As a child I remember many Christmas Eve nights filled with anticipation. For many years my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins would come over for an appetizer dinner, way too many Christmas cookies and a lot of laughing. These are some of my favorite memories.
After they had gone home I was desperate to fall asleep. The sooner I did, the sooner Christmas morning would come. It was pure bliss. A typical Christmas morning meant waking up sometime around 3 or 4 in the morning, racing downstairs and turning the Christmas tree lights on. Magic would ensue. Next, I would go to get my stocking hung by the fire place. There were five of us. Each stocking was meticulously and perfectly overflowing with treats and goodies. So much so that Martha Stewart would have been jealous.
My siblings and I were allowed to open our stockings but not the wrapped presents. My parents preferred a more humane hour, like 7 a.m., for that excitement. So there I would sit, usually with a sibling or 3, my stocking content strewn about the floor, Christmas music filling my soul under the warm glow of the tree.
Deeply impressed in my memory is the moment I awoke every Christmas morning. The minute my fuzzy mind began to realize I was awake my heart leaped as I recognized something.
Christmas had come for me.
It was the first thought on my mind. I was loved and the surprise of presents, the beauty of my stocking, the fact that they had secretly been left for me to discover all affirmed that I mattered, I was wanted and worth blessing. Those first early morning thoughts warmed me, connected me to my family, to Christmas, they filled me with a joy that I can remember even to this day.
This month I have been reading my way through Keri Wyatt Kent’s, Deeply Loved: 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus. Keri talks about those first moments of the day. Does anxiety fill me or do I form mental lists of the days activities? What am I really thinking about as a new day opens up? She then offers a suggestion worth pondering. Reorient your mind. As you consider your day invite Jesus into it.
This is simple enough but yet surprisingly not natural. I can’t always control my first thought when I wake up. I can’t always control how I wake up. But what I am learning in this journey is that I can turn my thoughts toward Jesus. Inviting Him into my days activities, conversations and to-do list is possible. In fact, it has been a good thing for me but this practice has revealed something I wasn’t expecting.
Jesus wants to be involved in my life.
Welcoming Him into my day opens up a world I don’t often live in. Receiving anew Christ’s love for me. The challenge to greet Jesus , the One who has stayed by my bedside all night long, is to acknowledge that I have been worth waiting around for all night.
Everyday I do a lot of “doing”.
Before the doing begins my soul would do well to receive Jesus into the day ahead.
I want more Christmas mornings like way back when. The moment my eyes open to sense that I matter, I am wanted and worth blessing; that Christmas had come for me again.
Of course it did, He had been there all night long.
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