“Make straight in the desert a highway for our King…”
December 20, 2012 | My Jottings
That’s what I’m trying to do this Christmas season.
In this very full life that can lead to spiritual dryness, I am trying (with God’s guidance, grace and mercy!) to live out the words of the prophet Isaiah, when he wrote about John the Baptist and his announcement of Jesus:
“A voice cries out, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord
Make straight in the desert a highway for our King
Every valley shall be lifted up
And every mountain made low.’ “
Even though I think I’ve taken all the things off of my proverbial plate that I can, I find myself still wondering how to quietly and peacefully enjoy this beautiful season for what it really is. To me, it’s not about shopping, although I’ve done some of that online. It’s not about decorating, although as you’re about to see, we’ve done some of that too.
Each Christmas season, I try to make straight in the desert of my spiritual life, a highway for my King. A place where He has unhindered access. I ask the Lord to fill in those valleys in my life, of which there are many. I ask Him to remove the mountains that I just can’t seem to get around.
I have said no to almost every event, except most things having to do with my family or grandchildren. I have tried to make room every day for down time, reading and devotional time. I have been writing in my gratitude journal, which I love — what a special time that has become! I just finished this book, and very much enjoyed it. I’ve been mindfully listening to Christmas carols, getting enough sleep, and letting some things go. And yet still I wonder if I’ve made enough room in my life for the One I say I love and serve. Do any of you ever grapple with this? I’m probably not the only one pondering these things.
Well, moving on, I thought I’d share some more photos with you of some things we have around the house to give it a festive feel.
This is a night-time view of our tree. We have these neat privacy blinds that can be opened so they go up from the bottom, or down from the top. This way we can walk around in the house completely undressed, and people outside can see our tree, but not see us. Ha. NOT! Never in a million years. I just wanted to make sure you were awake.
This sits on the kitchen window sill above the sink:
Sara decked out the lights over our dining room table with several feet of artificial holly vines, some plaid ribbon, and a few gold ornaments hanging at different lengths:
Here’s a closer shot:
At our old house this triple wreath hung outside one year, but this year I thought I’d put it in our bedroom.
I also put the nativity scene in our bedroom this year.
We have a small white tree we set up in our bedroom too, and when the grandchildren spend the night during the Christmas season, they love to sleep under the glow of its tiny red and white lights, while soothing instrumental carols play.
Sara also put these gold ornaments and curly ribbon on the three pendant lights that hang over our kitchen counter. I think the lights look like ice cubes.
It’s cold and windy today. Most of our snow has melted from a few days we had in the 40s, but there are still a few patches on the grass left. Here’s a view of the morning sun shining on grey Lake Superior:
And here’s a fabulous picture my friend Ember sent me yesterday. Look at Mr. Jaunty Cardinal’s expression! He’s checking up on me! He’s peeking around the corner and saying, “Juuuulie? Have you forgotten that when you have Jesus, you always have hope? Don’t you remember how He sent me to you all those years ago?”
Just looking at this photo makes me grin. Yes, Lord. I remember. Thank you.
Even Edith, our almost eleven year-old Schnauzer, is making room for her King. She was resting on our bed this morning, looking out the window and wondering when He would show up. She’s ready for Him, all decked out in her green ribbon, humble hound heart prepared to bow when she finally sees her Maker. She’s a Hallelujah Hound, you know.
Our furnace has broken three times in the past month, and as I type this, the third repairman is trying to fix it. He has been here a long time and from what I gather, it’s not a simple repair. Michael and I held hands together a little while ago and asked the Lord to help this man fix it. It’s a terribly misbehaving furnace, and we’ve learned it has special needs. We have company from California arriving soon to spend Christmas with us, and what kind of hosts would we be if they came all the way to frigid Minnesota and we didn’t offer them heat?
Thank you so much for stopping by today!
What kinds of things do you do (or not do) at Christmas time, to keep the true meaning alive in your heart and home?