Wake ups were how we counted any upcoming event when I had smaller kids in the house. Whether counting down to excitement like Christmas, or counting down to dread, like maybe a dentist appointment, we counted how many times you would wake up in the morning before the event occurred.
So on this Christmas Eve Eve Eve Day…yes, we did that as well…there are a gloriously short THREE wake ups until Christmas, and ten until 2019 arrives. And just as in the Christmas vs dentist appointment scenario above, one fills me with joy overflowing, and one fills me with something not akin to joy. Not dread, for sure. But apprehension maybe. A bit of anxiety. A lot of resignation toward the necessary!
So for right this moment, I am choosing to focus on the three wake-ups event, and revel in all the joy that that brings. On December 26, I will move on to the next one.
The shopping is done. And for me, shopping is very minimal. Instead of gifts that: Give Joy to drill clean water wells in African countries; money to be tucked inside cards for the ladies that care for my grandson at his daycare center; tickets to events or gift cards toward appointments. So our tiny tree has maybe 6 gifts under it, and honestly one is bigger than the tree itself. But gifts fall in the necessary category only.
And before you think people hate me for these less-than-exciting gifts, know that my adult kids have suggested most of them!!
The day will be a stay-at-home-and-maybe-in-pajamas day. That causes great excitement. Pajama days are by far my favorite days. And I have planned two in the last weeks that have both fallen through for some reason or another. So I am hoping that Christmas Day remains true to the LAZY DAY plans I have for it. But I truly try to remember that God is the planner of my days, and if He needs me to do something different than what I have planned, I need to be willing and ready to do.
For the month of December I read through a few Advent books:
Because of Bethlehem, by Max Lucado
Come Let Us Adore Him, by Paul David Tripp
She Reads Truth’s advent study.
The first two are great reads, and I do not mind reading them over each year. I highlight and take notes, and it is a bit surprising to see that what strikes me one year will not appeal the next? I think that is due to spiritual growth over the year and the place I sit currently in my relationship with the Lord. This year I was given Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller. It is not a long read, but it is also not an easy read, as is typical of Keller. But it is very good and I am slowly making my way through it. It is vital to remember that we are no longer looking forward to Christ’s first advent, but instead are looking forward to His second Advent, His return. So I love reads that focus my mind on this one-day-soon event.
For me, advent tends to be a time of acquiring a razor sharp focus on the new year as the old year passes away. Instead of a rising toward a climatic event, it is more of a smoothing-the-path for the new year ahead. And that whole time, I feel the hope of Christ’s second coming filtering through my brain in an odd kind of “what if”- like “what if” Christ comes back during advent this year? Wouldn’t that be cool to have the remembrance of His first coming mingled with the reality of His second? Or, “what if” in a year I am sitting on the brink of 2020, having lost enough excess weight that I am feeling better and looking forward to the days and months ahead with something less than unease?”
“What if” a sweet daughter that yearns for love and a special someone finds that in the months ahead and spends next advent not feeling lonely for Mr Right?
“What if” I oversee money so well this year that by next advent I can start to make a reality out of some dreams?”
The possibilities are abundant, right?
Have a blessed day tomorrow, celebrating Jesus at church, worshiping with a full heart, learning about His endless love. And remember, it is only three wake ups!