Hello Friends!! Okay so in order to remove the pumpkin from my front porch, hang some lights, and cut down our Christmas tree I needed to take a couple weeks off of blogging! Yes, my Halloween pumpkin was still on my porch after Thanksgiving.
I want to introduce Jessica Chesbrough as my very first guest blogger. Jessica is my comrade in ministry and very dear friend. She is wise beyond her years and offers relevant, wise insight to parenting and family life.
I hope the holiday season is finding you well amidst the busyness of cooking, buying, visiting, and celebrating. I have to say, I love Christmas! I remember laying wide eyed in my bed from 10pm to 5am, just waiting for my parents to say it was time to start the Christmas festivities and every year without fail I would be amazed by the boxes and bags gathered under the tree. Looking back now I realize there was a lot of preparation that my parents had to do beforehand to create the awe and joy I felt on Christmas morning. Now that I have my own home and Christmas tree and people to shop for, I have a lot more respect for their hard-work to delight and lavish upon me.
In this season of my life I’m learning a lot about the importance of preparation. My good friend Jon Furman taught me that when you prepare for a meeting, an event, or a situation that you won’t have to worry about the outcome, because you already know the possibilities. As we prepare our homes and families for this season, I would challenge you to also prepare your heart and your children’s hearts to receive Jesus this Christmas.
In the Gospels John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. Specifically in Luke 1:17 we are told that John’s purpose was “to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” In our beloved Christmas story we might miss the beauty of the other birth that came before Jesus and the role John played in preparing God’s people for their Messiah. John used his life to help others know the truth of the baby born in Bethlehem and as parents you have the awesome privilege to do the same for your children.
I would imagine that there is no greater joy for you as parents than to have your child know the truth of Jesus and be in relationship with Him. But preparing your child for that is not an easy task! In any arena of our lives preparation requires sacrifice, investment, and selflessness. I know that when I prepare my heart to love and care for my husband, I am less moody, more understanding, and ready to engage in his world. I also know that when I don’t do this I often remain focused on my own agenda, I am easily irritated, and can be down right selfish!
I am praying for you in the days leading up to Christmas to prepare these young hearts to know God’s intimate love for them and the way he showed it when Jesus was born. Like it says in Luke 1:17 lets turn the hearts of fathers [and mothers] to their children this Christmas and together celebrate God’s gift to each of us.