Yesterday I slept till 7:30. How is that possible when Christmas Eve is only days away!
In another stage of life I would have been up much earlier, whittling away at my too long list. Most years I finished my shopping by this time, but not all the baking I thought I needed to do. And the stack of presents, including many that required delivery, remained unwrapped. Cards! Entertaining! Holiday events! ETC. ETC.
And all done alongside the normal stuff of life, including parenting and working a full-time job. You know what I mean. You’ve been there, too.
At this current stage of my life I can move more leisurely through the list; a list which is not as long and involved as it used to be. I still intend to do some baking this week, but except for a couple gifts I still need to buy and another one that will arrive on my doorstep today or tomorrow, the wrapping is done. I mailed most of the cards last week and finished the remaining over the weekend while listening to Christmas music, and I will walk to the mailbox with them later today. Entertaining has been simple–mainly snacks and drinks in the living room–and the menu for Christmas Day is planned. I will grocery shop tomorrow.
Do I miss the hustle and bustle of the years when our family was much younger? Some days I do, for it all passed so quickly. But at the same time I am so grateful for the many wonderful memories stored in my heart. I unwrap those joys frequently.
What I realize now is that those years were in large part about creating not only memories for ourselves, but also about creating holy times, sacred times. The focus for many years was on the creating and the doing –not just the gift buying and giving or inviting special guests for Sunday Advent suppers or filling the house with glowing lights and the smell of fresh greens or even reading from our stack of Christmas books at bedtime, but doing all that in honor of the gift of the Christ Child. And what that birth, that gift means for the ways we are asked to live our lives; our ongoing journey to be the person we were created to be.
Oh no, I regret none of it.
Now, however, I realize at this stage of my life this season is much more about being, about resting, about knowing and feeling and cherishing and paying attention. A different rhythm.
And remembering–not just the past, but remembering and holding, although with a light touch, the love that surrounds us always. “…for God’s steadfast love endures forever…” (Psalm 136)
Yes, I slept later than usual and perhaps, I will again tomorrow, but I am ready, not only for the arrival of our son and daughter-in-law from Cleveland, but I, a woman no longer young, am ready to BE, to live fully in this different rhythm of my life. May you be ready, too.
An Invitation: What are you noticing about yourself during this Advent time? I would love to know.