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Advent, A Three-peat

During Advent the Church celebrates the messianic works of the Hebrew prophets, especially that of the prophet Isaiah. Advent emphasizes as well the promise of the second coming of the Messiah in kingly triumph.

Christmastide

I put my Klan books away. Far away. Under my reading chair where I can’t see them. I need a break. A rest. Reading about the worst of the past — of my past — is grueling. It’s like eating vitamins instead of food–good for you, but hard to swallow. Sometimes you choke and urp. And sometimes you need actual food that tastes good and satisfies more than your rudimentary needs.

We decorated for Christmas this weekend–our usual tradition on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Being IN*Js, Grant and I avoid the bustling Black Friday shopping with great diligence. Anything’s better than competing for plastic junk we don’t want for a price we can’t afford next to people we don’t know or like.

The kids are old enough now to really pitch in with the decorating, and they were nuts about it. After I wrestled with the lights all morning, I was the designated unwrapper of all ornaments. The job requires care and patience, but it allows for lengthy story-telling.

“Oh boys, look! These are the shoes you wore home from the hospital. Look how tiny your feet were!”

“See this one? This is a little girl hugging an angel. We got this the Christmas after your sister, Elise was born because she’s in Heaven with Jesus.

“Here’s Cricket! . . . Just a minute, I’ll find Sugar and Mike.”

“Be careful now, Gramma Lewis painted this one!”

“This ornament was from Grandma Kaminski’s childhood. It’s very old.”

“Save the little Santas for Daddy. He likes to put those on the tree.”

“This one looks just like the church where Mommy and Daddy were married. Isn’t it pretty?”

You know how it goes. Your ornament unwrapping is the same as ours. It’s a day heavy with sentiment, where you have to or you get to look your past square in the eyes.

And it’s been a big year. A big emotional and healing year. I started it praying for Shalom for myself, and I end it now feeling it.

I’m very thankful, and I need to talk about it. I still don’t know how. I don’t have an blog-plan in mind like I usually do when I start a series. But I’m going to talk about it. Whatever IT is. During Advent–that season which we never dared celebrate in my previous life and which now is my great blessing to relish.

I hope you’ll join me. I don’t even know where we’ll end up.

Advent, A Three-peat
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5 thoughts on “Advent, A Three-peat

  • November 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm
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    I’m looking forward to it. Seeing a post from you pop up in my reader is like Christmas.

  • November 29, 2010 at 9:32 am
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    “Advent–that season which we never dared celebrate in my previous life” sums up why this season means so much to me. Promise fulfilled. I’m looking forward to seeing where Advent takes you this year. Love to you. Thank you for this reminder today.

  • November 29, 2010 at 9:46 am
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    We, too, began the decorating, though I wish we could say it was done. That will probably take the next week (or two). PJ helped with putting the ornaments on the tree and he also enjoyed as Tamar shared the story of each ornament, much like your gentleboys. It is the first time he’s been really aware of the significance of each of those shiny little reminders of God’s goodness to us: the little pair of shoes that PJ now says are “his ornament”. The little double decker bus ornament he chose for himself at Country Boys last year. The special ornament he made in school last year that filled him with excitement as he recalled his teacher and the good times he had in her class. How fun it all was! Each Christmas just gets better. And we look forward to talking about Advent and other parts of the Christmas traditions we couldn’t talk about before. For me it’s a return to my family’s roots. For Tamar and PJ it’s something new and exciting. How glad we are to be rediscovering the joy of Christmas! What a blessing the season is becoming to us!

  • November 30, 2010 at 12:22 am
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    Wondering with you where to start over, where to start talking about things. This discovery of Advent is fresh and new, full of grace. But I mourn the loss of hearth and home in the real sense of the words. All of our Christmas trimmings are in storage, unreachable. That’s probably best for now. Seeing it all would only bring more longing for the space it once filled so beautifully. And there’s only room in this tiny apartment for a few bits of decoration.

    Hearth and home are gone, the trimmings are out of reach. But this week, the first week of Advent, is a time for new beginnings, a time for fresh starts, perhaps. It is also a time for renewed hope. May God give us the faith and strength to claim it in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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