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Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson podcast

Nov 17, 2022

Episode Summary: 

Christmas time can be so stressful. Would you like to experience calm in the midst of the holiday chaos? What if I told you that you could enjoy a more simple Christmas and, in doing so, reconnect with the real reason we celebrate the holiday? Join me with Tama Fortner as we talk about how to have a Simple Christmas.

Quotables from the episode:

  • “Simple Christmas” is the book I wish someone had written for me when my children were little, before I had all these life experiences under my belt. So many things about “how Christmas is supposed to be” just didn’t work for my family. I want to give moms permission to chart their own course, while also providing some thoughts to draw them closer to God and His Son. 
  • It’s important to learn to be more thoughtful and intentional about what we allow into our life and our family time, especially at the holidays. Just because we’ve always done this or everybody does that, doesn’t mean it’s right for us this year.
  • As you launch into this holiday season and start filling up calendars and to-do lists, ask yourself three questions: Does it make me smile? Does it make my loved ones smile? (Because aren’t those the things that makes us mamas smile?) And, most importantly, does it make God smile? When you filter everything through these three questions, the things that really matter quickly rise to the top. 
  • If a holiday tradition is no longer working for your family, kick it to the curb!
  • The need to keep up with what everyone else is doing is overwhelming. Give yourself permission to simplify, to let some things go to savor the most important things this holiday.
  • Recognize that as a child or daughter of God, you are loved regardless of what you do, how perfectly wrapped the gifts are, or how beautiful the holiday table is.
  • When you reach yours or others’ expectations for yourself, the bar moves, the level increases, and you’re under more stress to continually be doing even more.
  • Always start with reading the Bible! That is where God talks to us, where His will, His way, and His peace are found. Quiet time can be hard to carve out for moms, so I suggest that quiet time doesn’t have to look “perfect”—with a cozy chair, coffee, Bible, and an hour of uninterrupted silence.
  • Sometimes quiet time is a state of mind that we carry with us into the chaos. And sometimes it has to be snatched up in a moment here and there. So keep a Bible with you always. I love an actual paper Bible, but apps on the phone are so convenient to soak up a verse waiting in carpool or whenever you have a moment. 
  • When we start our day off in the word, and allow Him to set our intentions, we will get done what HE deems important for the day, and we will feel more at peace.
  • Jesus’s ministry was centered around interruptions. When we allow ourself to be interrupted and look for the possibility in those interruptions, we will find the people in need and what they need, so that we’re accomplishing God’s to-do list for the day.
  • Let other moms be good at what they are good at without the need to compare yourself to them. You’ll shine in the areas that you are good at.
  • Consider what it is that you want at the end of the holiday season, and then your to-do list will begin to reflect what you ultimately desire.

Scripture References:

  • Luke 2:19 (NIV) — Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
  • Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) — You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
  • Luke 1:47–48 (NIV) — My spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.
  • Acts 17:28 (NIV) -- For in him we live and move and have our being.

Recommended Resources: 

Social Media Links for Host and Guest:

Connect with Tama Fortner:

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:

Order Book Breaking Anxiety’s Grip / Order Book Hope Prevails  /  Website  /  Blog  /  Facebook / Twitter (@DrMBengtson)  /  LinkedIn  /  Instagram Pinterest / YouTube


Tama is an ECPA award-winning author with more than forty titles to her credit. She is the writer behind the bestselling Indescribable for Kids series with Louie Giglio, as well as a number of books in the Jesus Calling children’s line, including the wildly successful Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, which has sold more than 1,000,000 copies to date. Tama has collaborated with such well-known authors as Max Lucado, Rebekah Lyons, and Emily Ley to create inspirational books for all ages. 

Tama has been working as a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and editor for more than twenty-five years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of the Cumberlands and a master’s degree from Appalachian State University. Tama and her husband have two children who are growing up much too fast for their mama’s liking. They live on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy sampling new restaurants, watching old movies, and eating lots of popcorn with far too much butter and salt.

Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson