Wednesday, December 9, 2015

'Tis the Season...

Our advent wreath
For the last couple of weeks, the kids and I have been observing advent. We've talked about how it is a time of waiting but also one in which we celebrate the "coming" or "arrival" of Jesus. Each candle we light reminds us of the hope, peace, joy, and love that we celebrate at Christmas time. Generally, the kids get all squirmy when we're having these talks and just want me to hurry up to the part where one of them gets to light a candle and we all say a prayer before they scatter in different directions, but I am glad we've started this new tradition. The weekly lighting of the candles been a nice way to slow down and get them to focus on what Christmas means.

Besides the wreath, we've also been keeping up with our usual traditions: each day, the kids jockey over whose turn it is to do the advent calendar. And, all three of them were excited to hang their 2015 ornaments as the first ones on our tree again this year.

Even our host student from Japan got in on the act.
Our playlists are set permanently to Christmas music. The gifts are bought (but not wrapped), the holiday cards have been ordered (but not sent), and I've got the teachers' gifts sorted out! We've even had our first (and hopefully last) snow of the season.

On our way to 16 inches. Fortunately, it all melted within a week.
In other words, things are going about as we'd expect them to in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

There's one major difference, though. This advent season, we're doing another kind of waiting. We're waiting for the imminent arrival of lumbar fusion number two. Ironically, we find ourselves preparing for it in the same way we might prepare for the arrival of a new baby. We're cramming in a lot of last-minute doctors' appointments. We're making sure there are people to help take care of the kids and that we have enough food. We're negotiating the details of how we will handle the shift in the household division of labor. And, we are waiting with not a little apprehension to see just what life will be like after this particular arrival.

The message of advent--of the anxious anticipation for this baby who would bring hope, peace, joy, and love--has taken on a very different meaning for me this year. Our lives will surely be different once Ren has the surgery, whether it be for a few months or forever. Being able to meditate on the meaning of this advent season has helped me to keep my focus on the positives--a co-worker who set up a Meal Train account that was filled almost immediately; offers of help from people I never even thought to ask; kids who have suddenly become unnaturally cooperative; two raffle wins in the same day (for gift certificates to multiple local restaurants)--instead of dwelling on all the negative. All I know for sure is that a very big and very long surgery will take place five days from now. As for the rest of it, I'm going to focus on the hope, peace, joy and love of advent and let everything else work itself out.

1 comment:

Princess Morag said...

sounds like you are definitely being held in the arms of the one who holds us all. I hope the unnatural cooperation continues and the surgery goes smoothly. Advent blessings to you all.