I did not grow up knowing about the advent season. I don't think it is part of the Southern Baptist tradition. Probably too much like the "Catholics". Just kidding. I don't know if it is part of their tradition now or not. For me, Advent is something I have learned about as an adult. Unfortunately after my first introduction, it became a part of my husband's job, and quite frankly when I heard Advent, I heard "Your husband is going to be busier than normal, if that is possible". Don't get me wrong, there were seasons where the message got through. There were years I could feel the meaning. I am just saying overall, it was part of Jack's work. This year it is different. I am not even in church to hear about advent, yet here it is. This morning I feel it in my soul. So, here are my thoughts.
Advent is waiting. Not the fingers drumming, horn honking, hurry up waiting. It is the heart opening, soul expecting, mind wondering waiting. It is in this place that we do find hope, joy and peace. I feel my family has been in this place for the last year.
Jack left the ministry last year the Sunday before Advent. We have spent part of this year waiting to see what Jack would do. Would he teach? Would he be a therapist? Would he write? We have spent part of this year waiting to see what our lives would look like. Would we start having friends over more? Would we start new hobbies? How would we spend our new-found free time? There were many wonderings. Like who did we want to become? What do we want to do with the second half of our lives? What brings us peace? What brings us joy?
Those of you who know me are probably guffawing at this moment. You know that I don't wait well. I tend to worry, get anxious, even panic when I don't have a plan or know what is going on. I also tend to worry about money quite a bit, especially since I no longer teach. But you know, this past year, none of those things have entered my mind. Oh sure, we have thought about money. But again I would use the word, wonder. We have wondered how can we make a little more to make it through this "building up" stage of Jack's practice. This is miraculous.
A sense of calm and peace settled over our family this year. As we have spent time wondering, exploring, and loving each other, joy has filled our lives. No, it has not been an easy year. Yes, we have had some significant trials. In years past, these dramas would have easily defined the year for me, but not now. We are still waiting. We are still wondering. We are still loving.
What are you waiting for? What are you wondering about? Who are you loving? I pray this advent season finds you. I pray you are able to open your heart and let the sense of peace, hope and joy enter. I love you all.