“Let every heart prepare Him room.” A line in a well-known Christmas song, but what does it mean? How do we prepare room for Him in our hearts, especially in a season so fraught with busyness?

In the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, endless to-do lists, and the ever-present chill of winter weather, where do we begin to somehow make room for more? Can we possibly squeeze in another task? Maybe that’s not even the question we should be asking. Maybe we should be asking how we can make room for less.

We try to do too much all year long, packing our calendars with practices, rehearsals, coffee dates, meetings, parties, errands, and work. This tendency to fill up our schedules to the brim is only magnified as Christmas nears. We add to our already full plates the responsibilities of making treats, decorating the inside and outside of our homes, picking out the perfect presents, sending out cards, planning the ideal meal, and trying to keep some shred of our sanity while doing it.

But what if in the midst of the Christmas season chaos, we chose to pause, even for just a moment? What if we take a collective deep breath and remember why we do everything we do? What if we refocus on the friends and family we already have instead of the list of gifts we want to buy and list of gifts we want to receive? What if, instead of a complicated list of holiday traditions that clutter our calendars without adding any meaning to our celebrating, we choose only to participate in things that bring us together with our loved ones, spread the joy of the season, and celebrate Christ, without whom we wouldn’t have Christmas? What if we were to pare down our plans to get back to the simple joy of Christmas that is there to be found beneath the layers of busyness and strain? What if we were to truly prepare room for Jesus in our hearts?

Preparing room, yes, means preparing. It means being intentional about getting some necessary things done. But it also means setting aside time to just be– to dwell in the presence of the One who came to this earth as a precious child so many years ago, born to a virgin inside a stable, surrounded by animals and angels.

It means being willing to break traditions if they no longer hold real meaning and making room for ones that continually remind us of what we’re really celebrating. It means taking a good, deep look at what we really need. It means recognizing how much we’ve already been so blessed with the best Gift ever given, and seeing that nothing we buy from a store could ever top that. It should prompt us to strip away the fancy wrapping, the finishing touches, the polished look, the impressive decorations, and getting to a place where our heart is free to worship. It means setting aside our lists of things to do and being okay with them not all getting done, at least not right away. It looks like revisiting the silent, holy night that our Savior was born, contemplating the brilliance of the shining star, the humility of the manger, and the servant King that precious baby grew up to be.

This season, may you truly prepare Him room.

December 8, 2015

Jessie

I am a twenty-something recent college grad trying to understand what life in the “real world” looks like, even as I trip over my own two feet quite a bit in the process. I am a firm believer in grace, fitness, community, nutrition, simpler living, travel, books, sunshine, kindness, creativity, living life with my people, and pursuing a full life in Christ. I like to spend my time cooking (and then devouring) healthy and delicious food, running outside, curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, and relaxing with friends and family. I'm a program manager for the maintenance side of a display fixture company by day and a writer/cook/reader by night. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Communication, but I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. When I'm not writing, you can find me cooking up some new-to-me recipes in the kitchen (inevitably making a huge mess), watching a show on Netflix (lazy Sundays, anyone?), hanging out with my friends or family (they're the best!), or curled up on the couch with a big book (the best way to unwind, hands down). My idea of a perfect day would include all of those things-- getting in a run in beautiful weather, making a delicious and nutritious series of meals, playing games, watching a movie, or just chatting with friends and/or family, and curling up with a good book and a nice soy candle. And maybe some dark chocolate. Always some dark chocolate. It is life. I am prayerfully seeking to live every day with purpose, intentionally pouring into the things and relationships that mean the most to me. I want to make the world a better place, one day at a time, in whatever little way I can.

4 Comments

  1. cpierce01

    December 4, 2015

    Beautifully put, Jess. Thanks for sharing. Reminds me again of the awesome song by Amy Grant called “I need a Silent Night”. Love it!

  2. praymillennials

    December 22, 2015

    Reblogged this on Praying for the millennials.

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