So much of my family’s life is on the go. During the week, our kids are going to and from soccer, scouts, band, chorus, confirmation and more.
Like me, they’re buckled in and multi-tasking: changing from shoes to cleats, adding or removing extra layers before a training practice, doing flashcard drills, updating me on their own to-do-lists, discussing current news or even, lately, debating the Constitution.
I love our time together—even the between times. But sometimes I miss those early days of baby carriers, strollers, first steps and assistance with shoelaces. I miss the days when the waiting time was the enjoying and noticing time—those months and weeks between crawling and walking, between baby sounds and words, so many words.
[bctt tweet=”I miss the days when the waiting time was the enjoying and noticing time.” username=”womenoftheelca”]
A decade later, we’re all so busy. We’re not waiting much anymore, even in the car. And when are we not on the go? When do we take time to relax, notice and enjoy this time together—these fleeting years before everything changes again? Is our goal only to accomplish the work? Are we missing something even more important?
For me, this is not just a time for special concerts, events and family get-togethers, as wonderful as those can be.
The days of Advent remind me that I am waiting. Waiting. Longing. Everything is not yet as it could be—including my own heart. Dear Jesus, how I long for the peace and joy of your promise. You remind me to slow down, to be still, to trust you and to try to live in expectation.
Years ago, near the glow of a Christmas tree, I saw hope and peace as fresh and present as the crisp pine needles, threads of popcorn and homemade nativity ornaments. Today the hope and brokenness mix together. I know that sometimes blurs my vision of what Christmas really means.
You are real, and you are really here for us. Through Jesus, you walk with us and our families, as we grow, wherever we go. This Advent, as we spend time noticing and praying for Christ’s coming into the world, help us to know that throughout our lives the milestones may change, but your love for us never will. Amen.
Elizabeth Hunter is editor of Gather magazine.