Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Season of Advent

This past week I have found myself in a state of tiredness (left from Thanksgiving, cold, etc.) and a little stressed over the Christmas presents not gotten, and realized I am doing the very thing I swore I wouldn't do this year.

Last year was a very different Christmas season for our family. The weeks proceeding were filled with chaos, stuff, stress, etc. Then Christmas Eve, into the wee morning hours of Christmas day, my husband and I sat in a hospital room hearing the news that our baby boy had died at 16 weeks into the pregnancy. On what should have been a joyous holiday, we were in a state of shock. However, as we spent hours in the hospital with all the procedures, I was so struck with the fact that this is WHY Christ came to earth. To rid us of all the pain, suffering and sin we have to deal with. I had never experienced Christ's birth in such a real way before. And had never slowed down as much as I was forced to then to really think.

The Advent season is usually the 4 weeks preceding Christmas, or the day we celebrate Christ's birth. Wikipedia defines it as: "the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus." It's the excitement of children, counting down the days. It's the realization that we are a blessed people with a loving God, who cares so much.

In light of advent, I have quit school (we home school) for the season, and will be spending time with my boys. Last Christmas, I would have gladly said "come quickly Lord." But I have two little ones who need to also want the same. So we may not buy or make a gift for everyone we know, or run ragged to every event. But we will enjoy what we will do, and hopefully they will catch the true Christmas spirit-the season of Advent, and understand why we celebrate. My hope is that amidst the chaos, you will too.


Bridgette Boudreaux said...

Carrie, Thank you for sharing this. I was just sitting here feeling bad for myself because I don't know if I'll get all those little gifts bought and delivered by Christmas (you know the pediatrician, neighbors, etc.). Growing up in a Lutheran church the season of Advent was second only to Easter morning and I appreciate your reminder to slow down and enjoy this time of anticipation!

Betsy said...

Amen, Carrie! This is why I bought 90% of our Christmas gifts on line this year--I decided that my children wouldn't enjoy Christmas if their earliest memories are of being dragged to store after store and of Mommy being frantic all the time. I am done with the Christmas shopping and am headed to a cookie decorating party at another mom's house this morning with the three musketeers (the other mom, by the way, does the same thing with homeschooling and takes December off!).