Before a new baby comes into the world, usually a family diligently prepares for its arrival.

The family prepares the environment that the baby will thrive in, from the set-up of the room to the clothes the new baby will come home in.

The family prepares their emotional life as well, changing their hearts and minds in preparation for a new life, a new voice, and a new perspective.

The family prepares their financial life, hopefully putting money aside, creating a savings plan, and otherwise prepping for the addition of a new person who will have needs and wants that must be met.

The family prepares their spiritual life as well, shifting their mindsets, their worship and even thinking about new traditions and how to integrate the new baby into their lives.

When a new baby comes into the world, a family prepares at all levels for the arrival of the baby.

In the Western world, there’s a reason that Thanksgiving precedes Christmas and Christmas precedes the New Year.

The transition from holiday to holiday is not about materialism, commercialism, or even marketing.

The transitions are about gratefulness (preparing the heart), arrival (the baby is born), and possibility (the future is bright).

In conflict, let us not forget the importance of growth into these transitions. Let us prepare our hearts, and our relationships, as diligently as we prepare for the arrival of a new baby into our homes, our communities, and our neighborhoods.