Preparing to Prepare for Jesus

So I thought I was doing so much better with the jet-lag thing this time around, but maybe not. This morning I was awake at 4:00, up at 4:30 and out the door at 5:00. Problem is my Starbucks doesn’t open til 5:30. So I walked the long way, through the dark silent streets of my neighborhood, most folks still snuggled in their warm beds, dreaming of sugar plums or something.

It was cold and crisp and as my breath showed up in white wisps, it gave me a chance to pray and to reflect on the upcoming Advent season.


The silence and peace of the early morning was such a contrast to the noise, and hurry that can dominate this season when we long for the “heavenly peace” of Silent Night –  to be preparing for Jesus.

It got me to thinking…What do you want for Advent this year? What do you love about Advent? What are your hopes? How do you make choices instead of allowing the world to squeeze you into its mold?  I wrote last week about having a plan.

So, two questions that lead to choices around Advent:

  1. What are the things that bring stress and draw you away from Jesus?  What prompts you to be the worst version of yourself?

Noise? Bright lights? T.V, computer, to-do lists?

2. What are the activities that are meaningful? What draws you towards Jesus?

For me, turning off the t.v. and turning on soft Christmas music; turning off the lights and lighting candles, a walk outside to look at the stars and quiet Bible reading are all important.

Often we say, “There’s no way! I have KIDS! I have OBLIGATIONS!” But I think we have more choices than we admit.

Sometimes joy takes the discipline of saying “no” to something good in order to say “yes” to something even better.

So what’s your plan? You can do it! What are you going to say “no” to? What life-giving practices are you going to put on your calendar?

Sometimes it takes getting creative and inviting kids into some of the quiet along with us.

And sometimes they’re the ones who invite us.

One day when our daughter Katy was not yet 2, I was scurrying around in the week before Christmas and I felt a tug on my hand. “Mommy. Come.” She pulled me over to the manger scene that was set up on our hearth.

“Sit. Stay. Watch.” she said.

How are you planning to watch for Jesus?




  1. This is so timely Laura! I emailed my sons this week and told them that with helping my parents after my Dad’s heart surgery, leaving for a much planned trip, in addition to the fact I moved and my belongings are in storage until I find the right place, I needed to redo Christmas. I also decided I wasn’t going to dig through the storage unit to haul the tree and all the xmas boxes to the condo to set it up and haul it all back after the holidays. You know, there’s a blessing in having a big change and excuse to shuffle things around. I also asked my sons if they would be able to host a little christmas for us, I’ll bring the food-simple sandwiches and soup, and if all we have are a few lights strung around the cupboards, then great. You know what, they’re young and working, and one responded he could have it even though he was moving to his new place December 1st. Great I said, and the other offered to be back up. We don’t know if we’re getting together on xmas day or when and frankly, that’s just fine. My parents taught me be to be flexible and resilient around the holidays, if we celebrate on another day if we were stretched too thin, they were just happy to be with us. I can go to church, unpack from my trip, relax with my parents, and I might just change things up every year. There might be an adventure in store that I’m not aware of and I may be smiling the whole way through it. Christmas isn’t really about all that stuff. It’s about remembering why we are here on earth and loving the people around us and remembering the wonderful moments we had with the ones who are with Jesus.

    • I love it that you are open to any adventure God may have for you this Advent! Sounds like you’ve found some choices that will be life-giving and meaningful for you. Thanks for sharing!

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