I've always LOVED Christmas! Except for the moments of...waiting.
I have memories of having forgotten something on my grocery list, rushing into the store, and screeching to a dead stop before running into a ginormous line because everyone and their brother seems to be shopping, too. My sisters-in-law like to start the season off by going shopping on Black Friday and always invite me to come. But waiting in those long lines, when I could easily just find what I'm looking for on Amazon and have it shipped straight to my door, equals a big fat pass from me. (When I heard about Amazon Prime, I immediately said, "Sign me up! We are a match made in heaven!" 😉) Yes, I have been a willing victim of the cultural shift of getting what we want, when we want it, with the littlest possible wait times.
But then, I started celebrating Advent. One of the things we do every week during Advent is a themed night of celebration. My kids' absolute favorite night is Bethlehem Night. We turn out all the lights in the house (except for the Christmas tree, of course, because it's just too beautiful), we sit on the floor in our living room with candles and eat foods that might have been eaten when Jesus was born (or if I'm really busy, it's KFC for us and then a conversation about foods they might've eaten), and we talk about what it might have been like for Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. We watch The Nativity and talk about how the Israelites were waiting for Jesus. We love watching the wise men searching and journeying to find him. We talk about how long it took. Then we reflect on times in our lives when we've waited and God has shown up at just the perfect time. There have been so many of those for me, and recounting them with my family on those Bethlehem nights reminds me of the gift and growth in waiting. It's where I leaned into faith and practiced trust when there seemed to be no good reason.
EVERYTHING took time 2000 years ago, including the arrival of the Messiah. And there was blessing and beauty in the relationships people had with God and each other in the waiting. So maybe, this Advent season, I'm going to slow down and see the waiting as a gift and a time to invite God and His people in. Maybe I'll ask my family to do the same. And maybe...just maybe...I'll fall a little in love with waiting, or at least think of Mary and Joseph and Jesus when I run into a store. I imagine they wouldn't have cared about lines. They'd just have been grateful for the easy access and abundance of food!
Lisa is a deep-thinker, a philosopher in cute jeans and flip flops, a Nutty Professor - mom style. She recognized God's presence at an early age and has lived life mostly open to Him. She hears His voice in books, movies, and music - no matter the genre! She is serious about the work of living Loved, loving God, and loving people.