Tuesday, December 9

I am an innkeeper

I'm done Christmas gift shopping, and some are even wrapped and safely hidden from peeking eyes.  My mind has turned from find "the perfect gift" for everyone to other items on my to-do list!  It's a great relief to be done early- I hope to do this every year!

I know the relief is probably temporary, because soon it will be about the food, cleaning, and rushing to-and-fro.  God has called me to be a responsible steward of my time, and so I plan.  I make my lists of groceries and rooms to clean and books to read, but I know to leave room for God's plans.  My heart is full of joy, anticipating the upcoming events and celebrations of hosting friends and family and having a bustling, full house.
"Christmas is a time to be Christ to one another. It is permission in a largely secular society to witness to the wonders of the Lord. In reality, the only thing perfect about Christmas is the Christ Child who longs to find shelter in our hearts.
I am not Martha Stewart. I am an innkeeper. I am preparing a place in my home and in my soul for the Savior of the World. I need to be so grounded in prayer that Christ’s peace overflows from me to those in my home. Let the visitors come. Let them come whenever they want and stay as long as they want. I will make the house warm and the food filling, but above all, I will make certain that the Holy Infant is here. He will be the reason for our celebration."  -Elizabeth Foss (please, go read her entire blog.  All of it.)
I am an innkeeper.  Since I read this phrase over a week ago, I can't get it out of my mind.  I relate so because we always host family members here during this time of year, and I spend so much time preparing for them.  I welcome everyone with open arms and hopefully a smile on my face.  But as diligently as I prepare my home, have I prepared my heart for the birth of Christ?

We give gifts and host celebrations and prepare our homes not only because we love our family and friends, but because we love God.   I hope that in our lovingly-prepared home, home-cooked meals, delicately-wrapped gifts, and even in the unavoidable chaos of excited children, others can see that we seek only to magnify His holy name!  For it is in Him, and only in Him that I find my peace- not in being "done" with gifts a little earlier this year.

I hope that everyone who enters our home this Advent and Christmas season is able to see Him here!

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