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.
The snow beat down as I gazed out the window at the glistening world of white, a beautiful sight even as the light from a dim sky slowly began to fade. My buzzing thoughts once again had slowed long enough to stray to that forbidden dream, that forgotten longing; the telling dull ache that resonated from deep within my soul. I had been in this place before... in fact, I knew it well. But simply understanding the pain would not soothe it; ignoring it as it tugged on my heart would not make it go away. I was lonely.
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year! Nothing gets me like twinkling lights, sweet spices and the music that has made the holidays magical from my childhood. One song in particular struck a chord with us this year as my 5-year-old and I listened to choruses to decide her Christmas solo. Nearly as soon as we … Continue reading When I Heard The Bells