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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

The world is eight brands of madness right now, isn't it?

Eight at the very least. About one hundred thousand authors, bloggers and even our churches are talking about resting for the season right now. They ask us to take a step back from the parties, the gifts, the incessant baking, to focus on Christ.

This is the soap box many of us Christians re-gift ourselves year after year after year.

Here's what I've noticed, though. My schedule doesn't need room.

I know what you're thinking. I could run down the roster list of activities for you to try to make something of myself. In fact, I feel a little vulnerable not listing how busy I am, for fear that you'll think I'm lazy or inadequate.

But the truth is, I learned a long time ago not to put my identity in my own busyness (or complaining about busyness). It doesn't make me any more important. Or any more joyful. It took me a long time to set healthy boundaries. To not make chronic, abusive, emotionally stunting people-pleasing the thesis for my day-to-day life.*

The holidays are no different.

And to be quite honest, there's plenty of time in the day. Especially for those of us 20-somethings without children or who aren't in college.

There are people who are maxed out. And I get it. I've been there. I've worked 60+ hours a week while in a full-time grad program. I understand busy.

And I know there are special exemptions to this. I know there are nurses who work 12 straight hours. I know there are law students studying for the bar. New mothers trying to figure out feeding schedules and working full-time. God bless you all.

But, I also know, for people like me,  how it's incredibly easy to make time to do the things that I want to do.

It's easier now than ever to flake out in this day and age. We swipe a text. We send an email. We don't have to clear our throat or show our face. We can back quietly into the folds of our home to do more important things.

Like binge-watch Jessica Jones. And make Christmas cookies.

What I'm saying is, our schedules are full. But so many us, as a culture of millennials, rarely show up consistently to these scheduled activities we're committed to.

Ask to see a busy woman, and I'll show you someone who shows up at your door when life turns tragic with baked ziti and a hug. Who shows up for the coffee date, the lunch date. Who is all she says she'll be, with room for grace, like coffee with room for cream. I'm not saying this is easy. I'm saying it's a discipline.

When if we took an honest look at our lives and how we spend 

our time, we could probably make room for a lot more.

But, do you know what's hard to do? 

Making room in your heart.

Two Sundays ago, the words to Joy to the World struck me in a new way. "Let every heart prepare Him room."

Prepare room.


How I wish matters of the heart could be scheduled.


This season I've struggled with a few friendships. Nothing groundbreaking. Or out of character. Or even terribly hurtful. I've been upset in a vague way. Like when you can feel the sprinkles of sickness coming on. I'm embarrassed to admit infractions that occurred a long time ago are still in the back of my mind and in the corners of my heart.

I just can't quite forget. I can't quite let go. I can't quite trust.

And there's no greater weight these tricks of the heart and soul play on the room we give to Christ. It makes us sour. Like Scrooge counting his sheckels, I've labeled my grievances by candlelight. A miser of whom I give my friendship to, and how deep I allow them to get.

Bitterness takes up a lot of space. It takes a hold of so much more than your soul. It takes a part of your past and future.

So, by all means, yes, take time to celebrate Christ this season. Set time aside to refocus and rest. We only get so many magical, glowing Christmases in our lifetime. Remember, as the blogosphere will tell you, that this holiday is inherently not about how many white elephant gifts we can collect or how many Hallmark Christmas movies we can breeze through.

But, please. Take time to prepare Him room in your heart. 

*Clearly I still need to work on this, since I was complaining to a coworker about it today.
photo credit: A View with a Room via photopin (license)

photo credit: Berry Bush via photopin (license)

Have you noticed I've been a little radio silent lately? It's because I've been working on my new book How to Win a Breakup! I have all sorts of delicious plans for this little website. January 2016, here I come!
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