It’s beginning to look a lot like…

unpackingI was in the mall the other day and Christmas had arrived. Already? I’m not ready! But this year I want to be. Not for all the glitter and trimmings and presents, but ready for Jesus to arrive in my heart in a deeper, more meaningful way. So while I haven’t bought a single present yet, I’ve begun to read a very special Advent book: Finding the Messiah: From Darkness to Dawn—the Birth of Our Savior by my good friend and fellow author, Jane Rubietta. Her book is exactly what I needed to read as I prepare for Christ’s advent, so I’ve invited her to be my guest blogger this morning.

Please welcome Jane Rubietta:

JRubietta high res 226We moved over the summer, and are still finding things that we”d lost. Still missing stuff. Still walking around boxes of not-yet-unpacked goods, still avoiding eye contact with cardboarded pictures and mirrors and anything remotely resembling decor. Only last week did I manage to put together the third bed, complete with sheets. We are missing one of the little wheels for the frame, so I found some blocks of wood. It should work. 🙂 Yesterday I found the pillows.

So even with the house in disarray, the beds are made. Even though to reach them, one must sidestep carefully the dresser in the middle of the floor, the upside-down tables waiting for a home, the baskets of extra bedding, the books begging for shelves.

MovingBoxesThe good news is that whether we can find our beds or not, God has made a way for us to find the Messiah. It’s hard to find Christmas in the middle of real life and all the holiday hubbub and marketing. All our wants and hopes rev their engines, dominating our calendars. Ordering (or disordering) our wallets, bulking up our credit card balances.

Seems like, every year, I get to December 25, exhausted, with a pile of dishes in the sink and wrapping paper jamming wastebaskets, and my heart crashes. “What just happened? I have missed it. I’ve missed Christmas, again.”

My grief at missing Christmas has overtaken all other pressures, including deadlines, the storage-state of our home, and everything on my to-do list. This year, more than any other, I hope to deeply seek the Savior.

One of the simple tools that I will use to prepare the resting place of my heart, is silence. Start out with only sixty seconds, maybe, where I still my heart and soul, and point my heart toward God. Want to try it with me?

Creche Holy FamilySet the timer on your phone, or your stovetop, for one minute, haul in a deep breath, and exhale all the words in your brain. Focus, then, on God. God’s love. God’s gift in Christ. Invite God into that place. No need for words. Just pointing your heart.

And then wait there. If your mind derails, downloading a bunch of worries and words, exhale again, reload with God”s presence, and wait some more.

The seconds flee, refilling us with a new sense of calm. Of peace. Silent Night? Silent Minute? Whatever it takes, snag a few and be still.

That level of deep silence is the kind of silence that changes us. Changes our attitude and direction. Changes our day, our relationships. Our hope. Today, and for the upcoming holidays. Just a minute a day, or two or ten…

Let me know how it goes. I”d love to hear from you about how you enter into this Advent season. May this be the year that the Promised One comes, scatters our shadows, shatters our fears, wraps us in the light that is night-splitting love and forgiveness.

Finding the M, Jane RubiettaFinding the Messiah: A 28-Day guide to deeper devotion during Advent!

Advent is for us all. The brokenhearted, the barren, the aged, the young, the disillusioned, the faithful, the doubting; people going through the motions of faith though faced with God’s silence.

Finding the Messiah: From Darkness to Dawn–the Birth of Our Savior is a unique look into the hearts and souls of the people who people the Advent narratives in Scripture.

Because we, too, are Advent people, and their lives inform our lives, and lead us into significance–because they lead us to the Messiah.

Tired of missing Christmas? Find the Messiah, and find both your greatest adventure and the fulfillment of your greatest desire.

Join me on a four-week daily Advent-ure, beginning the first Sunday in Advent, November 30, 2014.