As the Christmas season starts to get harried by the constant barrage of things that we are told we must do and buy in order to make the right impression on ourselves and others I always tend to get introspective, wanting Christmas to be more than a long to do list interspersed with fun parties and gatherings and punctuated by a big Visa bill. I want to show those around me the love of Jesus and my love for them and yet does it always have to be with gifts of the more traditional sense?
This fall has been a harried time too. One of those seasons in which I often feel like I am helplessly being tugged here and there, not really able to get at the reins of this speeding wagon.
Why is it that the house seems eternally out of order, that the bills seem to overwhelm my pocketbook, that my ability to gently love and guide my children is there one moment and then vanishes at the first sign of the every day speed bumps in life.
Maybe you know them, the things I didn’t think I would have to deal with as a parent…
“Sister, can you come and help me?” says one daughter. “The baby just pooped on the floor!”
“Why didn’t you say that she was throwing all the board books in the bathtub?”
“What do you mean the Christmas tree just fell on you?”
Some times real life is too much.
As Christmas approaches again I strive to peel away all of the pageantry and to survive the daily circus and just be a part of the anticipation, the advent of the King. I feel so unready in my messy house and my dirty track pants (‘cause the laundry is piled so high).
Then I remember the focus in our school this year… “Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child”. As I journey this crazy, bumpy path, I myself need to be prepared and not to focus on the preparations of the pageantry all around me.
This fall hasn’t been a good one for maintaining the best routines; it’s been “one of those days” more often than not. There’s a lot of room for growing, learning and improving – and I’m mostly talking about me. But if we focus on preparing both our children and ourselves for the seasons of life we will be ready to take on the circumstances. In the short term I want to prepare my heart for Christmas: to thrill at the anticipation of the arrival of the King. In the longer term: my desire for my family and for myself is that we will be prepared for the path laid out before us. If being prepared for Christmas or for life was all about managing a “to do” list it would be so much easier – even though I am so often not “managing” the way I’d like to be. Perhaps that is why we all need to take the harder route and let the One whose words are the light for our path to lead us.
Wishing you a blessed season of advent Friends as you prepare to celebrate the arrival of our King!