Those of you who have followed us for awhile now know that Haley and I love the rhythms of the church year. As believers, we find it helpful to inhabit the story of God’s saving work in Jesus year after year, over and over. As parents, we believe by reliving the same stories and seasons, we are helping our kids get this big story in their bones — to love it and trust it as the “true story of the whole world.”
We also don’t live totally blog-photo-worthy or pinnable lives. As tempting as it is just to share my hopes and ideals for celebrating the church year and pin a bunch of delicious links, that’s not going to be the reality of my Advent this year. We have two weddings, four trips, and one trip through passport control in the next four weeks. Add to that the annual round of holiday parties, benefits, school activities, and open houses. And add to that the reality of everyday life with two small children in a big city – packing lunches, school drop-off, the laundry, the discipline, the never-ending reality that they Must Eat! Every two hours! – and right now, Advent feels more like a sprint to a finish line than a season of waiting and longing. So what to do?
Well, I’ll be honest. We’re probably not going to light an Advent wreath each evening this season. We won’t make a Jesse Tree, or slowly move the Wise Men across the living room (the cat would get them anyway), or have an Advent jar. I doubt we’ll do anything, really, that can’t travel. Bedtimes and mealtimes are pretty consistent no matter what else is going on, and Haley just sent me a book that I’m really excited to read through daily with my daughter (and hopefully review). We’ll sing a lot, and listen to a lot of Advent music. Octarium’s Hodie will be on in our car, to still us and remind us as we move between the places of our days. We’ll fast. And we’ll talk: about waiting, about Who we are waiting for, about our hopes for his coming in our lives and in the world, about how to see him when he shows up. For my own peace of mind, I’m ignoring everyone’s Winter/Advent/Christmas Pinterest boards, because I know I need to actively wait on God – not just plan beautiful ways to do it.
Yeah, my life is too busy right now. I do feel overwhelmed by the list that forms itself in my mind upon waking. But this season – and the reality it points to – is so much bigger than the minutiae of my life. I refuse to worship the busyness. I will not elevate the scattered and cluttered rush of a life that is no more lasting than grass that withers. Advent is almost here, and I cannot escape the fact that I am a being made to long for the Lord and wait upon his salvation. All the bustle in the world can’t efface that truth. I’m not entirely sure what it will look like, but we will wait.