Friday, December 12, 2008

Advent?


Isn't it crazy when our plans that we think are sure and right crumble down around us? I pictured our December evenings full of Scripture readings, candles, Christmas carols, and pointing my children to Jesus. An idyllic daily family worship time. Simplicity and quiet and beauty.

Instead, we spend our evenings with Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek.

Yep, the morning sickness that is really evening sickness for me has completely over-run my plan. I am on the couch feeling miserable and almost paralyzed and the only thing that distracts me is Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Honestly, it's one of the highlights of the day.

Every evening the whole family gathers together on our two couches under blankets and cuddling close to call out "L! S! T!" or "What is Peru?" We are laughing and learning and chilling out for that hour. What started out as reflective readings and a Jesse Tree book and prayer is now solving word puzzles and testing our trivia knowledge.

It always seems that when I make a seemingly wonderful religious plan, God shows up and says no. I even look back to November and realize that I was subconsciously thinking "God will be more honored and pleased with me if we really do Advent this year". I need to prove to Him that it's about Him and not about stuff. I need to worship well so that there are no holiday regrets. I must, I need, I will show....it's all about me. Was it ever about Him? Who knows...there seems to be mixed motives in everything.

A dear friend said to me this morning "God knew you would be pregnant in December 2008". This was His plan for me. Instead of having my spiritual game on, I am sick, broken, needy, irritable, and probably irritating. I can't be perfect this Christmas season. I can't perform well. I don't show up to worship. I need grace.

So my Christmas season is loud and unpredictable and full of TV specials. No cookies have been baked and we are eating frozen meals from Super Suppers. But oddly, I sense His love and grace and freedom to be where I am. That all His goodness and love and presence can't be erased or earned...it's His permanent Christmas gift to me.

I feel I have nothing to offer Him this year, yet He has given it all. His Life. His Love. His Sufficiency. His Grace. His Goodness. His Mercy. His Righteousness.

To me and to you.

Joy to the World!

15 comments:

Nancy said...

That's such a great post, Aimee! And He knows he has your heart!

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

I hear you on this. :) I am trying to do advent readings in the mornings with my girls at the breakfast table. (Evening ones resulted in meltdowns and such. Not pleasant). The mornings that we have actually done it have been so good and He has been there. And I have so felt His grace on the mornings that we didn't get to it (for reasons like the 2 year old ejecting herself out of her chair w/ her cereal bowl!)

Such is the season. Hope yours is richly blessed!

Andrea said...

Aimee,
so, so beautiful!!!!!!!!
you really hit it square on.
His grace is sufficent.
And who says you can't do advent readings in June?

Prairie Chick said...

oh you dear, sweet thing. Morning/evening/all day sickness is just... BLECH.

You know, I always feel the advent stuff is more for ME than for Him... seriously... it's just my way to focus. I loved what Nancy said; "He knows He has your heart." LOVE it.

Praying for you!

Hill upon Hill said...

Thankyou, I was/am feeling the same-stressed that I have not done the Bible readings in the order/regularity/symbolic way that I wanted to.....Thinking that I am so busy with everything, things I cannot avoid ie school things for children/family etc. I don't want the children going to bed any later than they are.....happy to read your freeing thoughts though.

kelli said...

So beautiful, Aimee!

I love how it all comes back to grace...isn't that the reality of our lives?

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your life...and hope you feel lots better soon!!!! (at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel with morning sickness, right?!)

enjoy your family time tonight:)

Betty said...

Aack!!! This is our Christmas, again. I always think this year will be different. We've had my husband in and out of the hospital for the past 3 years then this year he's traveling most of the month....

I've felt so guilty for not doing more, for not getting to all those Advent readings and ornaments. It's hard when we're traveling with hubby or when we don't have him (then I'm on survival mode).

I so long for quiet evenings as you described. I'm learning to let go of the Christmas I want and to receive the Christmas He's giving me and look for Him in it.

I really needed to read your post today.

Lisa said...

We've also been reading our Advent in the mornings. The evenings are always so chaotic and I find myself behind trying to catch up 2 or 3 days worth...not fun with small children and short attention spans. Mornings seem better unless a little two year old find it funny to smear yogurt around, which then starts a giggle fest! I almost gave up this morning.... So true - it's more for us than Him.

Hope you are feeling better soon! Nibbling saltines always helped me (or peanuts...go figure!).

Katrina said...

((Oh Aimee)) His grace is what it's all about... so true. I just loved this post. I love how you've stepped out from under the pressure's and are just enjoying where you're at right now as best you know how. It's so much better just to be at peace than to be stressed out about all the things you think you SHOULD be doing, right? Hope you feel better, soon.
You've been such a sweet blog friend and I just love how honest and real you are willing to be in everything.

Domestic Accident said...

You are a magnificent writer. I truly enjoy your posts.

Melissa said...

Thanks so much for this post!! Your story sounds so similar to our current family life. I too am down and out with all day morning sickness, have missed church the past two weeks because of it and have felt distant from the Lord. We even snuggled up on the couch watching Jeopardy tonight! So, thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful reminder of Grace.

gina said...

this sounds so familiar...it was me, about 5 months ago, for 18 weeks! i am still behind on all my end of summer, beginning of school plans, but it DOES get better. hang in there. i remember that my kids ate animal crackers and grapes one day for lunch, because those were the only things in their reach and i couldn't get out of bed. also, i watched way too many lame hallmark movies and cried over them....

shepherdsgrace said...

one of my sweetest friends in the world is also battling all-the-time-sickness...early first trimester...so I commiserate with you completely...I suffered the same thing with my last pregnancy...

here is the greatest joy...

God is knitting someone together in your welcoming womb, what shows a servants heart more...

the joyfill submission of embracing new life...

The Mangerchine's said...

I feel like every time I get carried away making my plans for a day, week, month, season, or year God completely stirs them up just to save me from myself and bring me back to Him. It's great that you are embracing His plans and finding the peace of the Lord right where you are!

Shannon

Hilty Sprouts! said...

I'm so sorry about the evening sickness! It was that way with me too, I can relate! Hang in there!

Jennifer