Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Waiting and Preparing

Five weeks to go. Is that really all? I feel completely unprepared to welcome this little one into the world. We haven't even decided on a name! The baby clothes are still packed in the attic, along with the infant carseat. The crib, though set up in our room, is full of other projects that I have going on, evidence of my very feeble attempts at nesting. Thanks to my dear friends at church, I do have some of the essential baby supplies. If worse comes to worse, we have one new outfit that isn't packed in the attic and a few disposable diapers on hand.

Even more than that, I wonder if our family is ready to welcome this new baby boy. Calvin and Hobbes are certainly eager, asking nearly every day how long it will be until the baby comes out. But my husband and I are so busy and tired these days, him with classes and a huge deadline at work, me with church and the boring details of life that have to be taken care of...not to mention running around after two very energetic boys. On top of all of that, we have spent the past week being sick ourselves or staying up with sick boys. The weariness of life is weighing heavily on me.

In the midst of this exhaustion, I find myself more grateful than ever for the rhythm of the church calendar. While I enjoy the routine and work and growth of ordinary time, the coming of Advent offers a welcome reprieve, a time to slowly and intentionally prepare for the celebration to come. I am so thankful for the traditions that we established last year and for the experience that we had as we observed Advent as a family.

We will continue those traditions this year...


a lunchtime reading of scripture and placing of the Jesse Tree ornament as we follow God's own story of preparing for His child...

slowly enjoying our Christmas picture books and adding some new ones...

a Saint Nicholas Day celebration with gingerbread cookies, this year with some friends joining us for a little party...

evening prayer with the Advent wreath and the Story of His birth slowly unfolding...

gradually bringing out the decorations and assembling the nativities...

and decorating the tree on Christmas Eve...

As we observe these traditions, slowly preparing for His birth, making gifts and doing a bit each day in order to be ready for the celebration, I will be doing my own preparing. A bit each day. I'll pull down the tiny clothes, wash and fold. I'll pack a bag and make notes about whom to call when. I'll clean out the crib and finish the nesting and organizing. Just a little each day while beginning to imagine life with this new babe. I'll wait and prepare until my home and my heart are ready for that magical moment when a slippery, screaming new baby is placed in my arms and my heart grows even bigger to hold the love I didn't know I had.

And I pray that all of our hearts will find ways this season to prepare, a little bit each day, for the coming of the Babe whose life, death, and resurrection make all things new.

For more reflections on celebrating Advent, visit the Carnival of Anglican Advent Traditions at Kerry's blog. Posts will be up on Friday.

3 comments:

Farrah said...

I love how intentional you are with your boys during Advent. I am going to steal some of your ideas this year.
How is it being so very pregnant and going into Advent? Although I have been pregnant at Christmas, I have never been on the verge of giving birth like you are and I imagine that adds a whole new dimension to the season. Anticipating your own child as you reflect on Mary and the whole story of the world waiting to receive their king.
Even if the crib is cluttered and none of the projects get done, you are ready for this precious boy. Calvin and Hobbes are going to LOVE their brother and your heart will just welcome him right in.
I will be praying that you body and your mind and your spirit can get some much needed rest and refreshing in the next few weeks.
Love you.

Rachel said...

hi friend,
thx for keeping Advent in front of me! i look forward to getting in the gear in the next few days. will be lovely to do w/you again this yr! love you!

and thx for reminding me of that glorious moment after birth when the love "you didn't know you had" hits you for your new little one. makes me so excited!!!

tipper said...

Such a life changing-busy time for your family. But what a wonderful time too. Glad you're going to have the opportunity to slow down some this month.