What If Your Faith Looks Different This Time of Year?

This is a time of year where we have a lot of traditions that revolve around church. So I am thinking a little bit about what YOUR experience might look like if your faith looks different or has changed.

Turns out, there is space and room to worship and connect with God and the birth story of Jesus in other ways. Advent is everywhere you can access it right in your own little home. 

My suggestion is to go inward and feel around with a lot of intention and grace about where and how you feel most connected to this beautiful, sacred story that we treasure together at this time of year. 

Think about what helps you feel personally connected to the sacred story of Jesus. Maybe that’s walking outside… that’s a faith practice. Maybe it is hosting a beautiful dinner where your conversation is intentional and meaningful with the people around the table. That’s a faith practice.

Maybe it looks like the music that you listen to over the course of the month. It could be what you’e reading, what you’re listening to, who you’re learning from. 

What feels precious and sacred and holy to you at this time of year can be anything and it can be everywhere. You are not exempt from it.

Remember: Faith practices in general are meaningful in the broadest sense of the term. Maybe some of your traditions aren’t going to be under a steeple this year. Maybe you’re not going to be involved in the church programs. And that’s okay. 

It’s so very normal for your faith to grow and evolve. 

This is what I consider to be really faithful work. I see it as someone taking their belief seriously, examining their own practices and biases, and taking a good hard look at structures and where any injustice is baked into the sauce. 

There’s no room in this conversation for any sort of guilt or shame. None. If your first impulse is to feel as if you’re doing something wrong, it isn’t true.

I’m thrilled for whatever this journey looks like for you. I honor it and I think it is valuable and meaningful. 

If you’re in the process of asking questions and growing and evolving in your faith journey, I encourage you to dig deeper in my Me Course on Deconstruction and Reconstruction with Evolving Faith co-founder Sarah Bessey. I have a special promotion running on this five-part, on-demand e-course for the holiday season. It is $25 for a limited time only. Learn more here.

For the parents who are slogging through May

The end of the school year, man. I’m on record about talking about this in ??real ??terms ??. No sugar coating here.

And, right now, I’m thinking about all the parents who have any kind of graduates, too. Back in the old days, that means you either had a kid graduating from high school or college. But NOW, God help and save us, it means you have kindergarten graduation, fifth grade graduation, eighth grade graduation… every sort and manner of graduation.

I don’t know what is happening. Between all the graduations and events and prom-posals in May, it’s just a hard time to be alive.

But I’ve also had a bunch of graduates — from every age group — at this point, and I know exactly how you are feeling. And, there’s a good to excellent chance that you are maybe feeling like you are doing kind of sucky at all of it. You are unable to keep up with every single email, event, meeting, awards ceremony, invitations, the “this” and the “that” and everything in between.

Let me tell you, I have 100% fallen down on this, too.

Maybe my worst two moments were when Sydney Hatmaker was graduating from high school in 2018.

1. First, the whole family went to the movies. We were seeing The Avengers — and Sydney’s phone starts blowing up in the middle of the movie. Come to find out, WHILE WE WERE EATING POPCORN, her senior awards banquet was happening and she had just won a scholarship. How nice for you Sydney and how nice that we missed this as we are in recliners watching Marvel.

2. Also, that year, I’d like you to know I got really fancy and I decided to do this cute, smart, customized pre-printed label for Sydney’s graduation announcements. Just easily upload my mailing list and print out the labels, right?! Can anyone to this day tell me how to adjust printer settings to make this work?!? Sixteen hundred hours later, and hundreds of labels in the trash — reader, I needed only 60 labels to come correct — I finally had workable labels. I could have hand-addressed every envelope with the queen’s calligraphy in less time. I could have walked every invite to its respective home in less time.


When I finally had my labels, I triumphantly posted this moment to the Internet, beloveds… and one of the first comments went something like this: “Jen, the label is cute and all, but it says 2020 Graduate.”

Which would have been great if it was 2020, BUT IT WAS 2018. And, you know what, I still put every damn label on an envelope and mailed it.

Being a parent in May is just a gauntlet. Whatever you’ve done, I’ve done worse. I guarantee it. Whatever you’ve missed, dropped, blown, had the wrong day, wrong time, we’ve all done it.

This is one of the million reasons why for my next installment in the Me Course series, I knew we had to do an e-course on parenting. But, not just any course. We are drowning here in shame and mom-guilt, and we feel like we’re not getting it right — especially in May.

This Me Course is NOT about the “do more, be more” ridiculousness. Rather, it focuses on how to release shame and improve connection and communication, specifically for those of us shepherding the teens and tweens.

I brought in Mercedes Samudio, LCSW — because her niche is Shame Proof Parenting. She’s not just telling us stop shaming our kids, she’s also telling us how to stop shaming ourselves.


Talking to her is like drinking a tall, cold glass of water on a hot day. She is just a gem.

We learn how we can stop buying into the comparison trap and the “I’m getting it all wrong” narrative. We can opt out of that. There’s a better way.

Codependency is also in this course — and how it shows up in parenting. We learn how to not be a codependent parent and also how not to raise a codependent child. It may be the best thing you hear in the whole Me Course.

This is one of my favorite Me Courses we’ve done so far. When you sign up, you also have a tremendous library of resources — called Me-Sources — to help you out every step of the way. And, we have a really great private community of Me Course-ers supporting each other, too.

We aren’t messing around with this. It’s the best of the best info… not hours of fluff. We’ve got graduations to attend, after all.

Head over to MeCourse.org to sign up.

P.S. In May, we love our teachers with the fierceness of a thousand splendid suns – even if Teacher Appreciation Week is also in May. Lord help us.

P.P.S. If you drop or screw up between 10 and 17 items during May, you are getting an A+, mama.