What is the most urgent thing on your “to do” list today in preparation for Christmas?  Is it mailing your Christmas cards? Or are you like me and you haven’t even thought about the  picture for your Christmas cards.  Maybe your “to do” list is filled with names of people you have to purchase gifts for and wrap.  Have you started your baking yet?  Party planning and juggling the Christmas calendar of events you’ve been invited to attend?

Life has been a bit chaotic for me lately, without adding my Christmas “to do” list to the mix.  Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

  • My cell phone died and I had to buy a new one.  Since this is my first iPhone, I had to learn how to operate this new machine and my iPhone support staff happens to be at Georgia Tech until mid-December.
  • Two days ago we launched the new website, which include a new blogging format, so there’s been much to learn (thank you for your patience with me).
  • In three weeks, my debut novel, Rescuing Hope releases. I’ve had a crash course on publishing this month.

Needless to say, it’s been a bit crazy around here.

I love Christmas time. I love everything about it.  I love spending time choosing the perfect gift for my loved ones;  I love wrapping them and probably go a bit overboard with bows and tags;  I love baking all kinds of goodies to share with my family and friends; I love the music of Christmas; and I love gathering together with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Christ.  I can’t think of any part of Christmas that I don’t enjoy, so you can imagine how hard it has been to be so consumed with other things during the Christmas season.

I asked the Lord to help me find the balance, help me get my work done but have time to enjoy the season.  His answer was simple and it came in the stillness of the morning when all was quiet in my world and the sun had yet to come up and greet the day,

Come to the manger.  Come to the manger and you will carry Christmas in your heart.

The manger is where Mary and Joseph greeted Jesus for the first time,

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. [Luke 2:1-7]

If we will take time each day to step into the manger and greet Jesus, in the quiet, stillness of the morning, then we will carry His peace throughout the day, no matter what’s on our “to do” list [John 14:27].

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the holiday season or your “to do” list at work?  Step into the manger.  Time spent with the Prince of Peace will steady you in the midst of chaos.  He will bring the calm in the very center of the storm and hold you upright.  He is the reason for the season, therefore, He should be the primary focus our attention. Will you step into the manger today?