Monday, December 7, 2009

Preparing our hearts

As wonderful as it is to prepare our homes, it is so much more important to prepare our hearts for this season by focusing on the reason we pause...celebrate....remember....the Christ child. This King of Kings and Lord of Lords arrived not as we believe a King should arrive, with pomp and splendor...but arrived in a dirty, smelly barn.

We have two barns, we know barns..., animals are born in our barns and die in our barns, we pitch hay in our barns, we house animals in our barns (chickens, cows, horses, goats) and, consequently, we muck our barns.  It is no place I'd want to birth a baby or receive a King yet He humbled himself, took on our sins, came here knowing he'd die, knowing He'd be separated from Yahweh for the first time EVER....for our sakes.  Born crucified, born to I could live eternally with Him.  Unfathomable love!

During this season we have several traditions that help us prepare our hearts to receive our King.  They are small things but they mean so much to my boys.

He is the bringer of Light

Jesus is the Light, the bringer of Light and Truth to this world of darkness.

We light...that we might also remember him and seek the Light and Truth that He offers His children.

Light filled urn!

Nativity Candle

We we can hear Him who speaks to us.

We spend time each evening, reading aloud His truth, His word and books about Him.  For many years, I added a new book purchased after Christmas for the next year.  I don't have that luxury now but our basket is full.

Basket filled with Truth Friends

Old books, new books, collections of stories and poems that reflect Him....reflect His truth.  Many make me cry...something that touches my fact they will search the pile and hand me the tissues and book at the same time!  Truthfully, I often see a tear on their cheeks as well.

We slow with the lights of the season. We spend evenings enjoying each other, playing games, talking and sharing, using only the lights that Christmas brings....

Christmas lights

We quiet to the sounds of Christmas - we find it soothing to our hearts. Many of our "Christmas Carols" are really hymns filled with His truth.  We have collected some wonderful songs over the years - hymns, traditional Christmas songs,              a cappella songs, instrumental songs....we listen, we remember, we reflect.  The music plays daily and our hearts are glad.

We love others with our most treasured tradition...the Tradition of the Straws.

Waiting to be filled

Jesus is coming! We must prepare a place for him and we will do that by loving and serving others for His sake.  It is an act of worship.  We will build a soft and comfortable bed made from acts of love for the Christ child who will arrive on Christmas Eve.

This tradition has done more to prepare our hearts than any other.  Won't you think about joining us this year? Next time I will share how you can begin the Tradition of the Straws in your home.

Merry Christmas,

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