Roses & Holiday Advice

By Cortney Robert || Dumb Ox Ministries

A while back I wrote a blog about two rose bushes my fiance gave me for my birthday this past year. If you haven’t gotten a chance to read it, you can find it on the blog.

If you remember, he told me when he gave it to me, ““Okay, so, I put them in pots for you, and I got you some rose food. Now it’s up to you to take care of them. …So if they die, it’s your fault.”  

Ready for the update???


Alright, so, I’m not going to jump to the conclusion that they’re completely dead just yet..I just keep telling myself that they’re dormant and I’ll prune them back soon and hope for the best. If after Spring comes and goes and they dont come back…then I’ll acknowledge that they’re dead. But again, that’s not going to happen because they’re just dormant.

As I thought back to my original post about embracing our imperfect circumstances and still enjoying them. I started thinking about the holiday season coming up as well as the new year. I just want to encourage you to truly savor these days. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, all of the holidays coming up.  Savor them in all of their imperfectness.

Holidays bring with it joy and stress, excitement and dread, delicious treats and vegetables…

But this is the best time of the year. A time to be thankful, a time to be generous, and a time to rest.

My hope for all of us this year is to be present to the days and our people.

A few ways that I have thought about how to do this is:

    1. Put things on the calendar that you would love to do
      I look at the days that I have and think of 3 things I would love to do during this time.  If you want to catch up with a friend, call them now and schedule it. If you want to go see christmas lights or stay home and have a night in, as silly as it sounds, look at the calendar and put it in there. I know life happens and things come up,  but at least it’s in there and it’s a priority. If you do have to change it for a reason, hopefully you will reschedule because remember, it’s important and so are you.

      For me, as silly as it sounds, one thing I want to do is hangout by my Christmas tree and read, or listen to music. So, I’m either going to set an alarm on my phone to wake up a little earlier or set it in the evening time to remind me (it doesn’t have to be a daily alarm, you can change the frequency in your alarm setting).


  • Putting my phone away
    This year I have been working on lessening my time on my phone. I have set limits on myself that I won’t check social media before 10am and after 10pm. I have a reminder alarm set for 9:50pm each night to remind me that it’s almost time to be done for the night. I also will be keeping my phone on silent and tucked away while at holiday events.
    I know it’s hard, but the times that I do check Facebook or Instagram on Thanksgiving Day it’s 99% that people are posting that they are with their families. When I think about it, I didn’t need Facebook to tell me that’s where everyone else is..of course that’s where they are..and that’s where I am. Sure, I can refresh or recheck it in 5 minutes, but 9 times out of 10, people are still at their families and not much has changed.


The people that we love and are thankful for are in front of us..we need to be with them

  1. Imperfect Gift Giving

One of my favorite things about the holiday is giving gifts to my family and friends. I know though how much pressure there is to get the perfect gift. SO. MUCH. PRESSURE!
I make my list of people then start thinking about what I should get.

I have started a Secret Pinterest board called “Gift Ideas” and when I think of something during the year I add it to the board. That way it’s my first place to go when I start thinking of gifts whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday, Mother’s day, etc.

My new gift giving revelation is to give things that I love. There was a book that I read this year and have already given 4 copies as gifts. I love this idea because you can speak from experience how it is and I always find it special that someone would give me something they have enjoyed.

In the end, remember the essence of a gift is to show your gratitude and love for someone and it’s not a test of how good you know someone, and we should also receive gifts in the same way.  

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your families and savor all the moments together.


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