Mornings with Jesus during the Holidays
by Asheritah Ciuciu
Can I tell you a secret?
Sometimes it seems the Christmas season is the HARDEST time to read my Bible.
Does that ever happen to you? We spend so much of the holiday season creating our own little winter wonderlands—cookies and cards, lights and decorations, and get-togethers—that Christmas morning kind of sneaks up on us, and we end up feeling guilty that we don’t have more warm and fuzzy feelings about Jesus on the day we should be celebrating His birth.
Somewhere along the lines, this “most wonderful time of the year” overwhelms us, making our souls feel both stuffed and empty. And though most of us would agree that Christmas is all about Jesus, there just doesn’t seem to be much time to prepare our hearts with all the extra demands on our schedules.
Here are three steps that have helped me keep my heart focused on Jesus during Christmas, and I think they’ll help you too.
1. Start with a Tiny Habit
If you’re looking to bring more meaning to your Christmas season by spending time with Jesus, my encouragement is to give yourself permission to start small. Now is not the time to cram in all the chapters you’ve missed in the past 8 months of your read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. (Sorry list-checkers!)
Instead, start small. Tiny, even. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Praise God for one attribute that’s true about Him while you brush your teeth.
- Read one Bible verse while you eat breakfast (here’s an easy reading plan).
- Listen to one chapter of the audio Bible while you get ready for work.
- Learn about the names of Jesus and what each name signifies during dinner.
- Write a Bible verse on an index card to memorize while you walk the dog.
It might not seem like much, but don’t despise small beginnings. God doesn’t! (See Zechariah 4:10.)
2. Link It to an Established Habit
The second step is to attach your new Bible habit to an already existing habit, because brain science shows you’re more likely to be consistent. In the examples above, you’ll notice every tiny Bible habit is linked to something you’re likely already doing. In my home, we do Bible and breakfast as a family, but you figure out what works for you and your family!
3. Celebrate Your Wins
This last step may seem silly for a Bible habit, but consider that every day you successfully complete your tiny habit, you’re one step closer to establishing a lifelong habit of meeting God in His Word. Keep your heart focused on Jesus as you read Scripture, and talk with Him throughout the day about what you read. Thank Him for helping you make progress, and recognize that He rejoices over you (Zephaniah 3:17).
Over time, your tiny habit will be established for life, and you can build on it, lengthening the amount of time you’re reading, or linking it to a new tiny Bible habit. When you fill your day with multiple tiny spiritual habits, you’ll be meditating on God’s Word and talking with Him all day long.
What if you could spend this holiday season meeting with Jesus in the midst of your morning routine? As Christmas draws near, ask Jesus to give you a hunger for His Word. Whatever your busy agenda may hold each day, ask Him to help you create tiny habits of meeting with Him.
Any time you spend quieting your heart before God and worshiping Him is time well spent. But be assured of this: God is not going to be disappointed if you miss a day (or a week) of “quite time” with Him. Nor is He going to be impressed if you check it off each day. The purpose of spiritual habits is not to get more favor with God—Jesus already secured His approval when He took our place on the cross. You are preapproved in Jesus; He invites you to rest in His finished work.
The purpose is to help us worship Jesus as we gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who He is. We prepare our hearts so that when we admire the live nativity scene, when we sit in the candlelight service, and when we wake up Christmas morning, we can join the faithful who have gone before us and sing from the bottom of our hearts, “O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”
Alongside you in the journey of Christmas joy,
P.S. I put together a worksheet with the steps above to help you create your own Tiny Bible Habit this season and in the coming year. Get yours here for free.
Asheritah Ciuciu is a bestselling writer and speaker, wife to her high school sweetheart Flaviu and mama to three spunky kiddos. She grew up in Romania as a missionary kid and studied English and Women’s Ministry at Cedarville University. She is the founder of One Thing Alone Ministries—an online ministry that helps overwhelmed women find joy in Jesus through creative and consistent time in God’s Word. Asheritah is the author of five books including Bible & Breakfast: 31 Mornings with Jesus andUnwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional.
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