Things got away from me at the end of November, when I would ordinarily have posted something, and even the beginning of December was packed. There were fun things, like a quick road trip to Minnesota. We saw this again on the way:
We had no Sharpie, but Brittany managed to sign the one designated “signature” car:
We were headed to Shakopee to surprise Courtney (Jay’s idea) with an early 40th birthday celebration, although the big day is not until the 20th.
Chelsea didn’t have as much time off, but of course, she wouldn’t miss it, so flew in to join in the fun:
So we were all together. Jay pulled it off. Courtney was completely surprised and nearly in tears when she saw us. Worth every mile to see her smile!
Then, both Brittany and Courtney had surgery on the 8th, but I’m happy to report both are recovering nicely, although it takes time.
Meanwhile at my house, all kinds of things were going wrong and needing attention or time or money or all three. Yikes. Here’s a poem I wrote around the time things were going haywire at an alarming pace:
I’ll Admit I Have a Thing for Snow Globes
And yes, I did just willingly fork
over forty bucks for the privilege
of watching silver glitter flash
and swirl around a cockeyed
scene in ceramic—
a tiny steepled church,
leaning left, as I do,
dwarfed by three tall spruces,
green-painted branches tipped in white.
And yes, the oven needs replacing,
and the HOA is demanding
funds for a road,
and a window was broken
by landscapers who are not
happy to pay, no matter what they say,
and a blind won’t obey
when the button is pushed,
and the heat just kept heating
and blowing and burning,
pulling me from sleep,
waking to summer’s heat
on that cold winter night,
the night of the day where I paid
with funds needed elsewhere, I paid
to smile and stare
and pretend myself there,
in a sparkling, pristine,
Of course, a snow globe can only do so much on the inner peace front, but things are getting done. The landscaper turned out only to be busy, not reluctant, and has paid me. Yay! Several other issues resolved with little or no expense, and suddenly here we are in Advent and it’s nearly Christmas.
Apparently I’m not the only one occasionally feeling a bit frazzled these days. I heard an ad the other day recommending Legos to adults as a source of peace, but if you’ve ever stepped on one barefoot, I doubt peace was the immediate result.
Which brings us finally to the reason for the title: “Advent Peace.” (I know you were wondering.) I’ve been thinking about the four themes of Advent especially this year, because I was asked to write and present something for one of the four weeks, which include Hope, Faith, Joy, and Peace. If you know me at all, you know I’m a pro worrier, so it may surprise you to hear I chose to write about peace. Weirdly, wonderfully, supernaturally, I do often feel the peace of God, even in the midst of whatever is going on, even if it’s going wrong. He meets me where I am, if only I pay attention.
I’ll be presenting what I wrote (and lighting the candle–yes, they’re trusting me with fire) this Sunday, the 19th. But if you won’t be there or watching online, here’s the shorter version–it’s already short: The very best gift you could receive this Christmas is the transcendent peace of God, which he gives freely to anyone who asks. I hope you will.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a glorious New Year!