Wednesday, November 30, 2022

3 Things That Help Speakers and Writers Prepare During the Holidays

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

1. Clean your home and hearth before hanging Christmas decorations

Have you noticed dust on your furniture and light fixtures? Maybe the dust bunnies overtook your hardwood floors or hid in your carpet. Even with an electronic air cleaner, I need to clean more than once a week.

As you race against the clock with speaking and writing deadlines, maybe you can clean one room at a time. That might motivate you to hang up Christmas decorations the same way instead of a marathon at the last minute.

Perhaps piles of laundry and dirty dishes make you wish for a maid service that would arrive with a cleaning crew—or a bulldozer.

Contrary to what some people believe, the saying “Cleanliness is next to godliness” does not come from the Bible. That doesn’t mean you stop cleaning. When my son was in diapers and nursing, I never had enough energy and napped when he did. I did the best I could in my speaking and writing, and God understood that.

For moms, grandparents raising their children’s little ones, and those with osteoarthritis or some other physical limitation, the Bible verse I read says, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” (Hebrews 6:10 ESV). 

What Bible verse will you use and why?

2. Clean your heart and soul before celebrating Christ’s birth

My son and I used to memorize Bible verses together, bake Christmas cookies using a Nativity set of cookie cutters, and decorate the cookies. Afterward, we would give most of them to the neighbors. 

We also used the Advent wreath on the four Sundays before Christmas. We prayed and recited the Bible verses, and I read a devotion. The custom emphasized spiritual readiness for Christ’s birth. 

On Christmas Eve, we baked a birthday cake for Jesus. My son placed a candle for Jesus on the cake on Christmas Day, and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Then my guy blew out the candle. 

The world thinks of Christmas cookies, candy canes, and carols. You may enjoy those things. However, remember to focus on how ready your heart and soul are to celebrate Christ’s birthday. Build a community and leave a legacy for your own family not only for your audience of speakers and authors. 

3. Clean your mind and attitude before inviting guests 

During the Christmas season, some speakers and writers clear their computer of clutter and put the items on their desktop in folders. A clean and orderly computer may make life easier for you.

On the other hand, your mind and attitude may need a transformation before you exercise your gift of hospitality. 

Maybe you filled your mind with jealousy and envy of other speakers and writers. Perhaps they worked in their area of giftedness. Maybe you haven’t stayed in “your lane” of speaking and writing or exercised in your area of giftedness where God called you. 

Sooner or later, those feelings of jealousy and envy will come out of your mouth. Perhaps you grumble about the rejections you’ve received in the past year. Instead thank God for them because they give you the opportunity to improve your skills. 

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV).

Which one of the three tips will you work on in your Christmas preparation?

Merry Christmas. 


Yvonne Ortega walks with a small footprint, leaving a giant imprint in the lives of those she meets. Within this power-packed package is a professional speaker who offers encouragement, support, and accountability. Her calling to help women who face challenges move forward and live the abundant life through Christ has endeared her to thousands. As a gifted instructor, she helps those who speak and write make connections and find community. In addition to being a multi-published author, known for her Moving from Broken to Beautiful Series, she has degrees in Spanish and English and a master’s degree in education in counseling from the College of William & Mary.

You can find Yvonne at 

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