The house is dark, cold and still.  I should be sleeping but it is only in the quiet that I can form cohesive sentences and thoughts that actually move in a linear fashion and not the jumble that a million interruptions produces.  Advent is here, another year to prepare my heart for Christ’s coming at Christmas and His return in glory.  I love advent.  I love the quiet and time to ponder and reflect.  I love creating a space of wonder and anticipation that is out of step with the frenzy and hyped-up emotion of the wider culture.  I love listening to Advent at Ephesus, an ethereal recording from a convent in the midwest.  I love lighting candles on these winter’s nights and seeing the beauty of Christ as our light in the midst of the darkness.  I love it all.  I feel like this is the first year I have truly entered into advent.  I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas but the beauty of waiting is filling my soul right now.

This December is also bringing to mind everything that happened last December.  Thomas just competed in the Longmont Symphony Concerto competition.  He did it last year as well and won third place.  It was the last time he felt really well.  Now as I look back on it, even before the fateful sledding accident, he wasn’t quite right.  But, of course, it is hard to tell with a growing boy who seems out of sorts.  Is he in a growth spurt?  Is he fighting off an illness?  Is he a moody teenager?  I think all of those things entered my head last year and it wasn’t until he had a rough day of sledding on December 21 that we started looking at what might be wrong.  I never stop thanking God for the sledding accident.  It was the impetus for us to have him checked by the doctor.

I find myself reliving the events of last year, tracking in my mind with what we were doing last year and seeing all of us walk right into the fateful events of January.  I know I have said it before but again I realize we have no idea what the future holds.  This thought used to produce huge amounts of fear in me, thinking of all the tragedy and pain that might strike.   After facing the depths of every fear realized, it is easier to trust and rest, knowing He has made the way through the pain.  Yes, pain will come but now I know without trying to manufacture trust.  He has placed peace in my heart.

Our trip to Spain that was derailed by cancer is being postponed again due to an active sixteen month-old named Titus.  Mark and I both looked at each other and agreed that we would like to say we are going to go next year but who the heck knows what next year holds?  Maybe a liver transplant?  Maybe good health and rest?  Maybe something neither of us can foresee?  Maybe more intense pain that we have known?  We don’t know but we do see what is before us now and walking in that and being faithful today is generally more difficult than living in the future or the past.  Our daily bread…  we ask for it again.

It is beyond lovely to be celebrating advent with a healthy household.  Actually, we haven’t really been healthy in the immediate sense, but no one is fighting of a terminal illness at the moment.  That qualifies as healthy in my mind.  My three littlest all contracted Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.  Sounds nasty and it is rather nasty.  Theo had the worst case and his hands and feet still bear the remnants of the blisters HFM left behind.  Gross.  But besides that and the normal winter colds, we are all well and Mark hasn’t even been itching.  What a joy!  As I said in the previous post we are waiting for Thomas’ scan next week.  I must admit every time I think about it my stomach somersaults and I catch my breath.  I have no reason to think anything bad will be on that scan but ‘scanxiety’ is still a real thing.  Once again, not knowing is so nice and the possibilities are all good until one knows differently.  It has been an advent intention of mine to pray through the scanxiety knowing that He knows.  I look forward to reporting good news next Wednesday.