Day 21 of Advent: Getting our Stable (Manger) in Order

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.   Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9

When was the last time you were in a stable?  Let me refresh your memory, a stable is a place where animals, like horses are stalled.   The floor of a stable is carpeted with straw, manure and dirt.  There are troughs full of water and feed.  Excess equipment and tools are stored for future use.  Cows are milked, young animals are fed. Familiar sounds of Old MacDonald’s Farm are heard from oink, oink to nay, nay.  And the stable has a particular smell.

When I was in Flandreau, South Dakota some years ago to visit some schools for my job, I visited a Hutterite Colony, where pigs were raised and artisans made the most beautiful brooms–which I believe will last forever.  I remember stepping inside the pig pen and could barely breathe.  The smell was stifling and well, the stench made me gag.

While the stable is a place where calves, piglets, and colts are born, full of hope and promise, it also is a place of struggle.  Difficult to keep clean, filled with clutter and lots of old stuff.  Sometimes when our lives are so busy around Christmas, it is hard to keep our own “stable” in order.  Stress, life’s challenges, a difficult time with work or family, finding the most wanted, but hard to find gift for your son or daughter, traffic or a never-ending to do list can keep our stable from recognizing the wonder of the Advent season.

God transformed a stable in the troubled city of Bethlehem for the arrival of Christ how can we transform our own “stable” for the arrival of Christ too?

1.  Go for a walk
2.  Meet up with Friends for Chocolate or Coffee
3.  Play some Christmas Music
4. Breathe Deeply
5.  Turn off the Phone–yes that does mean you….
6.  Do your Spring Cleaning Now
7.  Read the Bible
8.  Pray

My prayer today comes from the last verse of  “Away in a Manger…”

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

What will you do today to get your “stable” in order?

Make room for Jesus today in your stable my friends!  De-clutter your stable if you need to, as we put the lessons Christ shared with us into practice, God will grant us peace.

Shared by Marcie Doll

Published by marciedoll

I have enjoyed working for over 20 years in the education and publishing spaces creating accessible learning environments for all students. My teaching experiences led me into supporting schools in need of improvement and creating and delivering professional development to teachers and leaders. And then I moved into selling educational materials, programs, technology, and services. Most recently, I have been developing content for innovative learning programs in K-12 and museum spaces. For the past 17 years serving on the board of the Collegiate Corporation, I have led initiatives in women's leadership, stewardship, development, virtual strategy, and educational programs for youth and families. Outside of the learning and non-profit spaces, I enjoy blogging about faith and inspiring women. I have a passion for travel, where you might find me exploring national parks, museums, and finding the best local restaurant to eat. I capture my adventures digitally with my camera. My photography has appeared in exhibitions throughout Europe and Australia in 2019 and 2020, on television in the United States, and was chosen from over 100,000 entries to appear in a well-known photography magazine.

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