Sunday, November 30, 2014

Digging Into the Wait

One year ago, I was in a very different place than I find myself today.

One year ago, I dreaded Advent. Experience had led me to believe it would be a painful season, a season that only heightened my feelings of loss and frustration.

One year ago, God surprised me.

Not only with an Advent experience that ended up being full of peace, an experience that taught me more about Him, that helped me take the focus off myself- but weeks into it's celebration when He had already shown up and worked some healing in my soul, we also got the call that changed our lives. Last advent, the Lord met me in powerful ways- both spiritually and tangibly- with the gifts of hope and the (almost) fulfillment of a dream that was to come to fruition just a few weeks into the new year.

This year, I have been eagerly anticipating this time. Remembering dark, quiet mornings, sipping coffee, pondering the stillness. Knowing that there will be mornings I don't quite get to enjoy it that same way this year, but for a pretty good reason. This year, I have a crazy one-year-old careening around the house, pulling ornaments off the tree. We can't put up our stockings or he'll pull them down. He won't understand a bit of what goes on for the next month, but he'll enjoy the sparkly lights, the crinkle of the wrapping paper, the Christmas boxes that will be so much more fun than the actual toys that come inside them. My older son, however, continues in that sweet spot of parenting. Old enough to enjoy, old enough to participate, to continue to learn and young enough to want all three of those things. To find magic in awaiting the Christ child, to anticipate our nightly readings with the Jesse tree. We don't do Santa or the Elf around here- and I'm pretty convinced his Christmas is just as magical, and certainly as or more meaningful, as any other kid's.

This year, though, I want to dig in in a fresh way. I want to blog my way through the experience. I want to see it from my son's eyes, to experience the Jesse Tree like he does, to do my morning Advent Experience and to continue to train my heart that grew up without much idea of liturgy what it means to really live Advent.

So, today I start. This morning I'll start the Advent Project online. Then I will head to church to worship with my community where hymns and choruses will be sung, where the first candle of Advent will be lit. Later this afternoon, I will head back to celebrate with 70 of those people and our children as we make our own, fresh advent wreaths and celebrate the beginning of the season with a meal together.

Let's go, Advent. Let's see what fresh joys and challenges await.

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