I have long enjoyed this season. Decorating, baking, gift-giving, party-throwing - it's practically all of my favorite things rolled in to one month. Yet, almost every season, I feel drained and spent. The season comes and goes and there is always this nagging feeling in my heart that I've missed something. I've come to realize that it's Him that I'm missing - Jesus, the very reason for the season I love so much.
This Christmas, my side of the family has some very special things planned: A giant family sleepover. A White Elephant gift exchange that will be a first for us to do. And another round of family karaoke that is sure to be epic considering we will have ALL of the family there this time. There is the promise of so much laughter, joy and beautiful glory-filled tears that I can feel myself ramping up with emotion, hope and excitement as we plan and prepare for our time together.
Several nights ago, I couldn't sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night, got out of bed and began to read and journal. I did some research on advent - some of the history and traditions that surround it and as I did, I began to hear that still, small voice. The One that has invited me to know Him and go deeper with Him again and again. The One who always calls me to more.
I started to be curious about how I could observe this advent season differently than I have in years past. To start, I decided to approach it with some fasting and prayer, and to purpose a quieter and less scheduled holiday season. One that left room for giving and serving others, for being more present with my family in ways that didn't include big things or expensive family outings and one that included plenty of real rest for my soul. I have a book to read and I plan to write of course.
My prayer tonight, this night before the first of December, is for a heart that has prepared room for Jesus. I want my schedule, my body, my heart and my home to be prepared for what's to come. And not just for our big family Christmas. But to really meet Christ this Christmas in a way that I haven't before.
Oh, how I want my heart tonight to mimic that of my boys by the tree. Waiting expectantly for Jesus, the greatest gift that came, the greatest gift that still comes, and the greatest gift still to come.
Christmas is coming. What does that mean to you?