As the Christmas trees are lit, the garland is hung, and the Christmas carols sung, our family is joyfully living Advent, but often with the feeling that we are hanging onto sanity by one frail strand of Christmas lights. With three young children and a sweet 5-month-old, my world lately feels like that of Chevy Chase from Christmas Vacation as he frantically attempts to light his home, covered with Christmas lights. He is one man facing the daunting task of checking thousands of lights. His work has to be efficient yet meticulous. He knows the outcome will be beautiful, yet the task at hand is overwhelming.
I am one mama (with the help of my dear, dear husband when he’s not providing for our family!) facing the job of rearing four souls. My work has to be efficient yet meticulous. I know the outcome will be breathtaking, yet I am often overwhelmed. Will I ever find the problem? Will I ever get to all of the chores? Will my children be properly bathed and clothed and diapered and loved? Will there still be room in all of our hearts for the Christ child?
Such is our Advent season this year. Survival. The outcome will be beautiful; the souls will be breathtaking; our home will be warm; we will have Christ at the center if we let Him dwell there. If we let Him dwell there.
I was moved by the thought Mary Alice shared in a comment from a recent post about bringing the joy back to her Christmas shopping. She proposed the idea of strolling the streets with hot chocolate in hand, taking time to buy thoughtful gifts for her children from local vendors. Such beautiful, inspiring thoughts. How I would love to tag along on such a venture.
And then life sank in a little and I realized that such thoughts are not my reality this year. Maybe in future years, but not this one.
This year I must revel in the expediency of internet shopping. I must delight in the beauty of e-coupons and promo codes and prospects of free shipping. I must check off my list in a far less beautiful fashion, but one that allows me time in other areas that need a lot more tending. I must nurse my baby to sleep, feeling the warmth of our togetherness and the hope of my future independence. Because I know these survival times are fleeting. That there is burgeoning beauty within. That my empty cup is His overwhelming opportunity.
That Christ is here even when we’re just surviving.
Happy Advent to you and yours. In whatever fashion you’re preparing, may we all make room for Jesus.