Advent mess

As I stab my finger aggressively into the Power button of the car, I realize that I am frustrated. My heart races as the engine revs. Too much to do…. runs through my brain, my mind, my body and consequently…. my heart.

I am overwhelmed (again) during Advent. What is supposed to be days of turning towards Jesus and “preparing my heart” for his coming has turned into 14 to-do lists with an impending deadline that ticks closer with each moment of the day. Indecision about gifts. Christmas concert wear. Teacher’s gifts. And the every-day-normal about what to have for dinner and trying to keep on top of the daily mess that comes with having a family at home. I see other working moms seemingly breezing into places, nails done up festively, carrying some magical, creative dish of delicious-ness to whatever function we are at. I’m feeling lucky to have managed to hit the grocery store before getting there. Chips? You got it. I’m all over that.

Other people have had their Christmas gifts shopped for and wrapped for weeks. I am still panicky about what to get for a few family members …. last night we realized one of the Christmas gifts can’t be shipped and get here before Christmas for one child.

Oh my word…. how did I get into this mess? How do I find myself every Advent stressed out and wide-eyed (and possibly teary-eyed) as I race around?

I see glowing blog posts about Advent as I skim through a Facebook feed: Advent quiet, Advent still, Advent-sitting-by-the-candle-lit-dinner-table-doing-the-daily-Advent-devotional-reading-with-your-children-and-follow-up-activity. If I can get them out of bed these dark mornings in time for a quick bite before the run to school I am lucky. Every evening seems to have a commmitment this week. Our devotional was flung by the wayside a few days back… we are so far behind in our story reading that it will likely take us to mid-January to get through it. Frankly, seeing the Advent posts about quiet and still and being with God is making me even more upset at myself. Glowing candle light? Keeping things simple? Yes… and yes. But still, even with simple Christmas, there are things to be done in order to bless the ones you love.

I bless you in that Advent quiet and still that you have managed to carve out for yourself. Quiet and stillness are not part of my Advent story. I’m not sure when they ever will be.