The holidays are at our doorsteps. This week ushers in a ready-or-not season of…

Of what?

Instead of being swept into days of traditional busyness, I am drawn to slow and consider how I would finish that sentence.

What do I hope this Christmas season will be? When I listen in prayer, how might God prompt me toward a different kind of celebration and worship? What shape might it take? Where will I begin?

This week in America we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, a historical day of remembrance and gratefulness. Tucked within that part of the tradition is a prayer rhythm that I need not leave behind but instead can carry forward into the Christmas season.

Remembrance and gratefulness.

This is where God draws me to begin—not for tradition’s sake, but for my heart’s sake. Through thanksgiving, He invites me to turn my attention toward Him to notice His kindnesses, His grace, and His love deep within and around me.

Through thanksgiving, He heals and helps me shed past expectations, memories, and pain that threaten to obscure the beautiful simplicity of the greatest gift ever given—Jesus, the babe in a manger, the promise of once-for-all redemption.

Through thanksgiving, He creates space in each unfolding day for anticipation and reveals to me where He dwells in the unexpected places of this season.

Through thanksgiving, my heart prepares Him room. Yes…

“Joy to the world, the Lord has come;
let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room.”

The writer of the song, Joy to the World, pulled the themes, in part, from Psalm 98:4-9, a psalmist’s proclamation to the Lord of his joy, celebration, and thanksgiving. Remembrance and gratefulness are instilled in the expressive words of this Christmas hymn about the wondrous birth of Jesus.

So in remembrance and gratefulness is how I’ll move through this week and where I’ll begin this Christmas season. And instead of ready-or-not, I pray that God will prepare my heart in readiness for what these weeks can hold.

My first prayer of thankfulness?

Through a heart of thankfulness, may I receive You more fully and more deeply. Thank you, Jesus, for your presence in each moment and for your grace to help me be more present to those around me throughout this Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

What will yours be?

Reposted and adapted from www.PresenceNow.Be–another site where Jan blogs.