My sister, Robyn, is coming to visit! To help me prepare, I make lists: meals, transforming my office into a guest room, places to see. She hasn’t seen our new home and community yet and I want her to feel welcome. I don’t want to cram too many things to do and miss out on the most important part of seeing my baby sister, time together.

Robyn frequently travels for work. She scheduled her trip to Prescott at the end of a week in Virginia. The week before her business trip, her step-daughter got married. And Christmas is only a week after she gets home.

I know she needs quiet and rest. Time to unwind with her big sister. The only expectation, time to talk and listen and be loved. More than anything, I long to give this gift to Robyn.

December often becomes a month where we try to crowd too many things into too little time. We prepare for Christmas with lists of gifts to buy, parties to attend, decorations to make our homes Pinterest perfect, things to do, places to go, and things to see. It’s easy to lose sight of why we’re doing these endless things.

Celebrating Advent Offers Us Time to Prepare Our hearts and Focus on Who We Celebrate.

Jesus. Our Savior.

Advent, remember, means coming. The coming of Jesus, God’s one, and only Son, to earth. God’s gift to us. The best way to truly enjoy Christmas isn’t to cram one more thing into an already crowded month. We need to focus on the truly important, the one thing we long for. During Advent at the top of our lists, we need to write, prepare Him room.

Sunday, December 3, is the first Sunday of Advent. In our home, we light the gold candle on our Advent wreath, representing the prophets.

Prophets spoke to God’s people, messengers with a miracle of knowledge from God Himself. They told of the future, telling what God planned, urging His people to prepare.

Isaiah 40:3

Prepare for God’s arrival! Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God. Fill in the valleys, level off the hills smooth out the ruts, clear out the rocks. Then God’s bright glory will shine and everyone will see it. Yes. Just as God has said. (MSG)

Ways to Prepare Our Hearts for God’s Arrival

Fill in the valleys. Confess those dark places of anger and bitterness, fear, and anxiety. Let God search your heart. Search me, God, and know my heart; set me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV).

Level off the hills. Don’t reach for accolades and think only of yourself. Stop worrying about impressing others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ. (Philippians 2:3-5 TLB)

Smooth out the ruts and clear out the rocks. Get rid of obstacles keeping you from putting God first on your lists. Pare down anything keeping you from time with Jesus. Sit in His presence. Tell Him you love Him and you’re thankful He gave His life for you. (Luke 10:38-42 NIV)

What Happens When We Prepare Our Hearts

God’s bright glory shines and everyone sees it. When we take time to put God first, He shines in our lives. Peace and joy replace our anxiety and stress. Time with God helps us focus on the truly important instead of the urgent. Peace floods our heart because we hear Him whisper the truth, I came because I love you. That alone changes our countenance from stress to joy.

How are you preparing your heart for Him this Christmas? What do you do to keep Him first on your lists as you get ready to celebrate the coming of Jesus?

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Inspire Me Monday, Blessed (but Stressed), Moments of Hope, Glimpses of Beauty, LLML Link-up, Trekking Thru, #tellhisstory, Tea and Word Tuesday, Ra-Ra Link-up, Writer Wednesday, Woman to Woman, Porch Stories, Coffee for Your Heart, Dream Together, Chasing Community, Heart Encouragement, Tune-in Thursday, Salt and Light, Quietly Through Thursday, Thankful and Grateful Thursday, Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire, Fresh Market Friday, Counting My Blessings, Sunday Thoughts, Spiritual Sundays, Sunday Scripture Blessing.

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