Hearts Ready for Christmas

When I was pregnant with Asher, just weeks before he arrived, the husband and I went to our first Behold the Lamb of God show.  Someone we worked with told us about the concert and at that point, I had no idea who Andrew Peterson was.  So, we went and I honestly went without much expectation and waddled myself into what would turn out to be one of the most beautiful concerts I had ever been to.

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Behold the Lamb of God has been playing a lot around here, as it does every year now (and even sometimes when it's nowhere near Christmas). While the songs are not the traditional carols some of us have grown up with, they are just as beautiful, if not more so, in my opinion.  This album brings me back to what the season is all about at a heart-level.   Almost every time I hear Jill Phillips sing Labor of Love on that album, I cry.  No other music I have readies my heart the way this album does.  If you can go to a concert, do yourself a favor and go.  The artists involved in this special tour every year are amazing.    

Within the last couple of years, we have started paying more attention to the traditions that surround the Advent season.  It has been special for our family, and so good for my heart.   As I said in a recent blogpost, practicing Advent is pretty simple right now.  The moms group I am involved in at our church did a short session on practicing Advent and it was really practical and helpful for me.  You can find it over at SOUL cross training if you are interested.

My Mother-in-law gave us this beautiful Advent calendar that tells the story of Christmas day by day through tiny book-ornaments.  The boys take turns hanging a book ornament on the tree each night.  They love it.  While the little stories are simple and straightforward, they are perfect for the attention span of our littles who are 3 and practically 6, and perfect for any other mama like me (who may or may not misplace her coffee and keys daily) and really appreciates simplicity and un-pin-worthy activities for this season and stage of life.

You can find this on Amazon

And lastly, I make it a point to spend time by our twinkling Christmas tree and try to find moments of reflection, solitude and prayer.  Even if it is only a little amount of time, it makes a huge difference in my heart.  Either first thing in the morning, or during my littlest's nap or when he's occupied with some quiet play and book time in his room,  I sit down by the tree and choose for some quiet and space for God to speak.  Coffee and tea help, too.

My prayer for myself and those of you who are seeking to know Jesus and experience more of him this season, is that the words of this Psalm would ring true of our hearts and that he would come and meet us as we wait for him and him alone:

I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait,

         And in His word do I hope. 

My soul waits for the Lord

         More than the watchmen for the morning;

         Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. 

O Israel, hope in the LORD;

         For with the LORD there is lovingkindness,

         And with Him is abundant redemption. 

Psalm 130:5-7