23 December 2016

an advent redeemed

If I'm being really honest, I've failed at my goal. To keep a quiet heart, to be reflective and intentional this advent. It's been a whirlwind this season - always feeling one step behind where I think I should be. Grand plans have fallen victim to unending to do lists. We are two days away from Christmas and I long for quiet. 

The great thing though, about living a life swallowed up by God's grace, is that it's never too late. He knows my heart and my circumstance and my longing for Him. I think back to that first Christmas. I imagine things weren't quiet and serene for Mary either. That she didn't have time to ponder and reflect as she rode nine months pregnant on the back of a donkey along dusty roads into Bethlehem. The quiet came after. That night in the manger, taking in her new baby, knowing but not knowing how great and wonderful and full of love the world just became. 

That's what I'm trusting God for right now, tonight. That in the midst of the whirlwind of the days leading up to Christmas, there will be moments of quiet. To sit and reflect on this baby that came into the world and saved it. God in the flesh, right in our midst. 

I went to my son's Christmas performance this week, families filling the church to the brim, eager to hear their little ones sing loudly for all to hear. Away in a Manger and We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to Jesus. Between classes taking the stage, there was a bit of a lull - siblings grew restless in the pews, parents shuffling and starting conversations, and our pastor stood up and directed everyone to their hymnals and asked all to join in singing Silent Night. No background music, just voices filling our little sanctuary with words that've been sung thousands of times. Tears filled my eyes as the beauty of that simple moment filled my heart. The hope of what's coming, of all the magic and grace and joy and peace and goodness that comes on Christmas morning, when the Light of the world came to live among us.

So maybe my advent hasn't looked the way I'd intended it. Jesus is still coming. He's still who my heart is celebrating. He still fills our great big world and my little tiny one with hope. Unending hope. And my heart could not be more grateful.

*this is a post I wrote a few years back that showed up on my facebook memories feed today and rang true, yet again. I thought I'd share it in case someone else can relate.


  1. What a powerful post - thank you for sharing! It seems that Christmas for most people means the OPPOSITE of quiet and simple, but it's a wonderful goal to strive for - to really appreciate what a special time it is and what it truly means. -- Kristen @ hopingforaharvey.com

  2. Wow, another amazing post.

    Since I was lucky enough to stumble upon your blog I've been addicted and can't stop reading! You are truly a refreshing point of view. I appreciate your words and willingness to share your experiences. My husband and I blog as well. We write about our adventures as a family, we can't have children but until the day we are blessed with one, we will follow along your journey. We'd be honored to get a visit to our website from you! www.beingbolens.com We look forward to getting to know you virtually!

    Have a blessed day,

    The Bolen's