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One late fall afternoon, when I was seven years old, my parents and I went to a craft fair held at a local church. Walking through the large church gymnasium, filled with vendors and booths and all manner of crafting, my eye caught a playpen filled with handmade dolls. I made my way, in haste, to check out this amazing display, and my heart instantly fell in love. There was a life-size baby boy with curly brown hair, wearing a red gingham shirt and denim shorts, made out of the softest fabric my hands had ever felt. I picked him up and cradled him in my arms. I wanted this baby so much. I believed that I was meant to be his “mama”.

I know this sounds incredibly melodramatic, but in my imaginary world, baby dolls were very real to me, and apparently, the “call to motherhood” came early.

I begged my parents for this doll. I had even named him because I knew he was meant for me. My mom and dad gave me the response that I had grown accustomed to whenever I asked for a toy, “Maybe for Christmas”.

Christmas was coming soon, so I set my heart on it.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, I prepared myself for the arrival of “Baby Frankie” (yes, that was the name I chose…Frankie.) I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning.

I waited, and I prepared.


This is week two of Advent, and I am reflecting on the preparation of my heart during this time of waiting…

Christ’s birth was foretold by the prophet Isaiah:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Is. 9:6, 7

He was to be a light in the darkness.

Four hundred years of silence and darkness preceded the arrival of the Messiah. Isaiah prophesied:

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Is. 9:2

It was a dismal time. Hope was waning. A few were hanging on…waiting in expectation. But many had forgotten…swept up in the darkness…living in the land of the shadow of death.

And then…Jesus came.

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” John 1:9

The light of the world had come…shining brightly into the darkness.

And still…the world struggled to see it…to embrace it…to follow it.

It is so easy for us to become entrenched in the darkness and gloom of this world. We can’t escape the news headlines or the realities of this broken world we live in. It is so easy to forget that the Light came, and there IS still light in this world. God has not abandoned us. We are still living in the Advent…Christ’s light has not flickered out, and neither is the hope and the promise of his second coming. The darkness around us will never understand or accept the Light, but those of us who have embraced Christ have a hope and a promise worth waiting for, with great expectancy. He is coming. The Scripture never lies.

So, while we wait…we prepare.

We prepare our hearts.

We abide in God’s Word, and we walk in His truth.

We live out our faith…we live with hope.

We walk with joyful expectation.

We set our focus on the eternal…we fix our eyes on Jesus.

The darkness may be all around us, but it cannot overtake us.

Christ’s light shines through our lives into the darkest places of this worn and weary world…his hope and his message…his peace and his character are reflected in our faces, our actions, and our words.

We wait and prepare.

Just as I prepared my room and my life for the arrival of a handmade doll, so we prepare our homes (families), our attitudes, our spheres of influence, for the light that has come and will come again.

Christmas morning finally came, and Baby Frankie was sitting under the tree. It took my breath away. I had hoped and prepared, waited and anticipated this moment for what felt like an eternity, and there he was. Perfect in every way.

Forty years later, I still feel joy awaken within me as I look towards Christmas.

The Light of the world has come…the Light of the world is coming again…there is so much to celebrate.

Jesus…prepare my heart…in the waiting…let your light shine.

“Let every heart prepare him room.” – Issac Watts, Joy To The World

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