and allow Jesus to come along side of us in those times. Knowing He knows and He is with us comforting and loving us. I too love the message version where it says, “ I will not put anything ill-fitting upon you. For me it is sometimes the expectations that I put on myself to perform and “ do better.” But knowing that He doesn’t put those expectations on us! We do! Such a learning and growing to just learn to “ be me”. So thankful for His love and grace and that He never leaves us.

  3. The more times I practice: surrendering my burdens to God, resting, & then accepting His lighter burden; a spiritual habit is formed that will last a lifetime!

  4. Much needed read. Especially the part about returning to normal activities. I look forward to them yet at the same time don’t. Your post has helped me to see that like Jesus, I can embrace all my emotions with God by my side. He is and will be my help.

  5. Hi Anna,

    Great post! I have turned to this scripture many times this past year, mostly due to loneliness. As you commented, it isn’t always easy to just let go of everything, and find peace and joy. However, the more frequently I turn to our Saviour, the less worry I feel and this can bring me joy.

    Merry Christmas, Sandy

  6. Anna, this is lovely. You nailed this bittersweet quality we all probably feel this time of year. And maybe this year, even more so. Thank you! May you be richly blessed through Christmas and afterward!

    • Thank you, Anna, I absolutely love your posts! Often, as is the case today, I find tears streaming down my face as I read. It is so comforting to know that others share my exact feelings and worries, to know I am not alone. Then to read scripture that reinforces God’s ever-present love fills me with an indescribable joy.
      Merry Christmas!

  7. I so resonated with the words you wrote! My husband and I lived in Minnesota for 18 years before moving to Southern California, so when I saw you are in MN, it caught my attention even more. I too am not an optimist but put my faith and trust that God has an ultimate plan, and He is our Peace and Joy.

  8. Christmas is such a beautiful season, and I try hard to keep it with me all year through, but as you stated 2021 has been hard! This is exactly what I needed this morning. My heart has been so heavy with everything going on with tornadoes, crime, sickness, etc. Thank you for sharing the message version of Matt 11:29-30, I found it very comforting. “Keep company with me” invokes a warm feeling like Jesus is saying “spend time with me”. Going to hold on to this.

  9. Thank you Anna for being so real and honest and sharing what so many of us feel and experience. On top of everything, I also am suffering with depression, fear and anxiety. I have suffered seasons of this for 9 years. The Lord has always brought me thru and out of it. This time has been the longest so far. And only those who have suffered this truly understand. It isolates me and saps me of strength. I just turned 75, and, quite frankly am very tired. Also my 41 year old stepdaughter and our 14 year old son (our precious grandson) have lived with us since his birth. My husband and I have to provide a home and support them on our very limited social security. Long story! Sometimes I have to fight resentment as my stepdaughter seems to have it so easy and I feel takes us for granted. We have had a very difficult relationship. But I do my best to let go and give it all to Jesus. He knows best and I know has a purpose in all this. I hang onto Him and His promises and trust Him to bring us through. I was always a positive person, but find myself fighting negativity during these seasons of depression. But though I don’t understand I know He is always faithful and can never fail me. I pray you all have a blessed Christmas and may the Lord feel your hearts with peace and hope!

    • Dear sister Donna, I am 76 and I so understand how you feel. I live with my daughter and her husband and through the years we have had other family live with us. I fight resentment at times due to the circumstances. However, I keep talking it out with God, as most of my family are believers in God but not necessarily born again so there is a constant spiritual battle going on. I encourage you to keep fighting as the battle will continue even though the war has been won at the cross. Much love from another battle weary soul. I will pray for you to remain strong in Christ.

      • Thank you and bless you Loretta for your very kind and encouraging reply. I am sorry that you have suffered some of these things, but it helps to know that I’m not alone. God bless you and fill your heart with peace!

      • I am praying for you also Loretta! The Lord Jesus will be by our sides and bring us through. One of my favorite scriptures is: “The Lord is my strength, the Lord is my song, and the Lord has become my salvation.” May He encourage your heart and be the lifter of your head”

    • Donna,

      Praying for you sweet sister. Family situations can be tough. God has plans for all of you. Plans to prosper you & give you hope. Asking God to bless you all & mend all tensions. May He send His healing touch to your weary soul. Taking away the depression, anxiety & help you with financial blessings > may you all feel His loving arms around you.

      Blessings 🙂

      • Thank you Beth for your encouraging words and thank you so very much for your prayers! May the Lord bless you abundantly!

  10. I needed the reassurance that your post has provided. I’m not a worrier by nature but every now and then things start to creep in and disturb my otherwise positive nature. It’s called life. We all have things and events that happen to endeavor to disturb our peace of mind and steal our joy. BUT help is never more than a prayer away. So let’s join together in not only who we ask and pray to but what we ask and pray for.
    Jesus is our hope, our joy, our peace, our guide to the Father.
    It is through the darkness that the light of one small candle will dispel the darkness. If you cannot utter anything more than the name of Jesus, you are dispelling the darkness. Remember that at the name of Jesus, Satan will flee.
    The Bible says that joy comes in the morning. Hang in there and enjoy the breaking of the dawn and claim the joy of knowing who our savior is. Love and prayers for all believers and may the non believers see the joy and love of Christ through us.

  11. Jesus, let our hearts be light–because of you. …yep, I think that’s going to be one of my new prayers. Thank you for this real and really encouraging word today, Anna. Love you, friend.

  12. I so needed to hear these words today and I love how they landed so close to my heart. My spirit is just broken this year, yet again, and more so than last year, and I’m fighting to find the light in what I see around me. It’s pretty hard, admittedly. I’ll keep these words close at hand. Thank you, friend. ❤️

  13. Lovely, Anna. Your words offer a helpful dose of encouragement and hope, setting us off on the right foot toward light-heartedness. You are so right: reminding ourselves (frequently!) that we’re not forgotten or alone, and handing over some of the pain and worry (several times a day, perhaps!), we WILL find our shoulders feel lighter. Praise God for his attentive presence!

  14. Anna,

    These past two years have been hard for many. Judy, a co worker, got Covid & Covid pneumonia in 2020. Her dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer & has been in & out of hospital. Most recently early November. At that time one of her brothers was rushed to hospital with Covid & Covid pneumonia. While there his heart & kidneys malfunctioned & he ended up dying around Thanksgiving. Add to that she broke her ribs in 2020 & has been doing physical therapy. Her dad is home on hospice. Christmas will be super hard on her this year.

    My church has decided to quit having services till mid January. My pastor & his wife got Covid-she didn’t take shots & it took her 14 days to fight off fevers. Now others in our church have Covid. Hurts me that we won’t be having any Christmas services together. Won’t get to see my friends & wish them all a Merry Christmas.

    Yes it is hard to have a merry little Christmas letting our hearts be light. I see people near death daily. Family members coming in to spend two hours with their loved ones. A good many don’t make it. Yes I give my worries to God. I tell Him how I feel about all this & to be with all those families. Only Jesus can bring about a lightness of spirit to help us celebrate His birthday.

    Blessings 🙂

  15. Oh yeah. This is me….with 2 almost adult kids….a job in an elementary germ factory…and not enough sense to stop and pray.

  16. Delayed reaction to responding to this meaningful post, so I don’t know if/when this reply will catch up to you, Anna, but first of all, I wanted to express sympathy at your “favorite” uncle’s tragic passing. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been and must still be to deal with.
    My “wonderful and DIFFICULT” Christmas season this year includes my sister’s Homegoing in October 2021 and having an ongoing estranged relationship with our adult son. I’m trying to find joy, and I do have many blessings to be thankful for, but this Christmas is hard.
    Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing from your heart!

    • I’m so sorry that you are struggling during what should be a joyous season. My dearest friend lost her husband on Christmas morning so you are not alone in your trial. But if we cannot be joyful we can be grateful that we have a savior and a guide through the Holy Spirit and a loving Father that has kept his promise to never leave us or forsake us. Just remember that although we have a reason to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we are not tied to a once a year celebration. Each day is a reason to celebrate the gift of His birth. Fear not for I am with you said the Lord. I will pray that God himself will give you the peace that passeth all understanding. Peace and joy ( not happiness) but real joy be yours today and every day. Happiness is fleeting but true joy comes in the morning. Remember that the darkest hour is just before dawn. I love watching the sun rise. Gives us hope that no matter what God is still on His throne and Jesus sits at His right hand interceding for us. Blessings dear sister.

  17. Christmas for me has always had a majic mixture of childhood memories and lofty images of snow mixed with sparkling lights and smells of cedar pine and wood crackling by a toasty fire. The excitement of hearing Christmas Carols sung at Church and receiving a net of oranges and nuts from our Sunday School teacher. What a special remembrance of the gift of True Love. A light that never goes out!

  18. Very tough stuff. I have a friend whose son in-law committed suicide in front of her daughter on 12/12. She has been dreaming the incident every night. I just heard the whole story last night. So I’m forwarding this to her, in hopes that she is in a spot that it can be received emotionally.

  19. This is exactly what I needed today. Everything you said are my exact feelings and this Christmas was the same. My baby sister who I love so much had breast cancer 2 years ago, and lung nodules were found on her lungs. Many different tests have been done with no answers. I was up in the night as well, worrying about her and my son who is in recovery for an opioid addiction. The pain is real, yet God’s grace is so good. He has brought me out of every storm and given me peace. Thank you for this article, it made me feel not so alone.