Advent Mess

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I know there’s grace for me, because she blogs about it all the time, this Ann. She reassures me that no matter what, there is also grace for me. And yet, I don’t feel it when I look around the daily mess and chaos in this house. Boxes fill the living room where chairs were put together, papers lie strewn where they were thrown by carelessness, or by an inability to figure out where else to put them. A blue sticky lizard hangs from the middle of the ceiling…. thrown there several days ago. I’m not sure when it will fall.

Piles of paper surround me.

In the bedroom, furniture was moved out and in its place are laundry baskets and cardboard boxes containing clothing. I wrinkle my brow, trying hard to figure out which basket I put my running pants into. Because, once again, in the chaos and commotion of life, exercise becomes last priority. (When was the last time I squeezed into my work out gear again?)  The garden was not put to rest properly and now the snow covers the dead strands of once-living beings who stretched up for the light, drank the spring rains and provided nectar for busy bees to make their winter nourishment.

A month of full-time work has taken its toll. It seems amid the after-school and evening activities of reading and homework and chores and piano practise and negotiating the conflicts, while making and cleaning up dinner, there lies little quiet space in which to organize the messes, or simply sit and still my heart.

Everywhere I go people ask me: Are you ready for Christmas?

This is supposed to be the season of Advent; the season of preparing my heart, of making room for the King. And yet all around me is noise. All around me is mess.

*sigh*

I no longer have the excuse of extreme littles consuming all my time and energy. At this stage in the game, I’m supposed to be baking and decorating cookies with them over steaming mugs of cider or hot chocolate, while Christmas tunes pipe happy in the background.

One of my youngest asked this morning if we could drop his letter to Santa on our way to school. “No time!” I said. The box is nowhere near our route to school. I had to wait outside because my winter gear was turning me into a sweat bucket in the front foyer. After waiting 5 minutes for him to emerge from our house, laden by his knapsack, lunchbag and snow gear, we set off. It is only at the church parking lot, that I realize he no longer has his knapsack nor his lunch. I send him back to get it. He doggedly tracks back home, yelling, “I don’t want to go to school!” and after waiting the requisite 2 minutes and 42 seconds for him to rejoin us, I trudge back through the snow to go get him so that we could still make it to school before the bell. I found him sitting outside on the bags of mulch that were purchased this summer and never made it to the garden, yet another reminder of what I don’t get done. I gently encouraged him to ‘walk’ the route with me pullingholding his hand, but what I see is that he needs time.

He needs time, without the frantic pace that life dictates. He feels burdened by what he is carrying.

And then I realized that I too, need time. I need time to listen for that still, small voice: the one that belongs to the God of the Universe, who loves me unconditionally, even if my living room looks like a bomb went off, the bedrooms need serious attention and I can’t remember the last time I cleaned up the laundry room. I need to let go of the burdens of expectation I am carrying that feel heavy.

So I put on this song. And I breathe. I wait. I wait for the peace of Christ to fill my heart. I leave the mess behind me.

Jesus, you are real. You are waiting for me to drop my burdens and just sit with you. Please grant me grace to find time to do just that. To let go of other things and just sit and find your Peace.