As Christmas approached,
many most things on my ideal to do list in my head remained untouched. Day by day Christmas approached and some of the “important” things on my list got accomplished… but later than I would’ve wanted. Christmas tree was put up about two weeks before Christmas, but ornaments waited till Christmas Eve. Christmas pictures were taken, but many Christmas cards didn’t get mailed until after Christmas Day. I was left feeling unprepared for Christmas.
Then I thought about the Christmas story.
Christ did not come as a baby exclusively to those who were “ready” for his birth. Yes, there were those who were prepared or expectantly waiting: Anna, Zacharaiah, the wise men, to name a few. But there were others who were not “ideally prepared” for the birth of the Messiah. These are just guesses, but: Mary probably would’ve liked the birth to have waited for a more “ideal” location. The shepherds probably weren’t expecting an angel to show up with the news of His birth. Those in Bethlehem didn’t even have a place prepared for this King, except for a manger… But Christ came. He came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
This gave me great hope. Perhaps it seems a small distinction, but an important shift in my view. I realized that what was ultimately important was as Joy to The World points out, that I “prepare Him room” in my heart. Yes, Christmas decor, gifts, and cards are nice. But they are meaningless without a heart prepared for Christ.
Even though it is now past Christmas as I write this, I would still like to take a moment to write down what I am thankful for in the month of December as a way of keeping my heart thankful and prepared for Christ.
I’m thankful for:
- A fun game of “throw the ball in and out of the crib.”
- Gideon putting in a fake phone call to his Dad.
- A two year old that can handle some spicy lamb curry, impressing his doting neighbor aunties.
- Cool steps on the playground.
- A toddler sized bulldozer in the mall.
- The cheap and tasty world of Satay.
- Burnt carrots not meaning the end of the world.
- Pictures that might have future potential?
- A church family that prioritizes the men of the church.
- Frozen dinners making quick work of dinner.
- An evening spent making reservation for a Bali getaway.
- French toast hitting the spot.
- A husband who is eager to serve me.
- Daddy and toddler both being eager to go out on a bike together.
- A ladies’ Christmas tea complete with tasty warm scones.
- Great family photos taken by a friend.
- A long nap. Just what mommy and toddler needed.
- Getting something done before the deadline.
- A cute basket case of a son.
- Dried mangoes for a tasty treat.
- Finding new uses for toys.
- Coming up with a feasible and fun Christmas gift idea.
- Completing a handmade gift just in time to mail it off to its recipient.
- Family time at the playground.
- Lots of laughter in a white Elephant gift exchange.
- Time after a church service to have fun.
- The Holy Spirit bringing a timely verse to mind in prayer.
- A sweet Christmas Eve service.
- Tree decorated and presents wrapped.
- A toddler being content with and excited about a simple Christmas morning.
- Christmas dinner with our friends that have become our “Singapore family.”
- Vacation where we don’t have to do dishes, laundry, or cleaning.
- Enjoying the sand at the beach.
- Great company and great smiles.
- A breathtaking sunset.
- A wooden duck with shoes entertaining us while we waited for lunch.
- Remembering to take a family picture in Bali.
- Ending the “old year” and starting a new one with a friend.