Joy to the World is one of my favorite Christmas Carols, and it might just be THE favorite. This morning sealed the deal.
Here was my expectation:
- Lay baby girl on the floor near the lit Christmas tree.
- Warm my one cup of coffee and take my Advent book, journal, and Bible into the front room with the tree and baby.
- Light a candle.
- Read today’s entry from The Greatest Gift. (Two days in and I highly recommend, by the way. thank you, Aunt Kathryn!)
- Play Christmas Carols on the piano while Baby Girl drifts to sleep.
Doesn”t that sound lovely?
After step #2 it was clear that the morning would have to look a little different from what I’d imagined. I ended up on the floor reading aloud to Norah, letting my coffee cool, not journaling, and then pulling her onto my lap as I sang…
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her King. Let every heart, prepare Him room…”
She stared at the lights and ornaments and I just took a moment to pause. I smelled, took deep breaths, sang, and took it all in. I gave thanks without saying a word.
More than any ritual, routine, or ceremony, this time of Advent calls for sacred spaces in the ordinary. It does not require books, crafts, projects, or perfection. This season exists so that we might let our hearts prepare Him room.
Step #8. Prepare Him Room
If we desire hearts attuned to sing of His grace, we must also make room for Him in our hearts. Our God has promised to be with us. Emmanuel, God is with us, but will we take time to be with Him?
If you are looking for some ideas to create a little space each day, check out these Advent resources.
“This, this, is the love story that’s been coming for you since the beginning. It is possible for you to miss it. To brush past it, to rush through it, to not see how it comes for you up over the edges of everything, quiet and unassuming and miraculous—how every page of the Word has been writing it, reaching for you, coming for you. And you could wake on Christmas only to grasp that you never took the whole of the Gift, the wide expanse of grace. So now we pause. Still. Ponder. Hush. Wait. Each day of Advent, He gives you the gift of time, so you have time to be still and wait.” – Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
“Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.”
To catch up on the rest of the series:
Step #1. Demonstrate Gratitude
Step #5. Listen for the Echoes