During the years of raising children---I regret to confess--there were years I did not love Christmas---well in fact---I might have even dreaded it---perhaps in a moment of angst purported to hate it.  Life was crazy and hectic with a home, children and the full time-stress filled job.  Year end brings a crescendo of last minute tax planning for any CPA---winding it up to begin the BEYOND crazyville time of tax season.  Clients demand attention---without excuse.  Couple that with normal homework--meals to plan/cook--groceries to buy--mounds of laundry--dirty house to clean--yard to rake and life is a full out race.   The day after Thanksgiving it all begins Christmas programs to attend--Christmas cards to send--presents to buy--for teachers-friends-co-workers--neighbors--school gift exchanges--and on and on--a tree to cut and decorate--a house to decorate--lights to put up outside---cookies to bake, and somewhere in the middle of it all Santa might need some gift ideas.    AND do not forget--we all need to walk out of the house every morning dressed seasonally appropriate.  Most days I was glad to have on the same color shoes and clean underwear and then this is all thrown at me.

The Advent Season was not a time of great joy and peace.  It was more like a time of great stress and shear desperation.  It all had to be "Norman Rockwell" perfect---or I would be a failure.  We all needed to be nestled by the roaring fire watching the twinkling real life tree while the scents of evergreen wafted through the air.  Sitting with our mugs of perfectly brewed hot chocolate topped with hand whipped cream, nibbling on our beautiful home made Christmas cookies--listening to the reading of the Christmas story as carols softly played in the background--the perfect family Christmas.  Somehow in the mad dash for the ideal Christmas, the wait became laborious and the days flew by in a spin of futility.  

Christmas Eve came---we must go to the Candlelight Service, we must visit both sides of extended family, we must leave Santa cookies and milk, all the gifts had to be wrapped.  It all had to be perfect---or what was the point.  Falling into the bed---LONG after Santa had left unassembled toys---the wonder of Christmas morning came as early as 2:00 AM when children hopped out of the bed to see what the Old Elf had left.  Toys are played with---mouths are stuffed with the perfect meal---and sometime shortly after the last dish was washed--I collapsed in a heap of exhaustion.

SOMETHING TELLS ME THIS ISN'T RIGHT---this is not the way the wait should have looked.  Where did I get the idea it all had to be perfect?  By what stretch of my wildest imagination did I think I could accomplish the impossible?  My daughter now tells me she thought it all looked "Norman Rockwell" ish---the eye of the beholder.  All I know is the regret I have now for too many hours worrying about all the wrong things and not enough time left to play with those most important.

The Advent season should be filled with joy and wonder of the coming birth of The King.  I certainly attended all the "church" Christmas functions--each candle-lighting during Advent, sang with the choir for the Christmas cantata, attended the children's Christmas program, provided dishes for the family night supper, sat as a family on Christmas Eve--I did all the right things while waiting.  The one thing I forgot was to leave time to prepare my heart for the celebration of His birth.  

This year--I am spending time in His Word--reflecting upon His birth--the promises of Him coming--re-reading the poetry of the Psalmist.  I am looking not for the perfection of the external--but instead claiming His perfection of my soul. What a wonderful time of waiting--when all is calm--all will surely be bright, as I be still and wait. 

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ
Titus 2:13


  1. Hi Lulu! What a beautiful post. I can just see you sitting with the Word and being blessed with his peace. Not that you weren't blessed before, but as I know I was too, just not in the spiritual place to absorb it. Having the right frame of mind entering into the Advent Season is so key, and I know I was crazy busy as a young mom too. Now older, and hopefully wiser, I have the time to be more reflective, more invested in the quiet part of "all is calm". What a gift! Probably the best gift of all.

    I hope that you will have a beautiful, calm and bright Advent experience. Something tells me you will.
    Wednesday blessings,

    1. Never think I do not struggle with becoming caught up in the trivial---so easy to do!

      I do desire for the beautiful--calm---and bright!

      Blessings, Ceil!

  2. Hmm...funny, we were just discussing this...thank you sweet friend... Blessings

    1. We all struggle with this same thing, Linda!

      Bless you, Friend!


Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!