Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Adding my Voice to the Chorus

The story of advent, for me, is one of faith. Faith that that night would come. Faith that a Son would be born. Faith that the star would lead to something .  Faith that no matter what you've gone through or your current situation, it's all about making it to tonight.

I didn't grow up with advent in our home, so the lighting of candles and this period of immersive anticipation was a little lost on me. The only thing we anticipated was going to bed or wrapping those few straggling presents. We watched the movies and we sang the carols, but reflecting on the coming of the King wasn't present.

And that worked for a while. It's easy to get lost in the ways of the world, focusing on the busy-ness and the obligations. It's easy to lose yourself in the spirit of Christmas without ever touching the Spirit.

This year was different. This year was a chorus of voices, perspectives on the season that I had never understood before- studying and exploring scriptures I had never bothered to understand past face value. This is advent. The building of this foundation, this filter to which we can look through and see the true story.
That Mary didn't just bear the Son of God, people must have thought she was nuts. Her excuse was communication with angels? Or Joseph who must have struggled with a few doubts on his cross-country road trip with a very pregnant young wife.

But it's the wise men who mean the most to me. To me, they walked the ultimate walk of faith. They weren't Christians or Jews to believe in a Savior, but their faith brought them the Son of God tucked into a feeding trough in the most humble of beginnings.
That's Christmas. No matter your background or your beliefs, what you've endured or overcome or are still struggling with, it's the belief that your journey has an end worth traveling to get to.

Tonight as I'm struggling to find a talent for the family Christmas Eve Talent Show, or grabbing a few more stocking stuffers, I'll remember that my journey doesn't end here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

On How I Need to Go Off My Life Diet

This season of my life is like chewing with my mouthful. My eyes were bigger than my stomach and we decided- it seemed like a good idea at the time- to take a hefty serving of all the goodies life had to offer. But now I'm stuck with the laborious task of chewing and swallowing and I would like to give some back thankyouverymuch without looking like I'm hiding it discreetly in my napkin, but that's actually what I'm doing.

In this scenario I'm me, my food is various Christmas gifts, work projects and other obligations, while the act of hiding it all is really just prioritizing to Before Christmas and After Christmas. Some things just aren't making the cut.

Does that sounds awful? Because it feels awful. I'm happiest when I'm doing something, but I never seem to think that doing something for myself is very productive. In fact, I read this blog post the other day and nearly cried because inside I'm screaming "THAT'S ME! THAT'S ME!" but attention very quickly turned to the myriad of Christmas ornaments I'm decorating to send to friends and family this year.

Why can't I see myself as a priority? Why is spending time with my husband un-productive unless I'm dragging him to one errand or another until we both plant ourselves in cushions at the end of the day? I feel like I'm on a bad diet- the kind that starves you of the protein that you really  need to stay full and satisfied, so by dinner you're so hungry you binge-eat all the things you were avoiding because you have no self-control anymore.

I need to stop dieting my life.

I need to stop restricting the experiences I'm ingesting because they're too rich: too expensive or too indulgent or take up too much time.

Life is a giant-size pair of mom jeans with an elastic waistband. No matter what I do, it'll always accommodate me. It may get a little tight at times, but it still goes on. It always goes on. It's just up to me to enjoy myself.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

LOVED This Weekend

I'm still on the fence with how I feel about holiday blog posts- do I do them? Are they cheesy? Do I need to let the blogosphere know that I celebrated? When it really comes down to it, I'm too busy living in the moment, and I hope you are too.

Living in the moment by celebrating with family. Watching our dog get absolutely round with not-very-sneaky pieces of turkey.

Living in the moment by Black Friday shopping with my husband- someone who looks forward to the dirt-cheap movie prices (and actually affordable tools/electronics/clothing items) all year round. We cleaned out three stores by the time we were done!
Taking all of those extra calories, that impending sense of holiday dread and a wide open space on the couch, and putting them to good use...by sleeping for almost 15 hours on Saturday. Not my finest moment, but I feel great.

Finally, our Sunday tradition- hiking Griffith Park.
This weekend was one of endings and of beginnings, as well. Allow me to wax poetic a bit, here. National Novel Writing Month is over, and I wrote 10,000 words. All on one topic. I don't think I've ever done that. The goal was 50k, but heck, I wrote most of those words in the last few days- and now that I have momentum I'll be damned if I'm going to let the end of the month stop me. This story is going to be written, ya'll.

Finally, there's Voices in the Desert; a collection of writers/bloggers (including myself!) are writing about advent. We're responding to scripture and letting you, our readers, understand what advent means to us in our own words. I'm both excited and nervous to write about that, but mostly anxious- and isn't that the point?