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.

641,775 thoughts on “Wonderful Expectation”

  1. Felicitaciones Gise por el programa y ojalá Robert no sea tan tonto de dejarte escapar ewn verdad hacen una linda pareja saolo les falta un empujoncito me gustaría estr ahí para dárselos jejeje. Suerte y abientense nomas :p

  2. I get your point, and I am well versed in the stories, iconography and symbols associated with the saints, angels, and biblical heroes. I grew up in a family that collected Mexican Retablos, etc., including Greek, Russian, Armenian, and Eastern Orthodox relics. But, there are several versions of ‘the bible’, some include books that are not in others, some are dreadful revisions of stories from long before, as you well know. If I read ancient Greek, I may be more inclined to have an interest in them.

  3. Jerry Golden has pictures of the wall they’re building to divide Jerusalem. Listening to the US news, you’d think this was still in the talking stages, but these pictures are pretty much a done deal. In what might be a related post, someone named Nathanael posted a dream he had on another site where he saw the 4 horses from the apocalypse being led out of their stalls. Either way, the time grows short.

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  18. Caro Aldo, concordo in toto con le tue pertinenti considerazioni, che aggiungono valore al post e alla discussione.Ti ringrazio per il suggerimento bibliografico, che inserirò nel post.Un caro saluto.annarita

  19. Olá, meninasEsse amor universal nos dispensa tanto afeto ao coração que se divide e reparte aos menores sentidos do coração… Bom demais!!!Bjm de paz às duas e só hoje pude passar por estar fora do Estado

  20. Soso… nur also auf der dunklen Seite der Macht. Na schön, man muss ja sehen wo man bleibt. Und trotzdem: “unser Baby” >BoMR&P< ist besser – auch, wenn’s jetzt nicht mehr gemeinsam groß gezogen werden kann Grüße und bis bald!

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