Small Places

Be content with small places...
And the fellowship of those whom you know so well
And whose sayings and moods are as familiar
As the weather; these mean everything,
They mean the world, they mean the world.
— Alexander McCall Smith, Espresso Tales

This season of Advent can start to feel pressurized until I remember that Jesus didn't make a grand entrance. He was content with small places, and I can be too.

I don't have to make big plans or buy big gifts or cook big meals. I don't have to do a nightly Advent devotional with the kids or make homemade anything. I don't have to put up fancy decorations or send Christmas cards or roam the aisles of Target to be sure the stockings overflow. And I certainly don't have to feed Instagram at the expense of my soul. 

What means the world is telling Jesus He can come into our space, our home, our family, and our schedule because there is room here. We are not too busy to sit still a minute. We do away with other routines and rituals for these few weeks, to watch and wait for the One we want to be born in us. 


People sit with a baby: how can I sit with Jesus?

People watch a baby: how can I watch Jesus?

People smell a baby: how can I smell Jesus?

People smile at a baby: how can I smile at Jesus?

People read to a baby: how can I read to Jesus?

People hold a baby's hands: how can I hold Jesus' hands?

People love a baby: how can I love Jesus?

When I sit with my children, when I watch them, when I smell their clean hair (or their stinky feet), when I read to them, when I hold their hands, when I love them, I am giving these gifts to Jesus. I want Him to be in my Christmas, but that means my children get to be in my Christmas. 


To offer Jesus a place to be born means we won't keep barreling through the evening hours, telling the kids to finish dinner, finish schoolwork, finish flossing, finish talking, and off to bed....without slowing down enough to sit together for a few minutes each evening of December that we are home. There won't be an agenda, other than quieting our hearts and minds enough to see this season as set apart, looking at our Christmas tree, and taking a few minutes to read a Christmas book together. Some nights, we will also listen to "O Holy Night" and sing it together and let it get stuck in our heads this Advent, so that these words can get stuck in our hearts: 

Long lay the world, in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.

To do a big Christmas is not what makes my soul big. It is to be in fellowship with these few people I know so well, to talk about small things, to sit in small places and be content with the same books, the same songs, the same ornaments, the same few special foods, the same way of being together and yet experiencing more of Jesus each time we make room for Him to be born in us again. 

As friends and family enter our home this month, may we offer the peace of Christ to one another and may our small places always be enough.