December 20, 2012

Prepare Him Room


My heart has been cluttered.  I don’t know about you, but when my desk or kitchen counter is cluttered, I feel like I cannot be productive until it has been stripped clean and organized. And that has been my heart lately.

This holiday season, I have really been struggling to ‘get in the Christmas spirit.’  Yes, our home is decorated, the presents wrapped, and the Christmas classics are played on repeat.  But, this year has just been a little off for me.  So many times, I've felt like I am just going through the motions; and I have had little motivation to even decorate Christmas cookies and an unusual apathy for all things in general.  There have been days when I have actually wondered aloud, “Where is my JOY?”

I haven’t been able to put my finger on it.  This empty feeling, this foreign sense of apathy, this lack of joy.

Then, it hit me.  Hard.  Like a ginormous semi-truck to my heart.

We were standing in church on Sunday, singing an all-too-familiar Christmas carol when the truck hit.

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let Earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room….”

How many times have I sung those lyrics mindlessly?  (I might have even breathed a sigh of disappointment that the music team had chosen this carol, when the song first began. Couldn't we have sung one of my favorites like, “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” or something?)

And then I sang, “…let every heart prepare Him room…”  Wham. I stopped singing, my voice caught in my throat. Let every heart prepare Him room... ... ... Isn't this what Advent is for: making room, preparing hearts?  What have I been doing these last few weeks?

I’d prepared my home.  I’d prepared my fridge.  I’d prepared my gifts. Heck, I’d even prepared my nativity.  But, my heart?  No room in the inn.

I have allowed the urgent to crowd out the Important. Rather, I have forgotten what is truly important in the first place. I have cluttered my proverbial workspace with trivial things in such a way that my “productivity” has come to a complete halt.  And, in turn, I have developed my own definition of “productivity.”  I have been so busy cleaning out the barn that I have overlooked the child in its manger.  I've forgotten The Joy.  And I'm tired of it.

I want to be stripped bare.  I don’t want my heart to have to “prepare Him room;” I just want my heart to be all Jesus in the first place.  He rules the world with truth and grace.  The truth is, I've been struggling; the Grace is, He's helping me to strip bare my workspace, prepare Him room, and He's settling in.

I don't want to wrap this up with a shiny bow and sparkles, however, because it's not over.  This is, and will be, a daily, messy battle.  A daily purging and cleaning.  A daily choice for more of Him and less of me.  A daily letting go and holding on.   A daily shoving aside of those things that scream for stake of my heart in order to preserve Him room.  My hope in sharing this is that this proves, by His grace, the glories of His righteousness and the wonders of His love.

I hope you all have a wonderful, Christ-filled Christmas!


December 15, 2012

The Grace of Brokenness

From my reading of late:

"...Yet, it is a kindness when He strips us of self-reliance, because it is there, in our emptiness and brokenness, that we experience the privilege of His sustaining grace. It is only when we arrive at that dreaded place of weakness that we discover the surpassing power of Christ.  It is only when we are finally freed from those oh-so-constricting straight jackets of self-righteousness that we are able to experience the true comfort and warmth of the robes of His righteousness."

       -Elyse Fitzpatrick, "Give Them Grace"


Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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