Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When intentionality and reflection at Christmas are missing: 3 steps I just came up with

December 21, 2010

So maybe I won't be posting an Advent reflection everyday...I did try to say something yesterday, but the words just wouldn't come. I couldn't organize my thoughts in a way in which I was happy. And then I became busy with the day...watching my husband's eyelid swell up, making some homemade gifts, finishing up what was on my shopping list, taking a much needed nap, hanging out with nephews, etc etc etc.

And throughout the day I thought about stopping and pausing and reflecting and being intentional...and it just didn't come. I wasn't feeling it, you know?

As much as I want to reflect on the season of Advent, I'm sort of stuck in the middle of reflecting on everything else. Which I know is the danger and therefore the moment where what the time of Advent is about, is lost.

So, I'm going to take it a step at a time...this pondering. I want to start with what is first on the agenda of my busy day, and then get to what I'm feeling. And hopefully, in uncovering it all, I'll reach a place of rest at the Advent of our Savior.

Step one: Name what I'm doing today.
Today I'm making peanut butter balls (for the first time), hoping that my husband is healthy enough to finish up a round of immunizations he needs for a medical report for immigration, work on my affidavit for said immigration, wrap a few gifts, email a few people, get a haircut (yay!!!), and I think that's about it.

I know, it doesn't seem like a lot on my plate, so why do I feel so lost amidst it all? I think because of step two, everything I'm feeling.

Step two: Name what you are feeling today.
Yesterday morning my husband Bela and I skyped with the people we worked with in Galati. They were having a Christmas party and we wanted to be able to say hi, so we called.

We said hi, showed off my belly, made a few jokes, and tried to understand one another between a bad internet connection and so many people talking at once that no one could hear what the other was saying. Before we ended, they sang us a song. And with all my heart I wished I was sitting in that room with them singing and laughing and celebrating.

During this season of our lives, and namely, during this Advent season, we are having to wander through the grief of leaving so many we love. And I think that grief, slammed up against the season of Advent, can make it hard to find reflective words about the season.

I think I'll share one of my favorite Christmas moments from Galati. Every year we take the kids from the center caroling around the city. Many people carol during the Christmas season in Galati, and often they do it in hopes of being given money or food. We did it in order to say thank you to those who gave or prayed or were simply a part of our lives during the year. We also would go to the kids' homes and sing for their families.

And so these kids who could sing like angels would perform their songs and at the end, one girl would recite part of Luke 2: And unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

I loved standing in the middle of courtyards and in the center of bloc apartments and hearing the name of Jesus proclaimed...Christ the Lord. I reveled in the idea that whole sections of Galati were being brought into the Light, and such Light the darkness cannot contain.

This season, I'm not doing anything half so glamorous as trudging through a snow laden city with 30 kids singing carols and speaking the name of Jesus. I'm sitting in my parent's home, listening to rain, feelling my baby's kicks get stronger, and hoping that Bela and I will be able to get our immigration application in this week.

Step 3: Speak the name of Jesus.
What I am doing today, the grief I'm wading through, the worries I'm battling may not be full of high and holy moments like a Christmas in Galati, but, they are worshipful nonetheless.

Tiny increments of time given to me in which I can say His name: Jesus, the sweet baby born to Mary. The King. The Lord. The Savior.

These seconds are handed to me and I revel in them and hope that the time will only expand and what once just a moment, will become a holy hour and even in this small part of the world, Light will unfold and no darkness or worry or grief or anything will be able to overtake it.

(art work taken from Fanpop)


jo said...

and yesterday ALL I did was complain about the rain, being sick of it, not even considering asking whats going on with you. Sorry. love you

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