Everywhere I turn these days, I hear this question. Are you ready for Christmas? If that means do I have all the gifts bought and wrapped, then no, but I will be. But if it means are my heart, soul and home ready for the coming of the Christ child, then I have to stop and think. Did I do everything I set out to do this Advent season? NO. Did I prepare in the best possible way? NO. I am here on the last Sunday of Advent wondering what happened. Where did all the time go and what about all my really great ideas for me and the kids? How did I get to this place and how far do I have to go to be ready for Christmas? I would love to say that my heart is prepared everyday to receive Jesus, but I'm not. I'm not worthy at all. These days have been such a challenge and I have become quite overwhelmed with it all. I usually wake each morning and begin my day with prayer, but this Advent it seems that there is too much to do and so I pray while I work. So I jump out of bed and start running before my feet hit the ground. I have to look back and realize that we did have a very fruitful Advent, filled with sacrifices, alms giving, visiting the home-bound, feeding the hungry. But what about my plan? Did God have a different plan for my Advent and did I truly grow closer to Him? YES. He knew what I needed this year. He knew how I would get there. I do truly feel at peace with Him and I do feel ready for Him. Our house is full of His love and we are excited to celebrate His birth. We started a tradition several years ago that is one of our most treasured. We do not put any presents under our Christmas tree until Christmas Eve. Instead we have a nativity, that the children can play with, and we have a gold wrapped box that baby Jesus is in. This is the first gift we open on Christmas morning. We sing Happy Birthday and we all take time to think about the gift that He is in our life. After that the rest just doesn't seem as important and we can really understand the true meaning of Christmas.
I hope you find that this Advent you have been able to prepare for Christ's coming in the way that He has planned for you. I hope that you too, are able to find peace in this journey and that you will continue His path for your life.