Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Monday, November 28, 2011

Waiting.... Watching....

We are in the season of Advent. Advent is the name for these days leading us to Christmas and the birth of Jesus. It is a season to give attention to God’s gift for us that is new every year. We watch and we wait in Advent. We watch so that we might be found. ~ Michelle Thomas-Bush

In her devotional book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes:
"Problems are part of life. They are inescapable: woven into the very fabric of this fallen world. You tend to go into problem solving mode all too readily, acting as if you have the capacity to fix everything. This is a habitual response, so automatic that it bypasses your conscious thinking...You are ever so limited in your capacity to correct all that is wrong in the world around you...Rather than trying to fix everything that comes to your attention, ask Me to show you what is truly important..."
I admit to having a love/hate attitude for this season of the church year.

I tire of all the things that slip so easily onto my calendar.  I tire of my inner expectations for myself at church and at home.  I tire of the weary faces of those I meet.  I tire of the constant movement....

The Grands that give me so many smiles.
I love the colors and the music.  I love hearing the bells ringing.  I love the smiles and excitement of the Grands.

I even love the brightly colored gift wrap!

I love the Christmas story.

Yet, more often than I like to admit, I allow the "tires" of the season to create unnecessary "problems" that keep the "loves" of the season hidden. But, this season, I am striving to walk through this season with my eyes more clear, because I want to be more fully living within these moments of mystery and awe.  I want to more fully live into to the gifts that are all around me, just ready to bless me and to give me the promised hope, joy, and peace of this season.

Advent is about waiting.

Advent is walking through the darkness as I await the coming Light.

I've been thinking, how Advent is like my journeying of discovering and living through the eyes and heart of Eucharisteo.  It is slow, yet I have caught glimpses that encourage me to continue watching and waiting.

Today I planted an Amaryllis bulb.  As I smoothed the soil around the large bulb, I thought how long it takes for the brillant flowers to appear, and then I stopped....

I stopped and thought how this flower is a perfect bulb to plant during Advent, this season of waiting and anticipation.

I thought how this flower, as it slowly puts out it long leaves and then its display of brilliant red flowers, is a perfect visual reminder for me to continue this journey as the days and weeks to come promise to be full.

Daily discipline, especially in the midst of so much stuff,  is the door to full freedom.  Ann writes of this freedom when she records her 1000th gift:
"...the discipline to count to one thousand gave way to the freedom of wonder and I can't imagine not staying awake to God in the moment, the joy in the now.  But, awakening to joy awakens to pain." (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 84)
Joy and pain.  Ann's insight is they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don't numb themselves to really living.

Joy and pain.

I resist pain.

I want to problem solve pain and make it go away... disappear.  Yet, Ann, as she writes her 1000th gift comes face to face with the reality that "awakening to joy awakens to pain."

I didn't expect that.

When I pause and consider all these thoughts; as a mother of daughters...when I sit with the Christmas story and consider all that would have been beneath the words of this familiar story, I can imagine there would have also been pain and loss within the wonder and mystery.

God, through the power of your Spirit, may I be given the courage to continue walking through this time of waiting so that I might learn to live with both the joy and the pain of life.  May I walk through this season of Advent with eyes more open and a heart more full. AMEN.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

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