Monday, December 01, 2014

And So It Begins


December. Another month. Advent. The first day has passed. Why is it that our North American culture (and possibly others) is in such a hurry at this time of year? Retail stores swing into high gear to ensure that shoppers rush about purchasing this or that "must have" item. All over Blogdom there's a mad hurry to decorate for Christmas and show it all off on the first day of December.

I look at all of the empty numbers on my grown-up girl Advent calendar. Days to fill until Christmas Day. How can I savor each one? Where is my focus? I love the baking, the decorating, the wrapping of gifts and the anticipation. But behind all of that, I want a quiet heart, a heart that's focused on the meaning of Advent, the coming of the Christ Child into this dark world.
 


Waiting. An unpleasant way to spend time. Impatience sets in as we wait in line ups at the post office, the cash registers, the traffic lights. With aching hearts we wait for deep grief to subside, or watch the slow deterioration of a loved one's health. Some wait with dread for there will be emptiness and the missing face of someone beloved. We all wait for something.

As I wait, I long for healing and wholeness. Not only for myself but for all those who hurt, for this broken world. I wait in hope that the promises given at the coming of the Christ Child - the promises of hope, joy, peace and love - will be evidenced in my life and extended to others. Advent is for those who long for something beyond the hurry.


There's no question that I have busy days ahead. Somehow, by God's grace, I will measure my pace. What gets done, gets done. I must decide what is most important. What are my expectations? Are they realistic? How will I ensure they are met? 

Here are a few of my hopes for this season: 

Relaxed time with family. A special outing with two little Misses. Walks with my husband. A visit with my parents and siblings. A quiet heart. Helping to meet others' needs in a tangible way. Joy.   

O come, O come Immanuel.



 

 



33 comments:

Marigold Jam said...

Beautiful and true but let's not just wait to do something about the sadness and troubles in our broken world but try and do something however small to mend it. Wishing you a peaceful Advent.

Debbie said...

I hung on every word of this because I relate to it so well. I'm just not ready (emotionally) for the typical hustle and bustle that comes with this month. What I want is a season of quiet peace and a savoring.

Jojo said...

Such a beautiful post and important thoughts to be remembered throughout the holiday season. It becomes hard to squeeze in all that must be done, particularly when one works. Going slow, taking time to enjoy every moment. Taking time to hear and see the many needs of others. Taking time to pray for peace in the world.

Decor To Adore said...

Truly a perfect post my friend. May I feature it and a photo on Sunday?

Blessings to you

Pamela Gordon said...

Such a beautiful post Lorrie! I like your 'grown up' advent calendar and hope you show it again when it's almost full so we can see what you've added each day. I am mourning and sad and taking my time this year. If it doesn't get done I'm not worried. Have a blessed day.

ann said...

Oh how you have spoken to my heart. As a child, I would ask my daddy what he wanted for Christmas and he would always answer "Peace and Quiet." I came to understand his request only a short time ago. I want a peaceful heart, a quiet house which will help me to spread joy of the season. You have served us well today with your reminder of the real joy and reason for the season. Let the others out there go crazy; we will enjoy the peace a joy and savor each moment for the right reasons.

Cheryl said...

Such a beautiful and thought-provoking post, Lorrie. Yes. A quiet heart. Reflection. Focus on The Gift.

Thank you for the gentle reminder.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Very touching.

podso said...

Good thoughts, Lorrie, for all of us. I have done a lot of my shopping on line this year and that is so freeing, I don't miss being out in all the frenzy and bustle. I'm looking forward to slowness this season. Your photos are beautiful!

Forest Dream Weaver said...

If we can slow down and enjoy,this a magical time! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

happywonderer.com said...

Wonderful thoughts and encouragement to take time to ponder this Advent time of year...

My Little Home and Garden said...

I hope your Advent time is full of peace for you and your family.

Karen

Poppy said...

Hi Lorrie,

So enjoyed reading and pondering your heartfelt words today - a beautifully written post, about the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, and all that we can learn from Him, especially nowadays, in a world that is indeed dark and broken, and in need of prayer and peace.

Have a lovely day, my friend.

Poppy

Chel @ Sweetbriar Dreams said...

It is indeed a rush, which is why this year I am taking my time and savouring each day. I haven't got the tree up yet as I am just not at that point. It's going to be a slow build up for my household so that we are not all burnt out by the big day. Take care xx

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It really is hard to slow the time down and enjoy every minute...no matter what time of year. We're doing a lot less this year to enjoy our time more. Sweet hugs, Diane

Friko said...

How right you are. I hate all this rushing about, spending money on tat and forgetting the true meaning of Christmas.

I hope your wishes come true; actually, I am sure they will because that is the lady you are. A candle, a friend, a dear one, the bright, expectant eyes of a child, a peaceful meal, a walk in a winter wonderland, what more is there that really matters?

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I guess that's why I put out my winter decor, so that I can sit back and enjoy it for several months. Time goes so fast as we get older but we can slow it down by taking one day at a time and appreciating the pleasure each brings.

Carole Reid said...

Thank you Lorrie.

Mrs.Rabe said...

I too, like to take a slow pace in this season. I want to be present. I'm working on a blog post about it myself.

I love what you've said here.

Deanna

Vee said...

I think I used to try to get everything done so that I could enjoy it for a longer period of time. I did not enjoy the process, but loved the result. Now I am older and must change my approach. I love to do as you have done and consider what I really want to do this Christmas season. I really want to go out to breakfast with John and to go shopping with my daughter, sledding with the grands. All the other things will be icing on the Christmas cake,

Bonnie said...

So eloquently said! A wonderful reminder. Enjoy the peace of the season.

Lovella ♥ said...

What a lovely way to remember the days of advent Lorrie. Your heart is right where it should be. Lovely post.

Cranberry Morning said...

That is an excellent post, Lorrie! We all need to focus on the hope that came to the world that night so long ago - and stop rushing like crazy - for what? Usually, they inconsequential things. The things that matter are the things you named. Have a blessed Advent and Christmas season.

Jill Harrison said...

Truly beautiful thoughts and words. I hope the joy and peace and love of Christmas come to you and yours. Enjoy the preparations, and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

materfamilias said...

I miss the spiritual Advents of my younger years -- must find some ways to bring some of that back. . . thanks for the inspiration.

heather meads said...

What a wonderful post Lorrie, I like your 'grown-up girl Advent' and what it means to you.

Debby Ray said...

Hi Lorrie...reading this post through Cheryl's blog...and so glad I came! Why have I not been following you all this time?? Your post speaks directly to my heart...this is where I want my focus to be as well and I agree with you 100%. Like Vee said, I want to get it done as soon as possible so I can enjoy it longer but sometimes it can just get crazy can't it? That "grown-up advent calendar", in all of it's simplicity is just so beautiful!

Marilyn said...

Love your thoughts here. I try to finish shopping and cards before Dec. 1st, so I can slow down and enjoy the wrapping, the music, the candles, and decorating.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

So very true, in the hustle and bustle the true joy of Christmas gets lost. It's a time for family, for being thankful for all we have and for telling those who matter most in our lives how much they mean to us. Thanks for this reminder.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

And that is one of my all time favorite Christmas hymns as well.

Before I read blogs or blogged, I was happy to browse through a magazine or two at the grocery store in regards to decor and such, and when I was growing up my mom always had those Ideals books.

As to seeing other's decor it was mostly, in my lifetime, about the Christmas lights outdoors. Taking drives at night to view them here and there.

Seeing people in Blogland decorate their homes mid-November in order to have all of their shots taken and posts written in order to have their tours up, along with 10 or 20 other people at the same time, just boggles my mind. I guess they must have a lot of readers that like to take the tours and such, though, if they go to all of that trouble. To each his own :)

gretchenjoanna.com said...

Your longing and aching sound like prayers to me - waiting with all the broken and hurting for the Lord's coming. What better use of your fatiguing hours?

Storybook Woods said...

Very clever and elegant. I love the idea!! Clarice

Georgia Milton said...

Very beautiful post, I share all your thoughts.



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