Prepare Him Room

A few weeks ago I  had a revelation at 3 in the morning: I was feeling very overwhelmed with how and what and when to write on this wonderful blogging space every week.  So I decided I’d just take a break from Veteran’s Day until Christmas.
(I wrote about it here.)

The idea was to give myself some mental and spiritual space to focus on the season of Advent–waiting for the celebration of Christ’s first coming at Christmas.  Lots of people were talking about ways to observe the four week occasion and it sounded like a grand plan–a way to enlarge my spiritual horizons, quiet myself, focus on the true spirit of Christmas.

In that post I also committed (sort of) to NOT writing during that time.  I felt wonderful to declare it out loud, relieving a lot of the pressure of ‘coming up with something’ to write about 2-3 times a week.

And of course it seemed like immediately after that I had something on my heart to write about every time I turned around.

But I wasn’t supposed to be writing.
I was supposed to be taking time to be spiritual and quiet and well, like everyone else.

As my friend GG wrote here, just because you hear what sounds like a great idea it’s okay to say, “That’s just not gonna work right now.  It doesn’t fit me.”

My season of almost silence did not fit me. At all. I’m a writer–that’s how I process the world…by writing.

Besides, this is the first year I’ve ever been intentional about celebrating Advent, so the learning curve is steep.  I’m discovering although the sentiments and Scripture surrounding the occasion sound glorious they just don’t work in this season of my life.

Not the Christmas season, but the life season.

Why? For one, when I made the decision about being quiet and listening and prayerfulness and Advent-observing I forgot about my huband’s life-altering surgery coming up.

The one where he gets a new knee–that one.

So now I’m playing nurse and caregiver to a man who spends the days between his bed and the recliner, who uses a rolling walker and four legged cane to get everywhere.  While he recuperates.  For 8-10 weeks.

So, I get to do everything he usually does as a newly retired person: feed the birds, take out the garbage, bring in the paper, feed himself (the basics).

{PLUS} my full time job and manage the bills and buy the groceries and take care of the laundry and dinner and……

During the holidays.

You get the picture. It doesn’t exactly leave one much space–mental, physical OR spiritual–for being quiet and contemplative, does it?

AND, we’ll probably have to use the artificial tree my husband put up before his surgery.  Anathema!  Sacrilege!
Artificial knees, artificial trees–it seems like I’m dying to myself every second of every day.

Well, I’m not dying, I’m kicking and screaming to a very slow death.
A death to my desires and needs. A death to my rights.
Having conversations with God about all I’m giving up and people I can’t see and the places I can’t go.  Wah, wah, wah.

However, by God’s good grace and the pervasiveness of Christmas music, I’ve been hearing His still, small voice speaking to me through some old, familiar songs.

‘Away in a Manger’, for instance, and the line about Christ ‘fitting us for Heaven.’

What is that, I wondered–Fit?  I looked it up:

Some definitions of the word ‘fit’ are:
(1): adapted to an end or design : suitable by nature or by art
(2): adapted to the environment so as to be capable of surviving
a: put into a suitable state : made ready <get the house fit for company>
And “Joy to the World”, the part about letting ‘every heart prepare him room.’
Every heart.  My heart.
I just kept hearing, “Make big room, make big room.” 
(When I wrote the phrase in my journal, I heard it in a Jamaican accent.)
Make room for this season, whatever it holds, however it comes to you. 
You are being made fit for Heaven and God knows what fits you best.
Even if it’s wrapped up in a rolling walker and a man
who looks just like your husband. 
It’s Jesus saying, 
“I’m making you fit. Suitable. Ready.

For me.

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18 thoughts on “Prepare Him Room

  1. Sounds to me as if your Advent (time of reflection and quiet) is sort of like a Sabbath. That is, you takes it when you can gets it, adjusted to your current responsibilities and regardless of the calendar.

    What a wonderful encouragement, both from your insight and, perversely, from your honesty about kicking and screaming!

  2. Finally! Got the chance to click over and read this. A friend of mine often says that God gives each of us designer circumstances, uniquely tailored to draw us to him. Sometimes, I guess, those circumstances involve a rolling walker. Sounds like you're learning the Advent lessons He has for you well, my friend. Blessings.

  3. oh friend, i love how you write out your thoughts… you have such a gift. and i know what you mean about writing. it's how i process the world too. bless you as you serve.

  4. Jody, what a wonderful ministry of love & service to our Lord and your husband. I can relate to both you and Bill. Being left an invalid for a time (hopeful a full recovery is on the way) now, makes me so appreciate all the help, love and support I receive from family and caregivers. They are true Saints in God's eyes and mine. It is so difficult to get through the pain and inconvenience of not being able to ambulate on your own and they love and care for me inspire of my ordeal. I can also tell you that God has allowed me to return to work and has blessed me with the opportunity to help others get through their difficult situations. I can't begin to tell you all the wonderful love and appreciation I feel when a client or their family member thanks me with hugs and kind words. The blessings God gives to His loving servants is beyond comparison. I pray your time in this serving season will provide you with as much joy and pleasure mine has to me. Blessings dear sweet sister.

  5. Kel, my words got all mumbled up. Anyway–I loved the 'bah, neigh moo' reminder. YES, Jesus was born in a very noisy place, which gives me hope for peace amidst the chaos and busyness.

    Thanks so much for your encouragement and support.

  6. 'Serving worship…' Nancy, I'm going to remember that. Thanks for the Colossians reminder. Getting fit, yes indeed. It's a real work out 🙂

    Thanks so much for your kind words and enocuragement!

  7. Lori–you DO know what I'm talking about. Oh, God gives us just what we need, I'm convinced of it. Thanks for reading.

  8. Jody- I love how God can turn our lives upside down! I agree with one of your other readers…this is your Advent{ure}…He is speaking volumes to you and through you even in the midst of a different scene than you imagined…our longing for monastic, contemplative lives have to be carved into this reality of full lives…Jesus arrived into the bustling, loud town of Bethlehem in the middle of a convention of sorts if you think about it and then was laid to sleep in a not so silent or pristine setting either…baa…neigh…moo…

    So glad Go led you to not write (sort of) earlier this month 🙂

  9. What a delight to see Three Way Light in my inbox! And though I would have liked to read about the long, quiet, reflective moments you've spent curled up in that alpaca, with a cup of hot tea by your side, I SO appreciate your honest record of what's REALLY been going on. Your selfless (in spite of a few wah-wah-wahs!) service to your husband is a precious Christmas-time gift for the Savior. You wanted to give Him meditative worship; instead you've been pushed into serving-worship (Col. 3:23-24). Talk about getting fit for heaven! Jodi, you are indeed working out your salvation with honesty, humility, renewal of the mind, etc. Your spiritual maturity muscles are indeed very strong!

  10. My MIL had knee replacement surgery, and it was such a long road to recovery. I feel what you're going through there as I helped taked care of her. It's funny how things come into our lives in waves. It's gets so crazy and then crickets. Love how your humor always shines through 🙂

  11. God has a beautiful way of teaching each of us just what we need to be learning. It is very hard to let go of the feeling that the world doesn't revolve around us but rather we are the servant of God. Teaching us to be humble and grateful and honoring to God rather than seeking what we think He wants us to learn. Many blessings await you over the next 10 weeks. How exciting this time will be for you. God bless and you'll both be in my prayers

  12. Beautiful honest Advent words … this is your Advent this year. I laughed out loud at artificial knee and artificial tree. Finding God in the midst of chores, caring for your husband, work, writing etc. … a beautiful way to celebrate the season.

    I do pray that next year, you get a quiet reflective year … the one you were hoping for this year.

    You are a sweet friend.


  13. Thank you, friend. It was such a relief to be honest about it all, the not-so-perfectly-spiritualness of my flesh. I'm so thankful for each new day to live again by the Spirit of God in me and nothing else.

  14. This makes me smile, and laugh. So much goodness here: Artificial knees, artificial trees–it seems like I'm dying to myself every second of every day.
    The kicking and screaming. All of it.

    But mostly, just you, fitting in with His plan, in relationship to the Giver of Advent.

I'd love to hear your thoughts

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