Monday, December 1, 2014

When You Are Waiting

I had waited for this last week with sweet anticipation.

Waiting for the kids to all be home and for the gathering around turkey, mashed potatoes and pie. 

I waited to embrace the faces of all my grandchildren and to join hands around the table with everything served up with love, on fine white china. 

It all happened and was sweeter than I had hoped.

There were conversations and time spent with family who lingered long and relaxed, splayed out on the ground, with sale ads and bursts of laughter.  

There were consecutive days all strung together of sweet unstructured time spent with so many loved ones and friends.

Days filled with grace, not perfection.

I tried to breathe it all in.

I tried to let go of the things that maybe should have been done. Things such as this blog post. 

Instead I embraced babies that needed their flushed cheeks kissed and sat to hear the heart of those who had words to share.

Isn't it just hard to let go of the good, to embrace the best? 

Isn't it hard, not miss what you have been waiting for by being preoccupied with the things that distract us?

Well, all too soon we waved goodbye to the last sweet face.

And this morning as I lean down to pray, I notice the sprinkle of glitter that covers my footstool. In fact this glitter can be found all though our house, even in closets, bathtubs and on the beds. The two little girls with bouncy waves of hair, they are also the ones who like to dress up as Princess Rose and Princess Snow White. As they ran through the house with wands in hand and lopsided crowns, their dresses leaving a trail of pixie dust, as we played round after round of the game, Sardines.

If you are like me and have never played the game before, it is a version of hide and seek. One person hides, and the others split up and look for that person. When you find the hiding person, well, you have to hide with the hiding person until everyone is hiding in that one place. The last person to find the hiding group is the next hider.

Yes, it sounds silly and it was.

The laughter of small children, grown men and women stacked in bath tubs, closets, and behind couches rings precious in my heart. It was honestly so fun.

To live a life of thanksgiving is easy, yet does require a little of living with intention. Mostly the thankful life beckons us to live fully in the moments that present themselves.

On the last warm days before Thanksgiving, I wanted to drag out Christmas decor, but resisted.

It seems like the celebration of Thanksgiving and real living can get run over by the noise of Christmas with sales and being so consumed with my own life that I can’t see the needs in other lives. Those Pinterest boards of glossy perfection and loud commercialism all around, it is easy for me to rush though, to brush past, the day I am living.  

And now the leftovers have been eaten and the rhythm of the season seem to shift as naturally and as drastically as the temperature here. Yes, Saturday ended nearly at  70 degrees and we woke to the sharp bite of 9 degrees and wind. As if on cue, we had the fire place lit, and drug out the tree while JQ and I told each other that we were going to keep it simple this year for Christmas.

Honestly how do you do that in this tangled world?

I think Thanksgiving helped prepare my heart for the Christmas. Just to pause. To gather and give thanks. Taking time to reflect with gratitude, seems to set my heart up for the days ahead. 

Just as Thanksgiving can be buried under the push of all the glossy world, clamoring and counting the days left to shop, I can miss the real point of Christmas. 

Sometimes I love the gifts more than I love the Giver.

So this year I am counting the days of Advent.

Advent, is a Latin word that means “coming.”

And since Advent is coming and hasn't arrived, there is some waiting.

Ann Voskamp has profound truth in her book, The Greatest Gift, Unwrapping The Full Love Story of Christmas. She points out that in the Bible, before we ever read of the first Advent, the coming of Christ as a baby, we read about the family tree of Jesus.

It has always been of some strange comfort to me that Jesus has some crazy family in His genealogy. Imperfect people. All sorts of messed up folks, that fought and lied and who had affairs and who had more than a few dark secrets.

Perhaps best of all, are the women named in the line of Jesus. Women who the world would look on as unfit to be named in a royal line.

I love it.

Love. It.

It has never been about how good we are, but only about the perfect Gift of the Great Giver.


He is the greatest Love Story ever told. 

The whole Bible threads stories together of people who were waiting. 

Waiting for the Miracle. 

Waiting for the Promised One.

They were waiting for the fulfillment of the scriptures that said a King was coming.

The very God who spoke all of creation into being, comes to earth as a tiny baby. This swaddled Son is the Savior of the World.

Have you accepted the Gift He offers?

Have you embraced the fullness and freedom of that Gift?

Our Christmas tree is now lit with soft lights, in anticipation of the Christmas celebration. 

And these days of waiting for the big day, I am counting. 

I'm not counting how many shopping days are left, but I'm counting rings on the family tree of Christ.

Would you be interested in joining me?

It would be sweet to journey and count down the days together, remembering how The Story unfolds from Genesis to Revelations.

And as we wait, as we count the days until Christmas, would you share what God is doing in your life? 

What is something you are waiting on? 

I'd love to pray for you.


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© Rhonda Quaney