The Thrill of Hope

Last week was a week. It started on Monday with my oldest waking up puking. He stayed out of school for two days, which always throws off our entire schedule. Then, Ford was kind enough to gift me his virus, and on Tuesday night I started puking as well. I miss work on Wednesday. Spencer goes out of town Wednesday. By the time we get to Thursday, Ford has had two days of bad remarks home from school. I am frustrated with him and tired. Weary. I am weary. That night, I put Ford in time out so many times I lost count, and I was very seriously debating putting him to bed without reading the nightly Advent devotion I’ve been doing with the kids. It can not be a good idea to angrily read the Bible to your children, I told myself, and at the same time: you are going to ruin your children by withholding the Bible as punishment. Round and round it went, all inside my head.

Here’s the thing. I am trying to make this busy, busy season mean something more. I am trying to celebrate Advent. I am trying to sit still and listen and think about what it means for Christ, my Savior, the Redeemer of the whole world to come and be born into this world as a tiny baby. I feel the magnitude of this so deeply, my bones ache, and I long to not miss it, to not let the entirety of what this event means slip right by me in the midst of dinners and parties and family and shopping.

But I fall short. I fall so short. I get frustrated at my children. I stress about gifts. I am snippy with Spencer. It’s as if the weightiness of God bringing Jesus into the word as a helpless babe is pressing against my sinfulness, and they push and pull against each other in my breast so uniquely and profoundly, especially at Christmastime. And I’m left trying to hold my ground, wishing it was easier to keep my eyes pointed upwards instead of inwards, easier to win, just easier.

In the end, I know I will probably keep debating myself about if it’s a good idea to punish my child by not reading him an Advent story at night, and I will still have to figure out how to navigate presents and family and parties. But. BUT. Here’s the other thing. I am not going to give up the fight. The fight to find tiny moments to meet with the Lord, to open my ears and my heart to hear him speak, to allow His mercy, peace, and love to flood in. Because despite my sinfulness, despite the holiday hustle, despite my children driving me up the wall, this remains:

God is sending his baby son to rescue the world! A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.

I feel it. Do you?


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