I’ve been swamped lately: a thousand things to do and no time to do them.  I finally saw an opening in my calendar for today and made a long list of things to accomplish.  Except for one small “detail”, I was poised to have a day of record-breaking productivity…enter Molly. 

Molly is my and Lizzy’s one-month old daughter.  She drinks milk and eats time.  With Lizzy out for the day spending time with her mom, I found myself alone with Molly, feeding, changing, rocking, holding, and repeating.  As soon as I provided for one of her little needs, the next one was on deck to absorb the next ten minutes, until finally I realized in a little bit of a panic that the day was slipping through my idle, bottle-holding fingers.  My day was shot, Molly made sure that I would accomplish nothing.

After she fell asleep in my arms late this afternoon, I began to reflect on the day, and I began to pray.  That’s when the Lord showed me a different perspective on all of this.  He reminded me of what I thought I already knew: Molly is priority number one, far ahead of all the other things on the list, however good they may be.  She deserves my time and my attention.  She has the right to inconvenience me and change my schedule.  And if there was a competition in my mind between she and the other things I had to do, then I am in need of some major conversion of heart.  She came into our lives as a pure gift, one worth celebration, and one for whom it’s worth making changes to our routine.

I feel like this is the invitation the Lord gives us in a real and tangible way this Advent season.  As we become busier and busier with things that are good and even Godly, perhaps we forget to make room for the one that matters most.  At Christmas, God desires to give us the greatest gift, his own Son, his own flesh and blood.  Do we have room in our lives, room in our schedules, room in our hearts to receive him? If we say yes, make no mistake - it will require changes to the way life is now.  If we invite him into the room of our hearts, he will take up our time, he will “inconvenience” us and change our schedule.  Why? Because our God, Emmanuel, is not an ethereal idea, or a nostalgic tradition: He is a person who requires our attention if we choose to enter into relationship with him. 

So, how is it that we make room to receive Jesus this Advent in a real and visceral way? Perhaps the best place for me to start is with Molly.  Perhaps the best place for you to start is with your own family, your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings.  Let’s take this Advent season to make room in our lives for the ones the Lord has already given us.  Let’s allow them to take up our time, to change our schedules, to receive and experience the gift of our love and care for them.  When we do this, we make room Jesus to come into the middle of our families and our relationships.  We make room for him to show us what’s most important.  We make room for him to change and convert all the selfish parts of our hearts.  As we do this, something beautiful happens: we become holy, and our families become holy.

Let us prepare room this Advent to receive Jesus at Christmas and to love him by serving our own families.

Written by Greg Boudreaux of Greg&Lizzy.


Reflection Questions:

1.  What are the things in your life that seem to be competing for your attention with your loved ones? What are you holding onto that’s absorbing your time?

2.  How can you make changes to your schedule, activities, and priorities to make room for Christ to come and to better love your family?

3.  How is God calling you to and giving you the grace for conversion of heart this Advent? How is he calling you and your family to holiness?