The word ‘advent’ means ‘coming.’ The tradition of celebrating Advent builds the anticipation of the Christ Child’s arrival on Christmas Eve. To me it is a significant reminder that as Christ once came, He is coming again. Concurrently, it reminds me that a new year is coming and with that new year, new changes. New people will enter my life and some will leave it. New responsibilities will be added and some will conclude. Refining will happen within me, causing me to end old, stagnant habits and develop new, thriving ones. Advent prepares the heart for the Christmas season.
Today is the first day of Advent for this year and marks the beginning of the first advent with my husband. As we discuss and prepare our own traditions to bring the most meaning into this holy time, my thoughts drift backwards to the traditions and values instilled in me by my own parents. Until I moved into my own home and began living the life I had spent so many years preparing for, I did not realize how great an impression my parents have made on me.
It humors me when I find myself unconsciously wiping all the water off the kitchen sink after doing dishes or making sure that the dish towels aren’t hanging on the stove when I open the oven so that they don’t drag on the floor. I recognize it as I save every receipt and all of my bank statements or put cream in almost every dish that I cook. But I see it the most in the passionate desire I have to live intentionally – not just for the sake of living or for the sake of being intentional, but for the sake of the One Who died intentionally so that I could live for Him.
Advent was always important to our family as I grew up. It was a time to set aside busy, light a candle in the twilight, and be still to remember that Jesus is God. I treasured that time and want to carry on the tradition of instilling intentional living and intentional stillness in the hearts of all who join our family. Christ is coming and Christ is here. Will I include Him in all I do, now and in the new year?