Gettin' Ready for Christmas

It's official. Christmas is coming. It's that time of year when we get to bring a tree into our home that was chopped down in the forest (I like to think that ours was chopped down by a handsome lumberjack) and we hang strands of little tiny lights and ornaments shaped like snowflakes on the branches. We get to bake cookies and go to parties and our friends send us cards in the mail. It's wonderful! I absolutely love Christmastime. And of course, no one has more holiday spirit than my sweet baby cousin Eva (pictured left)..

Bless her heart. Santa better bring her a puppy to make up for that.

Speaking of holiday spirit, a couple of weeks ago pastor Allen talked about preparing our hearts for Christmas. His message really spoke to me because I so often forget to cultivate my heart for anything really.  I allow fear and doubt and anxiety and feelings of unworthiness to grow within me and that really doesn't leave room for much else. He said, "there's no room in our hearts for God when we harbor bitterness and envy and selfish ambition."  I wrote that down because I struggle with harboring these things in my own heart. It's a fact that when my thoughts are focused on my worries, I lose sight of all of my blessings. And what's funny is when I do the opposite of that and focus on my blessings, it's hard to worry about anything at all. God did not create me to be someone who feels unworthy and worries constantly. He created me to live as a woman whose faith can overcome every worry. He created me to be really good at Super Mario Brothers and dancing the cupid shuffle.

So as we prepare our homes and as some prepare their cars, I'm looking at you minivan with the antlers and red nose, let's prepare our hearts too. Let's think about all the things we're thankful for and all of the great things that happened in 2011. And for the next two weeks leading up to Christmas, I am going to post 3 things I'm thankful for.  Starting now.

1. Family & friends.

2. My job, work that matters.

3. Justin Beiber's Christmas chart topper, Mistletoe.