There is a time in every journey when the shackles of crisis fall away, leaving you free to pursue the Promise Land, but yet you still have more road to travel. Not still waiting to move, but unable to find a resting place – you’re not in Egypt, not yet in Canaan – it’s the desert.
The icy air burst through the door as we pulled in the tree; one last heave as the prickly branches poked at our cold fingers. Green sprills poured all over the entry floor – my toddler clapped her hands with glee. It was a ‘big twee in the house’; her childhood wonder pulled at my heart.
He should be here to see this. The thought that ran through my head a hundred times a day once again brought emotion welling up at the back of my throat. I pushed it down and put on a smile.
As we begin this year’s countdown to Christmas, my family and I started an Advent reading calendar to prepare our hearts and help keep our focus on the important parts of Christmas through the holiday mayhem. We’ve never done it before, as our kids have been too little to really understand, but as we sat down today with the lights twinkling and the fire roaring, it really started to feel like Christmas. As we cozied up, the storm raged outside (the RAIN storm, mind you, in 39 degree weather on the FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER – oh so festive!) and the Christmas music was playing softly in the background when our 6 year old asked, “What is ‘Advent’?” I answered without really thinking, “It’s the time leading up to Christmas that we use to prepare our hearts and remember what Christ did for us.” And in that moment, a lifetime of Scriptures and Christmas cliches culminated in a newfound revelation that brings me to where I am now, sitting at my computer, and writing to you.
From the beginning of your business venture, your CEO’s, executives, marketing teams – everyone down to my local branch manager – have dreamed up and executed a brilliant strategy. You realized that in order to secure yourselves a place next to Walmart you would need to hone in on a very specific consumer, one that, once addicted, would become your most loyal and impulse-purchase-happy customers on the face of the planet: you wanted moms. And you, my dear friend, have succeeded!
I will never in my life forget the incredible thrill of adrenaline that rushed through my veins as I, at long last, made the 2 hour drive on that glorious day to pick up my husband after a long 10 months. Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe it: I was electric – my blood was on fire. It’s a miracle I made the trip in one piece! The nervous jitters, excited way-too-loud laughter, hot-cold sweat as I tried to push away that walking-down-the-aisle urge to go to the bathroom that every bride has…. it was nearly too much. I clung to my toddler for dear life, and tried to keep myself from visibly shaking.
Nothing beats the thrill and excitement of experiencing Christmas as a child. I remember counting down the days nearly all year until the long-awaited morning would dawn. Thrilled beyond belief, my brother and sisters and I would race to wake up mom and dad and drag them out to the tree, overflowing with gifts. The magic was so thick you could nearly taste it! Oh to be young again.