Wonderful Expectation

I’m sitting in front of a computer screen blank, cursor flashing with possibility, my hair damp from the night’s shower (that I shared with the dog who got skunked three days ago and needed another dose of something to fight the lingering skunk funk), listening to the chug of the washing machine and the static white noise coming through the baby monitor. Outside, our house’s Christmas lights are reflecting off of the wet pavement. And I am trying to find the words to express what my heart so deeply longs for in this season of Advent with young children.IMG_5033

It’s slowness. Care. Unhurried appreciation that I want most. More than anything. It’s my baby boy’s first Christmas and my daughter’s fifth. Their first Christmas together. My first Christmas as a mother of two. Why can’t the world see that and understand that I am desperate for the opportunity to cherish this? If Advent in its very soul embodies the spirit of expectation then why does the world make it so very hard to move slowly enough to do so? Christmas is a week away. We didn’t see Santa this year or ride on the Polar Express train. We haven’t baked. I love doing all of those things but they just didn’t happen and it’s because I didn’t force them to happen. Actually, I haven’t forced anything. And it has felt so good. Now I am not here to praise myself for finally doing what is best for our family and for our kids, because I have a lot of rushing and forcing in my past that I need to make up for. I’m not even here to tell you to “take it easy” this Christmas because in all honesty you’ve probably heard that message somewhere. But I will tell you that if you have been looking for an excuse to have a holiday season that is filled with less…you don’t need an excuse. You don’t. Now my gift to my father-in-law and his sweet wife is simpler and less involved that I had originally planned, and that’s bothering the perfectionist in me a great deal. But they don’t know how I wanted it to turn out. All they will know tomorrow when I show up at their house is that my children love them, we love them, and we will have a meaningful gift (and wine) to share. My neighbors might not get home baked cookies from me this Christmas, but they also know that I had a baby this year and I somehow doubt that they will be expecting cookies from the lady who only has time to get her mail every three or four days.

All I’m saying is that it is OK to not have a Santa picture to post on social media. It’s OK that the ornaments on your tree start halfway up because that’s where your one year old can’t reach them. It’s also OK to take your daughter to the Nutcracker ballet because that is the thing that will make her little ballerina heart sing. And to tell your husband on the day that it is pouring down rain that you still really want to go get a Christmas tree, but that you promise a back massage later.  Traditions are important. They are beautiful. They are cement to a family’s foundation and to a child’s youth. But you can have just a few of them and still be a good mom. Heck, a fantastic mom. When Mary said “yes” to the angel and “yes” to carrying Emmanuel, it was a simple but profound acceptance and an act of obedience from her heart. She didn’t have to do any more or any less than follow God’s plan. You and I don’t either. Mothering our babies through one of the most beautiful seasons of the year can be a profound but wonderfully simple thing if we let it.

My hope tonight is that however your heart celebrates the holiday that it can embrace a slow and beautiful simplicity. Happy Advent. Merry Christmas. And may your home be filled with glorious expectation.

662,125 thoughts on “Wonderful Expectation”

  1. szept30 Can I make a suggestion? I believe youve obtained something good here. But what really should you added a pair links to a page that backs up what youre saying? Or possibly you can give us one thing to look at, one thing that could connect what youre saying to one thing tangible? Only a suggestion. Anyway, in my language, there aren’t much good source like this.

  2. I to am looking forward to Ann’s book. I will be the first in line to get a signed copy when she releases it. I consider Ann a good friend and agree that she is a great photographer.I think you project is a good one Trevor, I’ve been on the PCH a few times and would love to see you work on a book.

  3. Selvfølgelig mÃ¥ der gerne være et mærkat 😀 Hvis jeg havde en mor som strikkede til mine børn ville jeg da være ret sÃ¥ stolt af at der var et fint mærkat pÃ¥.Vesten har et flot mønster og ja, det kan da ogsÃ¥ bruges som halsrør.God strikkelyst, hvad du end vælger.kh. Lis

  4. Moi!Kesäaikaan keskiaikamarkkinoilla (esim. Hollola, Turku, Hämeenlinna)on usein mukana Unkarilainen mies, joka myy noita kukkaroita eli tökejä. Taisi olla kolmea eri kokoa ja paljon värejä. Myös nahkaisia laukkuja on myynnissä. Kiersi ainakin viime kesänä Noitavasara nimisen sepän pajan mukana.

  5. Cute, and so fitting! I can’t wait to hear!!! We found out with both boys. But, when baby #3 is on the way, right now I say I won’t find out. We had lots of “another boy?” comments when people would ask what we were having, and that question just doesn’t sit well with me… Like I am supposed to be disappointed or nervous that it’s a boy. I find it a huge honor that God trusts me to train up courageous men to do His work. I’m sure that the “another boy” comment would rob me of a bit of joy the third time around. Also, I am wanting to experience “not” finding out!

  6. Acho que vc deve ter um blog que te faça bem, onde vc se sinta vc mesma. Nao importa se 1 ou 1000 pessoas estarão lendo, mas sim que vc esteja satisfeita com ele.Acho ótimo vc compartilhar seus gostos, dicas culturais, aquele photo diary é muito bacana!Quem se identifica com a Amanda verdadeiramente, vai te acompanhar mesmo que o blog mude um pouco.

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  8. Hola chicas pues aqui a hablar un poco con vosotras. Pues primero aqui tiendas de scrap cerca de mi ciudad no hay, pero me compro cositas por internet, y siempre siempre en mis compras entran flores, flores y flores, las demas cosas tambien papeles, pinturas dietcuts, cistas, de todo pero lo que no falta nunca son las flores.Y mi herramienta favorita para scrapear es la pistola de pegamento, que no se como se llama scraperamente hablando. jajaja.Y bueno eso.Y a Mari carmen, pues que pases genial tu viaje a brasil.Y besos a todas

  9. It was a good vid for sure!Its just too bad they did not know that IT WAS A SAC at the end.I’m sure theres a writer or a journalist among us,PTZers,right?So,that person should write one of these books;”CYST POPPING FOR DUMMIES”.I,personally really like some of these books.At first,I really thought they were for “dummies”,but they are more for “ppl w/o experiences”.Thanks for the vid HS!

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