In this episode of The Dear Daughters podcast, we talked a lot about releasing expectations this Christmas (which she talks about in her new book), focusing on what matters, and the beauty of brokenness. Alex also shared the recipe for her home-run holiday dessert. ;)
I can’t wait for you to meet Alex. Here’s the interview on Dear Daughters Episode 43.
- The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast, and Susie’s interview
- Alex’s husband works at The Providence Network, a faith-based organization in Denver that helps people transitioning out of homelessness.
- Her mother in law, Carol Kuykendall, wrote books with Alisa Morgan and is re-releasing her book Give Them Wings: Preparing for the Time Your Teens Leave Home (for empty nesters!).
- Alex’s book to help you mine down to the magic this holiday season, Loving My Actual Christmas : An Experiment in Relishing the Season.
- And a chronicle of Alex’s nine month challenge to love her life more ~ Loving My Actual Life : An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me.
- Susie’s first book, The Time of Your Life: Finding God’s Rest in Your Busy Schedule
- Psalm 90.12 ~> Teach us to number our days…
- The app that literally numbers your days: Day Count
- Alex’s first book, The Artist’s Daughter … and here’s the book trailer.
- Alex shared an excerpt from her book, about how we stage-manage Christmas for our people : Let Love Be The Loudest Voice.
- O Holy Night ~ ’til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.’
- I think these pieces from Lindsay Letters would make the short list of holiday decorations: “No. 94 Soul Felt Its Worth” print and the Weary World Rejoices canvas
- A free holiday budget planner to help minimize that finance holiday stressor.
- Alex’s Top Three $20-and-under gift ideas: Quality nail polish (I love this one from Essie), a good French Press, and a book.
- Alex’s Easy Cherry Bliss Brownies
- Susie’s favorite Gooey Cake Recipe three ways: Gooey Pumpkin Cupcakes, Gooey Cupcakes: Snickers Style, and Gooey Butter Cupcakes. And wouldn’t a chai gooey cake be just lovely?
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
Much of change happens when you change your perspective. ~ Alexandra Kuykendall
My husband always says, “You see God through the lens of your earthly father.” ~ Susie Davis
Alex’s advice to her 20-year old self : Be kinder to your husband, and give him more freedom to dream.
When we think there’s a right way, we hold on to it really tight, and then we start defending it. I wish that in my heart I had been a little more open. ~ Alex Kuykendall
Somewhere we absorbed these expectations of what Christmas should be. It could be our childhood, it could be a reaction to our childhood. It could be pinterest, it could be commercials. Somewhere- consciously and unconsciously- we get this expectation of what Christmas should be. All these voices telling us. And then we take on that responsibility to make it happen, because we want to do the right thing. ~ Alex Kuykendall
There is a yearning. We know there is something special about Christmas. What we yearn for is the baby, is the Messiah, Emmanuel, God With Us. But we can’t often articulate it, even if we are people of faith. We think we just need to make everything magical. ~ Alex Kuykendall
One of Alex’s filters for minimizing the Christmas crazy-making is to ask, “Okay, what is my motive here? what am I trying to correct?”
If there’s some area of difficulty or grief in our lives, during the holidays it’s heightened because it’s an annual marker. We can all remember where we were a year ago on Christmas morning. Which means we can go back to that place of what we thought life would be like a year later, and maybe life isn’t the way we had pictured it. ~ Alex Kuykendall
All the crazy chaos we choose is sometimes is a cover-up for something deeper. ~ Alex Kuykendall
We’re trying to fix things that are broken. and we’re all so ridiculously broken, even at our best. That’s why Jesus came. To heal us. ~ Susie Davis
Christmas often requires us to look at our own brokenness, and look at why we feel like things aren’t the way we wish they were and why we don’t feel like we have enough. ~ Susie Davis
We don’t have enough time, we don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough wholeness. So we buy the lie that if we work harder we will feel better when in reality, it’s all from God’s hands. And every piece of it is grace. ~ Susie Davis
Maybe it is just that Christmas highlights the baby so much, that it sheds even more God-light on our broken condition. And honestly the last thing you want to feel at Christmas is all broken and goopy and like you need to be in therapy. You want to feel magical. ~ Susie Davis
God came so we might know His love. And He came because He knows our hearts are broken. If you are brokenhearted this season, you are that much closer to the heartbeat of this holiday. That might feel counter to what the world is telling you… but really, the heartbeat of the holiday is that God is with us in the muck and in the grief. ~ Alex Kuykendall
Joy is pushing in and past our circumstances. ~ Alex Kuykendall
We don’t totally understand the baby unless we look at it in context of the Cross. God’s grace is what demonstrates to us what we are worth. ~ Alex Kuykendall
If we want peace and joy, we can’t do it without looking at our own brokenness. And then we’re invited to look on His on the cross where He bought wholeness for us. ~ Susie Davis
Ask yourself, what do I want to remember a year from now, or ten years from now, about this Christmas? Then put those things on the calendar and try to say no to as many other things as possible.~ Alex Kuykendall
We can’t overdo remembering The Story. ~ Alex Kuykendall
Alex’s advice to minimize financial stressors over the holidays? The bottom line is, come up with a bottom line.
We’re going to disappoint people today, but what I don’t want to do is disappoint God. ~ Susie Davis
To live your life with a crystal clear clarity seems like one of the best things you can do for your life and the lives of the people that you love. ~ Susie Davis
This is a Christmas that we won’t get back. So how do we want to live it? ~ Alex Kuykendall
… grateful, grateful for Davis sharing their music for the DD Podcast. :)