My morning started, as usual, with a cup of coffee. As I reached into the dishwasher to get a mug, I noticed that my Grandmother Allie's mug was clean. So instead of grabbing the closest one, I rearranged and got her mug. As I was readying my coffee, much the same way she taught me when I was 3 without quite as much milk and sugar, I began a letter in my head to my grandmother. I wanted to share with her what my children are doing. I wanted to tell her about Stephen and the joy I feel at seeing him in love and with new purpose in his life. I wanted to share with her what Allie is doing in Africa. In my head I wrote about how the tradition of strong women has continued down the line and that the granddaughter named after her is maybe one of the strongest yet. I told her how right she was back in 1985, Jack McKinney was/is the one for me. I share with her how much he loves me and cares for me. I told her how he makes me laugh. How he makes me feel so safe. I described my knitting group to her and told her the stories of each woman there. I told her about the joy I receive from being part of that group. I express my regret that she didn't live long enough to see her craft become so popular or the new glorious yarns that are available. I thank her for her early lessons in crochet and for sparking the interest in me long, long ago. I tell her that I think of her almost daily. That I love her. That she lives on in all of our hearts.
In other words, I experienced advent this morning. Peace, love, joy, and hope. They flooded my heart as I wrote that letter to my Grandmother. In the midst of the busiest week in a long time for me, advent found me. And luckily enough for me, I listened. How about you? Have you stopped long enough to hear the bells ringing? Have you listened for the soft whispers of your heart and soul? Have you felt the warmth of love flood your heart?
Stop. Listen. Feel.