December Smiles


Happy Christmas, my friends!

It’s been a beautiful month of lights and music and books and worship. Here’s my list of favorites:

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

I know I’ve listed this book twice now on my Smiles list. But I finished it this week and the greatness can’t go unannounced. Here’s an especially lovely paragraph:

“They seemed to have left winter clinging to the hills behind. Here the air was softer and warmer, and faintly scented, as if spring was already stirring and the sap was flowing again in herb and leaf. Legolas took a deep breath, like one that drinks a great draught after long thirst in barren places. “Ah! The green smell!” he said. It is better than much sleep. Let us run!”[i]

For The Church mini conference

Our church hauled a vanload of people to Illinois on December 10th for a mini conference hosted by For The Church. There’s so much I love about FTC (the ministry of Midwestern Theological Seminary). Speakers Jason Allen, Jared Wilson, and Noah Oldham each impacted me with the gravity and importance of studying God’s Word.


Sweaters are a lovely thing this time of year. I’m wearing one now, in fact.

The Nativity Story movie soundtrack

I love movie soundtracks, and especially this one—with an eastern flair and touches of Christmas. The Nativity Story is my all-time favorite Christmas movie.

Psalm 119

My read-through-the-Bible plan doesn’t allow for oodles of study time. I read through Psalm 119 in a few days, but knew I wanted to go back and dig deeper. I couldn’t believe how many times the Psalmist refers to God’s Word, testimonies, truths, commands, statutes, and law. It’s 176 verses of pure delight in the Scriptures. I want to have that same Bible joy.

What’s on your December list of smiles? Tell me about it in the comments below!



[i] J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers (pg. 16)

6 thoughts on “December Smiles

  1. this month has been full of happy things! here’s a few:

    traveling with my family – we took two roadtrips over the first two weeks of the month! it’s full of singing in the car, laughing at many quotable moments, oohing and aaahing at beautiful scenery, and just enjoying togetherness.

    handel’s messiah – we sit around the living room, color pictures, and listen to the glory. i love the word painting and repetition of true words that ingrains itself in my head. it’s a classic!

    wearing winter accessories – fuzzy sloth socks, riding boots, and a hand knit hat. need i say more.

    *made for friendship* by drew hunter – this book kind of rocked my world and view of friendship. his argument for the importance of friendship helped resolve an internal debate i’d been having with myself for a while. and it inspired me to be more intentional in cultivating and fighting for depth and realness in my friendships.

    reading poetry – wendell berry specifically. i love his way of looking at the world, seeing the beauty and rhythm, and capturing it in simple words. i haven’t loved poetry this much since british lit in high school.

    happy christmas to you too!! 🕯️


  2. Bethany, I love your list – Tolkien writes so, so beautifully. I think you would really enjoy his collected letters if you haven’t read them – I remember one letter about a frosty winter morning that was pure poetry, written to his son Christopher (I think).

    This December, I’m smiling at Dove chocolates, time with family coming up, and the gorgeous Christmas issue of The Cultivating Project ( , which I think you would love if you don’t already know it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. he really does. i’m going to have to look into his collected letters for sure; they sound lovely.
      i haven’t heard of the cultivating project, but that’s soon to change, thanks to you. 😉 i appreciate your thoughts so much!


  3. This is a great list! The Two Towers is always so good, as the entire Lord of the Rings series is. 😀
    Sweaters are amazing. I love fall and winter so much because I’m able to wear warm, cozy clothes. 🙂
    Ah, the Psalms. They always fill me with awe, because the response of nearly all the psalmists is to turn to God in the midst of all of their experiences, whether it be pain or joy.
    The Nativity Story is a wonderful movie. My family and I watched it for the first time last Christmas, and I love it.


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