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Every year, the scene is the same: In November, I’m driving somewhere, flipping through radio stations, and suddenly, Christmas music is wafting through my speakers.
And, every year, my response is similar. I’m not ready to think about Christmas. It’s too early. So, I switch stations and put it out of my mind.
Can you relate to that feeling?
Though the holiday season can be stressful, the four weeks leading up to Christmas Eve, also known as Advent, is a great time to set aside a bit of space each day to ready our hearts for Christmas — the entrance of Christ into the world.
This season of preparation always catches me off guard.
But rather than let the busyness of the season overshadow a holiday designed to celebrate God’s love and sacrifice — Emmanuel, God with us — what if I was preparing my heart to respond to the gift of Christ out of love and gratitude?
Author Ann Voskamp writes:
Here four ways to consider preparing your heart, not just your home, for Christmas this year:
Spend intentional time digging into God’s Word as Christmas approaches. YouVersion provides a free 25-day Advent reading plan to help center each day on Jesus.
Read an Advent devotional each day.
Get a traditional or make your own Advent calendar. Each day, as you enjoy the treat or treasures inside, read and reflect on a Bible verse about the Christmas story or the gospel.
With family or friends, decide on something you can do together each week of Advent to love your community. Here are “12 Ideas to Show Christ’s Love at Christmas.”
Pray and ask God how you can best prepare your heart to celebrate the entrance of His Son into the world.
Whatever you end up doing, consider observing Advent in community with other believers — your family, friends or small group.
May your heart be captured by the ultimate gift — Jesus — this Advent season.
Perhaps this Halloween is the perfect opportunity to respond selflessly in love and care for our neighbors, as well as a way to fight our tendency to isolate.
This Valentine’s Day may you experience God’s love in a deeper way by being reminded of 14 things about His love.
#LOVEDENOUGH: Coming to terms with the “ought-not-to-be-ness” around & inside us.
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