The first week of Advent is upon us. It’s supposed to be a time of waiting, watching, and preparing our hearts for the much anticipated coming of Jesus. Apparently I skipped the watching and waiting part, and jumped ahead to the preparing part. Preparing physically, not spiritually: trees are up, house is decorated, stockings are hung — the ones my mom made throughout the years as my family grew. I’ve got them all hung by my fireplace, even though it’s just me and Tom here now.
I’m doing everything at a frantic pace. Or at least when I’m not walking in circles, talking on the phone, checking in with family in Florida — I’m working with a sense of urgency. In the past couple of weeks since I’ve been back from Florida, Tom and I have celebrated Thanksgiving with Adam and Alicia, visited with Aaron, Amy and our dear, sweet, handsome, extremely bright, absolutely delightful grandsons, and hosted a small hunting party on the first day of deer, which happens to be a very important date in these here parts.
|Only Steve (far left) got a deer on Monday, but I heard Aaron (far right) got one today.|
|Pastor Brian and Jesse got skunked too. The guys who didn’t have doe tags saw — you guessed it — all the doe.|
This week I rushed around preparing our house for Christmas…
|Inside tree done. Outside icicle lights hung.|
|Dining room decorated. Outside tree up and lit.|
Was that just one week ago we attended the State College CMA church with our son, his wife, and kids? Last Sunday Aaron began his sermon suggesting that before we rush headlong into the Christmas season we ought to take time to reflect on the thanksgiving season. Beyond Thanksgiving was a welcome and much needed message, one I intended to mull over, take to heart, and practice. But alas, life got in the way. I forgot to get quiet and get with God. I forgot to begin Advent.
All is not lost, I can go back and listen again. Perhaps you’d like to listen-in as well: Beyond Thanksgiving, by Aaron Henning, Dec. 1, 2013 at the State College CMA church. (You may choose audio or video.)
On the re-listen, I’m ready for Advent. I will heed the reminder to express gratitude as a daily habit. I can come into God’s presence with thanksgiving any time, all the time. And in that, I think it’s wise to put aside my activities and responsibilities and go be with the part of my family who I need to be with most particularly at this time.
So off I go with the well wishes and support of my husband, who is a gem, heading back to Florida to have a little more time with Mom, Dad, and siblings. I’ll be watching and waiting, anticipating the Lord coming to us, even as my mom goes to Him. Or watching in delight as He gives us more time together. Either way, we’ll bask in His presence, and I’ll offer my sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.