Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Begins

It's the first week of Advent and already, I'm impatient.

Coming two months early to start, I guess I always have been. It doesn't explain why I'm always late everywhere, but it does shed light on my inability to diet, budget or maintain a cleaning routine. It also explains why I struggle beyond the easy level with Rock Band, I keep jumping the count.

Like everyone, I am my own worst enemy. Original sin just messes with every gift we have if we let it and I do all too often. Delayed gratification is something I struggle with; I like the immediate hit of a comment on a blog and thus often surrender the better prize of a crafted publishable piece. I eat the pie when it's served. I don't take pitches and I panic in the pocket in touch football. The present that is perfect at first glance is too much to not purchase. I don't like looking, I like finding. God knows this, so He placed my future husband in front of me first day of college.

This year's prayer theme was "Wait on the Lord." Essentially, my husband and I have thrown this line out at each other all year long whenever things got hard. Sometimes it has meant serve, other times it has meant patience and most infuriating, sometimes it has meant both. Advent is the Church's "Wait on the Lord" instruction to all of us.

You'd think a year of meditating on this bit of wisdom would have paid off, but I still give hints about presents if they're really cool gifts. I used to do my shopping last minute so I wouldn't mess up and tell people what I'm giving. My current solution had been to tell SOMEONE what I got someone else but even that makes it harder for me not to give more hints to the recipient. It comes down to the fact that I don't like secrets and really stink at surprises. I've always found out what each kid I was having was. I always jumped up and down the last week hoping the time would be sooner than the induced date scheduled. Again, God knows how to work around my flaws and never has indulged my impatience on this point.

Even the one kid who was premature made me sit for a week and the other one that needed an emergency c-section made my husband wait in a room alone to pray while the doctors got ready. I had to wait to find out she'd been born, I didn't feel a thing and she didn't cry at first. Then we got the shock of great joy and that was what we needed, seeing her face and touching her cheek. This is what Christmas is; the shock of the angels, the shock of the star, the shock of the little family in the stable being the salvation of the world; the shock of seeing the one you love completely for the first time.

Christmas is the scheduled delivery day when time will slow down, when we will look around and miss whoever is not there, and feel the day would be better, more and more wonderful if everyone were in one place. We will long for Heaven because Earth only hints with all it's wonder and beauty and bounty but does not satisfy and we really really know it.

So as of today, the all Christmas carols radio station(with the notable exception of a few banned for life tunes), is allowed. We made a list of what we hope to have happen during these next few weeks but have promised not to freak at what doesn't. I will try to "Be still and know He is there." Holding onto the infant Jesus I know will bring the strong true peace not of this world but right now, out in the fields, it's hard not to want to run straight for that star. But then I remember, "Wait on the Lord." So I'm waiting. I'm not patient, but I'm waiting.

Have a blessed Advent.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

I learned in the 2 years before Sonshine came along that waiting on God is the hardest thing to do on this planet!!

then he came early....and Gator even earlier..and sister early too. I've also learned not to take for granted those last moments when you think you can "get it all done".

3 kids and a hysterectomy later I have no "big belly pics". I always wanted one, but kept waiting till I was "really big....right at the end." then the end came and here's baby with no belly pic.

So now I have a deadline that all the gift making and buying is to be done by thanksgiving (didn't quite make it this year) so that I can sit back and enjoy the time of waiting. For waiting with anticipation, while a challenge, can also be a blessing.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!