The house is lit up inside and out with a special glow. The photo cards and newsletter are waiting for my hand, and I have started picking up gifts for the family and Joel. The TV has been gifting us with a few musical Holiday specials, and our first Christmas card arrived in the mail yesterday! "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas............."
When the house was full, so was our schedule for December. Practices, programs, shopping, decorating, baking, and school events kept us going at full speed. Having a pastor in the house certainly added to the mix! During this season of our lives, it is only our shoes by the door, and our grands live miles away, so we pick an choose how busy we want to be. There is still the anticipation and excitement, but on a much more subdued level. We look back on precious memories, while still intentionally making new ones!
Advent starts this Sunday. A time to prepare for the birth of our Savior. For most of our married life we gathered around the advent wreath every night in December, lighting candles, opening the advent calendar doors one day at a time. The same old Advent devotional with it's beat up cover still lays nearby as candles stand tall in our wreath made in the Philippines over 40 years ago. It holds some special memories that we hold dear. No longer a nightly tradition but a place to remember the kids taking turns lighting the candle, or opening the calendar doors. Reading from the blue devotional book and the Bible. A tradition that brought a busy family a place to gather and remember the reason for the season.
Taking the time to focus on Jesus is so important. It centers us. The news, the politics, and the busyness of living distract and often unsettle, but those moments of quiet focus on our Savior quiet the soul and restore the balance in our lives.
During this time of preparation, as we step into December and Advent, I pray you have warm memories to draw on, new memories to make, and plenty of time to remember the true reason for this season. Come, Lord Jesus.