We had a good but noisy Thanksgiving with my family. I grew up around all that noise but I guess I've gotten used to the quiet of just Craig and I. We ate a lot, played some board games (which Craig and I dominated) and caught up on family news. Then, before I knew it, Thanksgiving was over and we were on our way home listening to Christmas music as we went. Ah, Christmas!
The Advent season started Sunday night although we didn't get around to it getting out of Christmas stuff until last night and we didn't have time to do the Advent devotional, but tonight it will happen for sure. Luckily the study we are doing is not 7 days a week so we should be able to catch up during the week.
I love Christmas time in general, but especially the season of Advent and the tradition of lighting the candles each night and doing our devotional. I remember doing it every year growing up and I love doing it together with Craig now. Our first year we missed a number of days but last year was much better and maybe this year we will actually get each one done.
I used to like it mostly because it was a tradition and I really like traditions in general but gradually I learned to like it because I began to see Advent as a season of preparation and I really did feel like my heart was more prepared for Christmas when I spent the time focusing on Christ. It is very hard to make Christmas about Christ when you spend 90% of your free time during December working on decorations, gifts, parties, etc. Spending my evenings refocusing on what is important does really prepare my heart for worship.
But this year, I've been seeing Advent mentioned a lot as a season of waiting and that has really spoken to me.
I feel like I've been waiting for a lot of things this year...waiting for God to bless us with a child, waiting for God to "fix" certain problems in my life or take them away, then waiting for the first trimester to finally end, and now waiting for God to reveal the answers to some big questions we have been asking him about our lives' direction. And while I'm not quite there yet, I have a feeling in a few months I will begin I will want to be done waiting for this baby to come out.
And most of the time, I'm not very good with waiting. I'm hoping this season God can show me more about the joy of waiting. Not just for Christmas morning, but waiting on his timing in all areas of my life.
Just think of how God's people waited and waited for his return. It was a long time, but I happen to think He was worth the wait. The little babe in the manger. And then they still had to wait for him to grow up. Now we wait for Him to return. I also like the how while the idea of preparation brings to mind all the things I need to do before it can happen, waiting is more passive. Not completely passive, God has given us things to do jobs to do while we wait, but we aren't responsible for causing anything to happen, we are just called to be ready when it is. Like
the bridal party, our having full or empty lamps didn't change when the groom came, just who was able to go into the party. I can't make Christmas come any faster by putting up my tree earlier (although many people seem to try) or making sure I have my 12 dozen cookies baked, nor can I slow it down just because it's Christmas eve and I haven't gotten everyone a present. Nope, it comes on December 25th, no matter what. And while I fight it sometimes, I think I
like not having that responsibility. Or at least I should. And that is what I hope to learn this Advent season, the joy of waiting.