The Christmas Season is upon us! Christmas music is playing, twinkling lights are shining, and there is peace on Earth… or is there? While every Christmas story starts like this blog, real life during the holidays often becomes nothing more than hustle and bustle. I have spent the past few years changing the way Christmas looks in the Rainwater house. My children now only get 3 gifts each. If 3 gifts were good enough for Jesus, that is surely enough for my little ones. I have also created an Advent calendar (click to link to my Advent Calendar). Each day the kids pull out a box and in it is a scripture that is part of the Christmas story and an “activity”… things as simple as “watch a Christmas movie” or “read a Christmas book” to more time consuming activities such as “make Christmas ornaments” or “donate toys to the needy” or “buy something for the person behind you in line”. Most activities are aimed to point us back to the reason for the season… Jesus’ birthday!
This weekend at church, the new sermon series encouraged us to “Pause” and prepare our hearts for Christmas. I had just done a “double check” with my kids earlier that morning, so I thought I was set. I asked them “What is Christmas? And why do we celebrate?” My heart jumped for joy when they didn’t answer presents or trees or Santa or other symbols of Christmas that too often become the focus. They quickly responded that is was Jesus’ Birthday! Whew… or maybe not!
As I sat there in church, I felt the Lord ask me “Christie, what have YOU done to prepare your heart for Christmas?” With young children, I know I am in a season where my focus is mostly on them and I know that this season will pass all too soon. But, with that being said, I personally still need to prepare MY heart to welcome the Savior. I am not sure exactly what this will look like yet, but I am surely praying about it. I am doing my best to posture my heart like the wise men to look, purposefully look, on how I can offer gifts and celebrate the King, and to follow where ever He may lead me. I am wanting to prepare like Mary… to be ready to say yes to any call He has upon my life. To prepare like Joseph and understand that things may not look like the perfect situation, but God is aware and present and using it for His glory. What do you do to prepare your heart for Christmas? I would love some ideas!