Well - I just thought I would share a portion of LAST years' Family Christmas Letter... minus all the personal family info... I encourage you to find your 'sweet spot'!
I can't believe that it is already the time of year that finds me browsing over our yearly calendar & making plans for the weeks to come as well! With the decorations all around, the lights plugged in, & the carols softly playing in the background, I find my focus & peace as I gaze at the Manger that occupies our Living Room. This little Babe, after all, is why we celebrate! If not His Birth, then at the very least, His purpose... Love! "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son." It's such a familiar passage that we sometimes forget... "For God so loved... that He gave..." For God SO LOVED... that HE GAVE! That is amazing, isn't it?! He still gives today, you know?!
We so often sing the carols about Jesus... His Birth... His Gift... But what I have been thinking about lately is what have I given?! We are not required to do "good works" to earn His Gift of course... we'd never be able to work enough to EARN it... (that's what makes it a gift!) But we are called to bear fruit! The Bible says that people should know that we are Christians 'by our love.' So, what do I do to let His Love flow through me & shine into a dark world? How do I allow Christ to be seen in me? I think we'll be surprised when we see the various ways He worked though each of us from the other side of eternity! It is in the big AND the little things! It's in the sacrifices AND the things we love to do! One Sacrifice I make each year at Christmas time is such a small thing...but it helped me to communicate with my daughter a powerful truth of habit & home!
Creatures of habit... that is what we all are! Whether you think back to childhood memories or current rituals.. we all have our favorite spots! At the dining room table, in the car, your side of the bed, etc.! We have been blessed with a room with a view... a huge picture window that overlooks our city! There are better seats in the Living Room... there's a spot on the couch that if you sit there as the sun rises, you can watch Mt. Adams change colors as the sun reflects off the snow; there's the Loveseat that is angled to look straight out the window & give a view of the city lights at night time. But my favorite spot is in the chair in the corner! It's close to the window & I can still enjoy our view... I can watch the sunrise, hear the quiet of snow falling, or see the twinkling of lights below...But my chair is also angled in, so I can see into the rest of the house. I am able to see when someone comes home, or enters the room. & I am able to keep an eye on all of the activities going on! It's a comfy chair, & the side table has everything I need when I come & meet with my Lord! It's got my favorite lamp (a keepsake souvenir from a trip with friends.) It's got a few of my favorite scented candles, a framed photo of friends & family, & the current books I am reading. Just below that I will find my Bible, & a choice selection of Journals for me to write in! It's close to the stereo so I can set the mood with music, & close to all my other resource books, if God sets me on a chase in His Word! We used to have a room in our home that was the designated "Prayer Room" - I used it especially when my little one was smaller. She came to learn that if Mommy was in that room, I was meeting with God in prayer & worship. She would come in from time to time, but it was a necessary spot 'set away' so she knew if she was coming in, she'd have to pray & wait... a great lesson to learn! As she grew older, & we housed more & more guests, our "Prayer Room" became our "Spare Room" & I found myself sitting in this chair in the corner, more than anywhere else!
During Prayer meetings, Bible Studies, or morning Devotions, this chair is my 'Withdrawing Room" as R. B. Munger writes. I have made my heart Christ’s' home, & we meet here ~ in my favorite spot ~ to talk about my day, pray over what concerns me, or just sit & spend some quiet time together. Whether it's intercessory prayer, a morning devotional time, or evening reading, if I am seeking God or communing with Him 'on purpose' ...this is where you will find me!
I light my candles, grab a drink, open up the Word & feast with Him at this banquet table He prepares in my Favorite Spot! There is about one month out of the year that I sacrifice my Spot! As we decorate for Christmas, I move my Chair into my daughter's room. She absolutely LOVES that! It is where I will find HER praying & reading in the mornings & evenings during the holidays! In place of my chair, we set up our Hay & Feeding Trough... & we place a "Babe wrapped in Swaddling Clothes' in that spot! We hang a Star from the ceiling & shine a spot light on Jesus - our Reason for the Season! As the holidays near, we put gifts around the manger scene & spend some time focused on WHY we are celebrating!
One day my daughter asked why I put this scene in my Favorite Spot, giving up my normal routine each December. I thought about it for a moment & said, "It's a little sacrifice for me, but that is the spot where His Presence is... it's the perfect Spot! It is where I honor Him throughout the year...where else would He go?!" My Favorite Spot is surrounded with some of my favorite things, but it's His Presence that draws me there - to our "Withdrawing Room." I know I carry Him with me in my heart... & where I go, He is. But there is something special about having a tangible meeting place set up! I encourage you to search out your heart & your home, & prepare Him room... Prepare a place for Him! Whether you have never offered Him your heart - or that was done years ago... I encourage you to pray about how You are loving those around you... what can you give... what do you sacrifice... how does He flow through you to bless the world around you!? ...When we 'Prepare Him Room" - Oh My - how He comes!
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