Maybe it’s just me, but a lot of blogs I’ve read lately feature the theme of peace, quiet and calm reflection. It’s the season of Advent, a time of patiently waiting for the coming of the infant Jesus.
Normally, I’d be all over it. My tree would be up, with Christmas cards bought and ready to mail. In the evenings I’d spend time reflecting on the holy days ahead, as I bask in the glow of my pre-lit tree. Christmas music would play softly in the background, with candles lighting every corner of the room.
Yeah well. That’s not my reality this year.
The kitchen and family room renovation is getting done, but we’re not quite there. My husband doesn’t want the tree up until the walls are painted, and that makes absolute sense…but I do miss it.
The carpenter is stopping by tomorrow to do some finishing work. The plumber comes on Tuesday.
Every day this week, I’ll rise early to get over to my dad’s condo and let the painters in. Then return to make sure they locked up at the end of the day…one step closer to getting it ready to sell.
Naturally, our semi-new Samsung washing machine was one of the models recalled, so we had to have a guy out to fix it.
Everyday, we move more boxes from the basement up to the kitchen to unpack. A slow process because: a) we didn’t thin the herd when we packed it, so: b) as we unpack, we have to decide what to do with each item.
My back decided it needed a vacation, so it went out. The doctor says I don’t have nerve involvement, so it’s medication (which helps) and physical therapy (which starts this week) for me.
I’m sporting a second degree burn on my right hand because I misjudged the heating element in the stove on Thanksgiving weekend. It’s on my dominant hand, so it’s hard to keep clean and dry, but Lord knows I’m trying.
Honestly, I’m up to my eyeballs in crazy. I feel like I’m chasing Advent instead of abiding in it. Quiet moments? What are those? I reach the end of my day, sitting in a chair with pillows packed against my back, failing miserably to get ‘in the mood’. Why can’t I settle into reflection and peace?
Of course, I’m not the first to have a hot mess Advent. Jesus’ mother had her ups and downs during the first one too. Her betrothed wanted to leave her. She spent her first trimester helping her cousin after walking days to reach her. And then, just as she was ready to deliver, she had to leave her Nazareth home for Bethlehem. On a donkey.
Mary sure handled her challenges a lot better than I have. I would love to get to the place of calmly accepting every unexpected, confusing turn. She lived knowing that God would never leave her, as she patiently awaited the birth of her son.
Yes, I’ve got a crazy busy Advent, but Mary inspires me to accept and own it.
It’s all going to be okay. Even if I never have one candle-lit, music filled evening, God is still with me. And my Savior will still be born.
On that day, there will be peace on earth…and in my heart. Believe me, I’m longing for that. And maybe that’s enough.
Maybe longing for Christ is exactly what my Advent should be.
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