Several months ago, a friend gave me the book, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. Admittedly, it’s not the kind of book you can just breeze through in one sitting. It’s a hardcover meant to be enjoyed, over the course of many a couch sitting, preferably with a hot cup of tea.
Precisely the kind of book I don’t have time for as the busy mom of five. But, I will tell you that it was the words of my friend that encouraged me to carve out the time to read it. “This book will change the way you look at your son’s medical challenges,” she said.
As providence would have it, I’ve been enjoying bits and pieces of the book and I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the time was found just as I begin the season of Advent. There’s one thing Ann says in the book that I keep coming back to: “Life is not an emergency.”
Life is not an emergency. I treat it that way, though. All. The. Time.
Did you see my to-do list for today? I’ve got four errands to run between the first and second school drop-offs. There is a pile of laundry still sitting the dryer that needs to be folded. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the cookies to bake for class parties, the teacher gifts to craft and the packages to wrap. There’s my husband’s work party, office papers to be filed and a cabinet to reorganize.
As I mentally go over my “list”, my eyes rest upon my kitchen table. Underneath the homework I need to review, the folder I need to sign and a few Hot Wheels, I spy it. The homemade Advent wreath my daughter crafted in kindergarten class. The first “candle” is lit. The orange and red tissue paper proudly pokes itself through the top of the paper-covered toilet paper roll. I remember that my heart is supposed to be focused on Christ.
Who knew a toilet paper roll could be so profound? Evidently, God.
My days will still be filled with chaos, or organized chaos, as we refer to it in our home. However, how will my heart approach the day? Will I see the baking as an opportunity to share some love with people I adore? Will I attend that office Christmas party and thank my husband’s boss for providing for our family? Will I wrap those packages, envisioning the smile that will occur when the gift is opened on Christmas Day?
You see, the secular world gives us chaos and noise, but it’s up to us to ask God to bring us peace and gratitude. We can either enjoy this journey of Advent with a grateful heart or bemoan all its busyness. I’m choosing the former.
Today’s Advent challenge? Name one small way you are choosing to celebrate Advent in your home this season. Don’t go all Pinterest crazy on me. Choose one small way to bring Christ in your home, write it down and own it. Make it happen and enjoy this blessed season!