Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Let Every (Stressed and Tired) Heart Prepare Him Room

24 Comments

let every heartWith Christmas nearly upon us, my heart feels more panic than holy expectancy and awe at Christ’s coming. If Jesus knocked at my door today, I’d probably mutter, “There’s no room here,” just like the innkeeper at Bethlehem.  Then I’d get back to my mile-long to-do list. Yes, I read in October about how you should prepare for Christmas early to enjoy a peaceful, holy Advent, but it must not have stuck, ‘cause I didn’t do it!

Sometimes we’re so busy in the holiday rush that we neglect the most important thing: preparing our hearts for Jesus. Here are some ways to tend our hearts, not just during Advent, but all year long.

Quiet Our Hearts

Taking just five minutes to be quiet and focus on our Savior can change the landscape of our hearts during a stressful season. I love Eugene Peterson’s translation of the “Be still and know that I am God” verse. Remember this when you’re at a crowded shopping mall:

“Step out of the traffic. Take a long, loving look at me, your high God.”

(Psalm 46:10, The Message)

 

A friend of mine takes this literally; in heavy traffic, he pulls his car over to the side of the road to STOP when he feels stressed.

Come Clean

As much as we enjoy the holiday season, it adds more to our already busy lives. I start to fret and get snappy. Before I know it, a layer of frustration and resentment wraps its way around my heart. Remember John the Baptist’s message of repentance? Nothing frees our hearts like taking a few minutes to humble ourselves, confess our sins, and ask God to cleanse us.

“Don’t keep looking at my sins.  Remove the stain of my guilt.
 Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Renew a loyal spirit within me.”

(Psalm 51:9,10 NLT)

 

Invite Our Savior to Come in

One of the most intriguing images in the New Testament is Jesus making his home in our hearts. Open the door of your heart. Ask Jesus to come and show himself to you. Ask him to stay. Draw near to him for fellowship as you go about your day.

“Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

(Ephesians 3:17, NLT)

 

Ask God to Heal our Broken Places

High expectations of a joyous season can weigh heavy on hearts. Christmas may bring painful reminders of dysfunctional families, struggles with singleness, loss of a loved one, or divorce. God is waiting right now for you to pour your out heart and tell Him how you feel. Here’s a promise we can count on:

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

(Psalm 34:18, NLT)

 

Ask God to Renew our Hearts

You may be dragging a weary heart around as you push through extra activities and responsibilities. Maybe a long, draining year has robbed your strength. Stop for a few minutes (or hours) to reflect on this:

“He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.”

(Psalm 23:2,3, NIV)

 

Whether your heart needs to be quieted, cleansed, healed, or renewed, God will tend to it as you draw near to Him. Will you join me in setting aside a few minutes each day to prepare our hearts for Jesus as we celebrate His birth?

Linking up today with Brittany’s #FellowshipFridays and with Kelly Balarie.

Advertisements

Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

24 thoughts on “Let Every (Stressed and Tired) Heart Prepare Him Room

  1. What a great reminder, Betsy! For some reason the closer Christmas is, the less I seem to be preparing my heart for Jesus even though I was all about preparing my heart in the beginning of December… All of these verses are great and just what I need to meditate upon. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Betsy, your words about what you might mutter if Jesus knocked on your door really struck me. A week ago, I would’ve invited Him in to sit by the fire and have a cup of tea. In the past couple of days, not so much. Like Ronja mentioned, the closer Christmas gets, the more difficult it is to keep the pace slow and focused on Jesus. The verses you shared are exactly what I needed, as well. Thank you.

  3. Thank You so much for the reminders. For me I need some quiet time and let God renew me. I feel Christmas came too quick this year. It sneaked up on me. I’m too tired for all the things I think I need to do for Christmas. Your post calms my rushed spirit down. I am running out of time. My Christmas letter is not ready and cards are not sent out. This year friends and family will be greeted with lovely cards wishing them a Happy New year. Neighbors who we wanted to bless with a tray full of cookies are out of town now. Instead we will greet them when they come home with New Year Cookies plates. Great friends who want to have a Christmas get together will need to wait for after the holidays and we will bring in the New Year together in the middle of January. It is hard to lower expectations of myself. I want everything to be just so and perfect. I have to choose between peace and love or my to do list. I am going to extend the dates on my to-do-list and slow down.

    • Those are very practical ideas you have there, Lisa. Giving yourself time until January on some things. Sounds like a healthy plan to me. Blessings on your remaining days of December.

  4. Beautiful, Betsy, and so needed. Thanks!

  5. Betsy…Beautiful! Thanks for the encouragement today!

  6. Honestly, I think if Jesus came to my door I’d say something like “sure, come on in! I’m really busy, but you can sit and hang out (and do what I’m already doing) for a while.” Not a lot of downtime right now… and I know that’s my own fault…

  7. Betsy,
    Thanks so much for the concise and well put ways of preparing our hearts for His coming amidst the hustle bustle. I love your scripture choices for each as well. When my heart is empty, I really need to drink in His word. Wishing you and yours a wonderful and joy filled Christmas season…and I hope your oven is in good working order 🙂
    Love and blessings,
    Bev

  8. Wow, this is me to a T this year. I appreciate the verses as well.

  9. Those few extra moments with the Lord that you recommend taking each day make all the difference between a good day and a bad one. Especially if I take them first thing in the morning. It always sets the tone for a better day if I “visit” with Jesus over my morning coffee!

  10. Loved this Betsy! Wonderful reminders. You brought a smile to my face when you said ‘If Jesus knocked at my door today, I’d probably mutter, “There’s no room here,” just like the innkeeper at Bethlehem. ‘ I’m pretty sure that would be true for most of us!

  11. LOVE this! In the midst of a hard season, I needed the nudge to keep looking upwards. Merry Christmas!

  12. Betsy, I love how you formatted this post. I know it is kind of a random thing to say, but sometimes we just crave something different. Even more, I love this “A friend of mine takes this literally; in heavy traffic, he pulls his car over to the side of the road to STOP when he feels stressed.” I have found I am getting anxious in the car. I think it may be because I am just sitting. I think I may need to pull over sometimes. No shame in that! Thank you for re-centering us. You are made in Christ’s image for sure and you certainly speak through his Spirit. Go strong Betsy! Go strong. Your cheerleader is cheering you on!

  13. Wonderful post Betsy! Thank you for sharing this post – it is really encouraging and uplifting! I love the verses you have chosen! I pray you have a Christ-filled Christmas 🙂 Blessings, friend!

  14. Love this! May we all find a little more of Jesus this Christmas!

  15. “Step out of the traffic. Take a long, loving look at me, your high God.”
    Oh, how I enjoy The Message! Your post was a much needed reminder to refocus. It can get crazy in the fast lane.
    Merry Christmas, friend!
    Renee

  16. Betsy you did a wonderful job of pointing me to the Savior. I have been trying to read some of the Christmas story every day this month and it truly has helped. Merry Christmas friend!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s