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I want to be like the shepherds who, after seeing Jesus and experiencing the wonder of the incarnation, left glorifying and praising God (Luke 2:20). (Unsplash/Dan Kiefer)

Christmas is hands-down my favorite time of the year! I've been known to begin shopping in August, listen to Christmas music in October, get the decorations out in November ... Steve thinks I'm a little nuts. But that's OK!

Even though I love Christmas, it can be easy to lose my sense of wonder. What do I mean by wonder? I mean that absolute amazement, incredible awe and overwhelming astonishment at God's great love and goodness. I never want to lose that sense of wonder. But even though I love Christmas, with all the hustle and bustle, I can let my wonder slip. I want to be like the shepherds who, after seeing Jesus and experiencing the wonder of the incarnation, left glorifying and praising God (Luke 2:20).

So how do we cultivate a sense of wonder? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Light a candle and read Luke 2:1-20, slowly and deliberately.
  2. Ask God to rekindle in your heart a renewed sense of wonder.
  3. Sit outside in the dark and star-gaze. Imagine the night sky filled with angel choirs.
  4. Snuggle a baby close and allow her to wrap her fingers around your finger. Imagine—God Himself, in infant form.
  5. Turn off your phone and take a drive to look at Christmas lights while listening to some of your favorite Christmas carols.
  6. Sit silently for at least 10 minutes and simply ponder the incarnation.
  7. Take a walk in the snow (or along the beach, depending on your situation). As you walk, take in the beauty of creation and imagine that the same God who created the mountains and the oceans became a baby—because He loved you!
  8. Get up early in the morning while it's still dark and sit with your coffee with only the Christmas tree lights on. Contemplate Jesus as the light of the world.
  9. Visit a barn. Feel the hay, smell the smells and try to imagine giving birth there.
  10. Take the Christmas Praise Challenge. You can find it free on my website, beckyharling.com.  
    Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world.

This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.

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