How to Really Prepare for Christmas (It’s Not What You Think)

Originally published Thursday, 18 December 2014.

Let every heart prepare Him room…

I sit in the pew, watching my mother’s beautiful face radiate as she sings the lyrics to the well-known Christmas hymn. It sounds like a lovely pronouncement on the lips of dozens of singers.

But what does it really mean?

I mean, I know the Christmas story. YOU know the Christmas story. How there was no room for Mary and Joseph and the little Child in an inn so He was born in a barn. I know we’re supposed to be different, to anticipate His arrival, the celebration of His birth, and His second coming.

We should prepare our hearts and invite Him to dwell in us.

But what if there’s something more to preparing? What if it’s less doing, less hustle, less churching, less list-checking, less Martha-ing? 

Because really, my heart? It’s God’s. He created it. Just like He created that little town of Bethlehem and the barn and the manger. I’ve nothing to speak of that is my own.

But maybe that’s the point.

Maybe preparing my heart means acknowledging that my heart isn’t my own to begin with so all my hustling isn’t what He’s after. My heart belongs to God. It was created to commune with Him but instead the dust of this world settles on it like a layer of dirty grime, separating me from the sweet fellowship of His presence.

Maybe preparing my heart isn’t so much about doing devotions or singing carols or even doing Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.

Maybe preparing my heart for Christmas means less doing and more be-ing. 

Perhaps preparing my heart is to acknowledge that God made me for Himself–a simple enough statement, but one that’s powerful enough to breathe new life into my every move if I’d just let it.

Perhaps it’s pausing long enough to hear the quiet, and then, out of the stillness, to hear His heartbeat, like when I lay my head on my husband’s chest.

Perhaps it’s the amiable silence of two lifelong friends who don’t feel the need to fill the space with words but are content to simple be. Together.

Maybe all God really wants for Christmas this year… is you. Just you. Dropping the act and embracing the messiness of the moment and breathing in a deep breath of air and. Just. Being. With. God.


It’s easier than it sounds. It’s a lot harder than I’d like to admit.

But it’s always ALWAYS worth it in the end.

Will you join me, this Christmas season, in preparing Him room?

Let me know–in the comments below. And share this post with a friend who could use the encouragement this season to simply BE. (I shared it with Kate and the lovely #fmfparty crew.)

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