move over, scrooge

EDIT: (12:47a.m.) Oooooh, I have to get to bed! But somebody just had a…. WOOOHOOOO!

Lest you think I’m the girl who stares a bad mood in the face, says a prayer and sprinkles happy dust, and voila! Instant joy-infusion! Lest you think THAT (which is a misleading untruth), please take a peek at the last few hours of my life.

No motivation. Mad that I don’t have a dishwasher. Ticked that I have to go to Livi’s Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Los Posados program at 7:00. Irritated that I thought I had a whole box of pasta and didn’t. Frustrated with my angelic 2-year-old who has been acting bratty (no nice way to say it) the past few days. Mad that I’m not done Christmas shopping. Bitter about some things. Tired of some other things. Crampy. Headache-y. Constipated-y. Sick and tired of Livi and Ava’s bickering. Disgusted with myself for loathing Christmas this year. Disappointed that I didn’t follow through with Advent stuff with the girls. Why can’t I focus on the true meaning of Christmas!? And on and on and blah and blah.

I read something this morning in Walt Wangerin’s Preparing for Jesus that totally convicted me. Yet I basically chose to ignore it the rest of the day.

Do we, who are busy preparing for Christmas, parties and presents and decorations and food and church programs–and visitors–do we prepare with equal fervor for the visitation of the Lord?

What sort of Advent is this imminent Advent for you? If you are consumed by one more Christmas (one mere Christmas among two thousand) your Advent is fleeting, time-bound and likely self-absorbed. Desperate preparations often indicate an anxiety about the opinions of others regarding ourselves. But if your participation in this temporal Advent truly signifies preparations for the final Advent, you are Christ-absorbed.

I’m self-absorbed right now. No nice way to say it. And it’s not as simple as snapping out of it. This one is more of a climb out of it. And I’m happy to report that I’m headed up. I lit some candles, stopped moping, did some writing, wrapped some presents. And I’m not going to fret about houseguests tomorrow and Friday, traveling Saturday and Monday and Thursday. And a hugungous trip to Florida in eight days that seems nigh impossible at the moment. But not fretting…

God, help me to be Christ-absorbed. Really, really truly.

And I know I’m 40 minutes early, but I’m going to go ahead and generate a random integer for the Expecting give-away. Be right back!

The winning # is 19! (rford05) Congratulations, Rachel! Just in time for you get to work on baby #2. Last year, Rachel’s daughter Anna was diagnosed with severe hydrocephalus at 20 weeks in utero. Doctors insisted they terminate the pregnancy. A healthy and beautiful Anna was born 19 weeks later. She still has hydrocephalus (is she 15 months old now, Rachel?), but there have been no signs of any problems (just an odd-shaped brain, Rachel says). I’m praying God calms your heart and blesses your womb again, friend!

As for the rest of you, a friendly reminder that you have 13 more days to pre-order Expecting at the $10 price. And I’ll be doing something cool in January. If you bought a copy, like it, and want to blog about it, I’ll give you (20 or so of you) a free copy to give away to one of your blog readers. Oh, so fun!

And this was totally going to be a short post. Drat. Last thing–I’d love to hear what you’re most looking forward to this Christmas season. Happy Last Thursday Before Christmas!

23 thoughts on “move over, scrooge

  1. tonialynn59

    @faithchick – How cool would that be?  I would love that.  I keep telling Mike that when I ever get to Dayton area to see my friend, Darleen I am coming to meet you and Missy!  (well and anyone else living in that area)  One day…

  2. tonialynn59

    I’m just really looking forward to being with family more than anything.  Our kids.  Since 2 of them are out of the house it is so nice when we can all be together.  But I agree with

    @faithchick – I do enjoy all the food!

  3. M3mine

    I’m looking forward to having all my family here at our house. One daughter (and SIL) was in Michigan for Thanksgiving with her in-laws, so it’ll be nice to have both of them here for Christmas. I’m also looking forward to just resting by the fireplace and enjoying being with everyone, maybe playing games and just slowing down for the day.

  4. jbnygaard

    I’m really looking forward to celebrating my son’s SIXTH birthday!!! And I”m really looking forward to being with my brother, and the rest of the family that I don’t see very often. That for me is a present in itself. I WAS excited about food….but I’m not now. 🙁

  5. OneFlossyChick

    On the Expecting post, I asked for prayer for my aunt who is pregnant with Addyson… but she’s not going to be pregnant much longer, because she’s in labor right now!!! I’m really excited that we’re adding another little one to the A-list of cousins (Amber, Alexandria, Alex, Adrianna, and Addyson).

  6. luvmynoah

    My favorite part of this season is lighting the tree each night and sitting in the glow. 🙂  I love smelling the burning scented candles and relaxing between the business.  I am looking forward to seeing my family.  I know Christmas will be so exciting this year for Titus and Molly who are a few months apart.  I’m sure it will be fun to watch them open their gifts.  I am trying to keep Jesus first this season but, like you mentioned it’s hard to do the Advent things each day.  I haven’t done so great at it this year. 

  7. faithchick

    it’s hard to be a grown woman at christmastime.

    i’m looking forward to sweets.  is it bad that i say that?  i mean, of course i’m looking forward to family gatherings & whatnot.  But, really, truly, i’m looking forward to good food.

    And I’m looking forward to being home for christmas & having my parents come here for the first time.  This is a new tradition for us.  We made some waves, I think, in breaking out of our normal Christmas day tradition that we’ve done since the day I was born; but I’m glad about the change.  Christmas is going to be super-cozy & relaxed & no rushing around with the kids.

  8. SuperGirlAmelia

    Oh, we were supposed to answer what we’re most looking forward to. Christmas Eve candle light service which we’re going to take Ilana in with us for, dinner after with very good friends, Christmas morning sharing the joy in our jammies with bright eyed kids, heading down and spending the day with Grandma who has had a very hard year, but is home for the holidays and well – praise God!

  9. ladymiss3739

    OH, I sooo hope Nicki had her baby!  Then I would win the pick the date thing – I mean, I guess I would win it if the date works out in Aussie time and all.   

    Great excerpt!  I think it’s exactly that: it’s not that there’s no time for advent, but there’s a great difficulty in making time for advent with all the additional crazy Christmas “traditions” we try to add to our already insanely busy American lives.  And there’s a pressure to people please.  I mean really, in my mind, I worry – would people really understand if I told them I was cutting back on gifts, or food prep, etc. so I could be more mindful of Christ this season? 

    On that note, I worked for a Mennonite run business back in PA (not saying all M’s do this, but it was pretty consistently the rule where I worked).  Many of them gave simple homemade gifts (everyone got the same thing: home canned goods, baked goods, or in some cases “gifts” of time helping someone else do something).  Their gifts cost little, but in essence built relationships, and their holiday time was joyous and meaningful and NOT this rat race the rest of us experience! 

    Sorry, didn’t mean to hijack…

  10. Anonymous

    I am so loving “Preparing for Jesus” this year. I’d purchased it too late to use last year and it’s my new favorite Advent book.

    The thing that struck me yesterday was those last two verses of the poem thing-y at the end. I’ve slacked some with keeping the house together lately–totally unmotivated and then just plain mad when I see the girls have smeared toothpaste on the bathroom mirror; why should I have to clean it?!–and was challenged. What if the king were coming to my home? The king is coming to my home! Is it in order for him?

    Love you so much,
    Joanne

  11. rocknnell

    I am looking at what is right in front of me….a neat talk wih Pam Baad & prayer…going to go pick out dads’ tree with him and getting it up tomorrow…putting a wreath from Sally on Moms’ grave…starting Christmas Cards…and then ?  oh yeah, carry in cooking for Honda tomorrow ….oh yeah, tell the Pastors wife I don’t want to do womens’ ministry.  When is Christmas ?  Dec. 25th – I have 2 hrs. of shopping done… 6 little ones 3/4 bought..that is it.  Just keep walking….and soon, soon you will be in the van and OHIO will only be in your rear view mirror !  smile ! 

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