We are half way through the first week of Advent, and I can't believe it. Advent is one of my favorite seasons of the year, perhaps second to Lent (I know, I'm a weirdo). It's such an exciting time, and a refreshing time. Advent comes from the Latin adventus which literally means 'coming'. And so, Advent is a season of anticipation, expectation, longing, and discipline.
I think the idea of anticipation or longing hits home for a lot of people...it certainly does for me...perhaps it's been a tough year financially or emotionally...perhaps you're in the midst of a challenging situation, a battle with cancer...we can't wait for it to be over--for things to be good, normal, balanced, right again. We long to breathe deeply and rest securely.
Today's first reading (yeah, my Catholic is coming out) is from Isaiah (1IS 25:6-10A). A familiar one, and a good one, it's a hopeful image that looks forward to the day when 'God will wipe away every tear from our eyes'. Can I get an Amen!? After an exhausting weekend and a year that's brought some doozies, those words sound so nice, so incredibly comforting.
But Advent isn't just about waiting. It's about working, too. It's about discipline. This might be the aspect I love most. Advent is a time to reflect on the year, spend some time inspecting our lives--what we did well, what we could have done better, and who we want and are called to be. Are we holding on to any anger or resentment or jealousy? Are we too hard on ourselves? Are we too hard on others? Do we look for and experience The Divine in our lives? Or do we think this is it?
Advent allows us time and space to ask the tough questions and then resolve to ready ourselves...not fix ourselves, but rather, ready ourselves to be fixed, to be healed, to be loved and nurtured and fed. Advent is a time of preparing to receive. We are called to let our guard down and break down our tough spots, so when Jesus gets here, He doesn't find a hardened heart, but a heart that is broken and waiting for Him.
Happy Advent everyone.
A note about Deluxe:
This weekend was so great. The Deluxe Winter Market was a huge success for me. I was so excited going into it, and I'm relieved that my excitement wasn't wasted. I'm continually amazed by how sweet people are to me about my art. It really resonates with them, which is so reassuring. And although the weekend was so exhausting (it literally took me two days to sort of catch up on life), I feel so inspired to create new art and new products for others to enjoy. So stay tuned and come see me in Tulsa in two weeks!!