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The key to surviving the next three days.

No alarm needed this morning because there is much to be done and its not gonna happen from under the covers. So as my mom says…Rise and Shine!

I stand over meat sizzling in the skillet and the drier tumbles clothes softly in the next room. I sip warm coffee and make the mental list.

Dinner started…check. Clean clothes put away…check. Beds made, kitchen cleaned, groceries purchased…check, check, check! I’m off to a good start but there are many items that still need checking. I have more food to prepare, presents still need wrapping and there’s still one gift to buy.

As my friend and I finish all the work at the shop yesterday she leans in and whispers,

You want to hear something crazy?

I’m not sure I want to know what’s coming next. Maybe she’s had all she can take of this crazy ministry hidden somewhere among the stitching of sewing machines.  And then she smiles,

I have joy!

There it is. The answer to the question I’ve been asking myself for two days now. Ever since I found this trinket hidden deep in the pocket of my vest.

The key to making room in the inn is not about how much I still have to do. It’s the attitude I have about the doing. Because why do anything at all if I’m cranky and stressed? As long as I can remember, Christmas takes so much preparation. I don’t think it will ever change, and its a change I honestly don’t want.

I stir ingredients in the slow cooker and think my house full of family and friends just hours away. I smile at the thought of nieces and nephews all loud in the winning and losing of games. She’ll play a tune on her guitar and sing. The little one will unwrap her presents with delight.

My friend gave me the key to making room these next three days. Joy opens doors wide to Advent. Joy embraces each task with a remembering of who we cook and clean and wrap presents for. Joy makes room for Jesus.

I’m singing a new Christmas song…well, not new and not really a holiday tune. But I’m singing it anyway…

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…where?

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