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Laurie Yost

Book Reviews, Encouragement, Giveaways, Life Is Beautiful

Stumbling Along: Win This Funny and Fantastic Book!

That’s where I would die. O Lord, what about my family? What about the T-shirts I promised to order for the church? What about…”

Sixteen years ago I was a young mom to a 2-year-old little girl and I joined the Moms Group at our church. Once a week this gave us moms a chance to get together at church with free childcare for that precious hour, snacks, and good company.  Each week we sat in a circle and discussed life, mom topics, finances, friendship, and prayer. Now my 2-year-old is an adult and I have another “little one”, a 13-year-old son.

I met some wonderful people during those meaningful Moms Group meetings and one of my favorite was Laurie. Back then, she was wife to our youth pastor, Brian. They were such blessings to our church. Laurie was mom, wife, pastor’s wife, leader, songstress, and speaker. Laurie and Brian eventually moved on from our church and entered the mission field that carried them to minister in Mexico.  Now back in the states, this mom of three (two adults and one at home) and her husband are still following God’s plan as they lead a church here in Michigan. Continue Reading

Encouragement, Life Is Beautiful

A Christmas Picnic

I first met Laurie about 15 years ago when she and her husband were youth pastoring at the church we attended. Laurie led the Moms’ Group and my daughter who’s now almost an adult was two years old then. Laurie is a wife, mom, blogger, speaker, singer, friend, missionary, and a beautiful soul who loves the Lord. And she’s funny. This is a great piece and I’m honored that Laurie is writing for us today!  You can read Laurie’s blog (Living a Laughable Life and Other Things I’ve Learned) at

Families all over the world are steeped in their Christmas traditions.  Year after year we count on things happening the same way and when they don’t it seems to throw off the schedule.  There are just some things that shouldn’t be changed.  I grew up in a family where Christmas day was always spent at either our house or my grandparents’ house opening gifts and eating ham, mashed potatoes, salads, rolls, etc…. Tons of time was spent getting the meal ready and tons of time was spent cleaning up.  For families that enjoy being in the kitchen that much it was fun but for me I wanted to be sitting and watching a football game, or slouched on the couch like my grandfather with my pants unbuttoned just a bit to ease the pain of what we’d just eaten.  My lot in life, because of Christmas tradition, was going to be in the kitchen doing dishes and cramming leftovers into mismatched Tupperware.  Could this really be what Christmas had to be?

I ended up marrying a preacher.  Those of you who spend much time in the church will know that the holiday season is a busy season whether it’s children’s Christmas programs, ladies’ teas, handing out food to the needy, or getting ready for the Christmas Eve service.  By the time we get home from the Christmas Eve service we are exhausted.  We decided early on in our marriage that Christmas day was going to be spent with just our little family at our house so that we didn’t have to cart the children to every relative for just that one day.  We didn’t like the idea of saying, “Here’s a few new toys but just get a glimpse of them quickly because we are leaving in 5 minutes to do the relative runs.”  Nope, we decided that Christmas would be our day to sit together and open gifts slowly as a family and enjoy talking about why we gave a certain gift to a certain person, eating cinnamon rolls, drinking coffee and enjoying the gingerbread/Happy Birthday Jesus cake that Zachary would always make. 

But then it would always come to the dinner; that loooong exhausting dinner.  When you have young children, you’re tired anyway but the thought of cleaning up after a big meal that you’ve taken hours to prepare doesn’t sit well—especially on Christmas day.  So we changed tradition.  My husband said one year when the kids were young, “Who says that we have to have a traditional Christmas meal?  We are tired from all of the ministry of the past weeks and our goal is to truly enjoy this day celebrating Christ’s birth, so let’s get pizza.”  “PIZZA!!!  Are you serious?  On Christmas you want to eat pizza?”  “Yes,” he replied and have fancy root beer and throw a sheet on the living room floor and eat it like a picnic.”  “Oh my, that seems almost sacrilegious.  Can we DO that?”  And then he said the words that were music to my ears.  “Honey, we can make our own Christmas traditions and this can be one of them.  You won’t have to be all day in the kitchen and we all love pizza so why not?” 

It was settled.  Pizza was going to be our new Christmas tradition.  The day before we order from the best pizzeria in town a few half-baked pizzas.  (and yes, we always have to tell them 2 or 3 times that we want them just half-baked).  On Christmas day we stick them in the oven and cook them the rest of the way.  We buy our fancy root beer and spread a sheet over the carpet and have our Christmas meal.  The first year we did it the kids were just small and they loved it.  We were having a picnic for Christmas!!  Now that two of the kids are in college and one just starting high school they know that when we celebrate Christmas day together it will be with our tradition:  the pizza pie.  I think at this point if I dared bake a ham that I would be looked at as a traitor.  So this Christmas, pizza it is.  I’m happy to say that I can’t wait for the clean up.