Sunday, November 27, 2011

I got nothin...

It's been a wonderful week off from school and I just KNEW that I'd spend at least a part of it updating the blog...but all I can say is, "I got nothin'."

The holidays are always a mixed bag for me. I love having time off and I love what the season means, but to be honest, they are always bittersweet. I miss my mom and dad and wish I could get a do-over for all those holidays in the past. Wish I could tell them how much I love them just one more time....but I've got nothin'.

I love taking time to give thanks and to decorate for the upcoming season, but my wallet always yells at me that there just isn't any surplus to shop the sales or find gifts for those I want to bless. Then, of course, I get to add to that guilt that if I'd only planned better I'd be able to join in on the frenzy of gift buying or better yet be able to join those who have already finished their shopping and all the gifts are wrapped and under the tree....but I've got nothin'.

I love to listen to Christmas music and join in loudly and off-key, but inside there's always something missing. You see, in myself, I got nothin'....

Then I read a Facebook post from my friend Ross last night talking about Advent and got the idea of writing a blog for each day of Advent, even though I know very little about the Advent season to begin with. Let's be honest...I know almost NOTHIN'! Hey, that's never stopped me before. Still, I had no idea where to begin, that is, until I saw a post from another friend, Maurine. 

Maurine posted this from her heart: "Advent 1. Today, I have hope that those who mourn will be lifted up, that those who suffer will be soothed and those who are lost will feel God's guiding hand upon them." 

Even though I am one who is usually filled with laughter, for some reason during "this most joyful of seasons, I fit more into the category of "those who mourn" and "those who feel lost". For this reason more than any other, I will be attempting to write a blog each day of this Advent refocus and discover once again the joy of the season.

I know I have a LOT to years past I tried to do some sort of Advent calendar for my children and it always ended up as just more stress. I could never keep the "treats" going all the way to Christmas eve...I honestly didn't really have any idea what Advent was all about. Time will tell if this year will be another "Advent failure", but I am going to give it a try.

For those who wonder, Advent is the season that leads up to Christmas. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and as far as I can tell, the first Sunday of Advent is marked by Hope. As one familiar Christmas carol puts it,

"Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel, 
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Today is a day of looking forward to the One who brings that hope to us all. It's not hope that this year will be different, but hope that arises within you even if things are just the same. It's putting up the tree even if you know there's no money to buy presents to go underneath. It's playing the carols and joining in with song even though life isn't giving you a "holly jolly" kind of year. It's knowing that no matter what other things the season may bring, it FIRST brought you One who will love you no matter what. 

No, this season won't be never is. No, I won't have the house filled with the smell of baked cookies - unless, of course, I light a cookie scented candle. No, I won't have one of those "Disney commercial" kind of celebrations. No, I probably won't satisfy all those around me, or even myself, with the gifts that I bring. No, as far as words of encouragement that this will be the year that is finally perfect, I got nothin'....but on this first day of Advent, I call out to the One who does. The One who seeks out those who are feeling lost and empty, the One who brings comfort to those who mourn in lonely exile in the middle of a sea of carolers and tinsel and lights, the One who brings Hope.

So I invite you to join me on this journey to Christmas. Don't worry that you don't have anything to bring...cause for this celebration, "nothin'" is all that you need.

Here are two links with devotionals for Advent - enjoy! Advent devotion and this one: Advent devotions from Lutheran hour ministries

Matthew 4:16

New International Version (NIV)
the people living in darkness
   have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
   a light has dawned.”

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Well girl - I got nothin' either! How's that for some proper grammar? LOL

I really don't know much about Advent either so I'm very much looking forward to your posts so I can learn and grow (and be stretched some more! Sheesh! Enough with the stretching already!) No, seriously, I'm learning to love how He wants us to keep growing and learning and I'm glad that He still thinks I'm worthy of a little more 'stretching' :)

And, from everything I've seen, you will be a wonderful teacher through this project :)

I love ya and God is ;) ing at ya :)