Hope you’ve had a wonderful week. Mine started out with church, teaching our second grade Sunday school class, and a lovely Christmas concert. I was filled up and rested for Monday, but it’s been another hectic week and our Advent calendar has been wholly neglected. The magnetic manger figures hiding behind the dates represent my own lack of quiet contemplation and reflection — gifts available but sadly unopened. I’m not ready for Christmas by any measure, inwardly or outwardly, and now it’s apparent I am just not getting it together like I’d hoped.
Not all is lost. In the last two weeks I’ve spent six days and nights out of town for sporting events. Mid-December seems an odd time to do that, but what a gift that my sons get to make such fun memories, and that I get to be a small part of it. Between trips I tried to strike a balance between the accountability mom and the nurturing mom: “This is the final push of the semester, FOCUS!!” and then a little later, “I baked you cookies.” I am far from the ideal mother or wife. I am a worse friend and sibling. But I know for sure that people are the right priority. Always.
I wish my house was spotless. I wish our gifts were thoughtfully wrapped with ribbons and bows. I wish those cookies that I made were not break and bake. I wish I had read more and prayed more this season. I wish I had watched more Christmas movies. I wish my decorations had a little more oomph to them. I wish I had played more Christmas music and had more well-planned meals. I wish I had Christmas cards ready to mail.
But I’m trying to be grateful that I have at least made lasting memories with my people, and plan to do more of it before we ring in 2020.
I hope you have had a peaceful Advent season thus far, that it has felt slow and contemplative. But I also hope that you have had time to just love on your people.
God has the capacity to love the whole world, but we do not. Instead, we are called to love one another. After all, Jesus says that’s how we’ll be known.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 NIV