Sunday, December 2, 2007

waiting

Today we got an advent calendar. I love advent calendars.
Although, I do believe the little chocolate treats behind
the tiny paper doors grow more waxy as the years go by.
Either that or my palate is growing more sophisticated.
But I digress.
I think the reason I love advent calendars is because
during my childhood, they were the one redeeming factor of
the long and arduous wait for Christmas day.
25 days in December before you get to open your presents?
To a child that seems like a lifetime.
But each door opened, each Christmas shaped chocolate eaten,
symbolized one day closer to the DAY OF ALL DAYS.
I remember asking my mom repeatedly,"Is it today?"
To which she would answer,
"No, we have (blank) days left until Christmas."
The night before Christmas was almost unbearable.
I'm pretty sure I got in trouble most Christmas Eves.
The air was electric. We were wild with anticipation.
Boundless goodies and toys were just around the corner.
Going to sleep was near impossible. CHRISTMAS WAS COMING!
And I must say that I am no better at waiting these days.
I am anxious for answers, dreams, people, vacations, etc. to arrive.
Just last week, when we were waiting for my sister to arrive
from Oregon, I could have 27 run nervous laps around the house
from all the excitement welling up within me.
Scott said I am as bad as the kids. I have a child like spirit.
That's why I love chocolate and presents so much.
I think I have spent a great deal of my life waiting.
Waiting for my permanent teeth. Waiting for my birthdays.
Waiting to get married. Waiting for my babies to be born.
Waiting to be published. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
And then there all the mundane hours of waiting.
Waiting for laundry to get done. Waiting at stop lights.
Waiting in line at the grocery. Waiting for checks to clear.
Waiting for kids to finish going to the bathroom.
You will absolutely not believe how much time I have spent
knocking on bathroom doors asking,
"Are you done in there, for goodness sake?"
So much waiting in this life.
My friend, Lindsey, reminded me today that life is found in the waiting.
Not so much in the big events but in the in between stretches.
In the tired supergirl verse, Isaiah 40:29-31, it says,
"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength..."
In other translations it says,
"Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strenth..."
And I have never before thought those two things could be the same.
Because hope seems like such a positive, uplifting thing,
and waiting seems like this long horrible angst ridden thing.
I am full of hope for good things but I am tired of the waiting.
But I am beginning to see that they go hand in hand.
We wait in hope. We can wait because we have hope.
We wait on God's timing because our hope is in Him and Him alone.
It is the very essence of Christmas.
All that waiting for the Messiah. All that hoping. All that believing.
And then there it was. Christmas. God with us.
I am sure I will never like the waiting.
It is not in me. It wasn't in me when I was 5. It isn't now.
And yet I am filled with hope for all that tomorrow holds.
Prayers answered, wishes granted, friendships relished and
of course, one more waxy piece of chocolate.
2 down....only 23 more to go.

4 comments:

Karlee said...

I too love Advent calenders. This year I ordered lego Advent calenders from lego.com and they are a must have for those whose children are into legos. My four year old daughter has even been enjoying the girl version (Belville). This year we built the lego holiday train on Thanksgiving so the treasures found within the advent calender are making a nice addition to that.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I never had an advent calendar growing up, and the advent wreath tradition never stuck in our family. (My Dad is a pastor; I think my Mom just felt blessed to make it through the Christmas season alive with four kids.)

But my kids have an advent calendar this year, bestowed on them by their (nonbelieving) aunt, complete with the required waxy chocolates.

By the way, wonderful thoughts on waiting. My husband and I were just talking about this very thing yesterday. Life is in the waiting. Best enjoy it.

deezmath said...

Sue, oft-times you bring tears to my eyes and today is one of those times. God so has me in a waiting game these days and Christmas is just really going to be a lot harder than I tho't it was going to be...all the shuffling really just stinks, you know? My Bible has the former version "hope" but I know the more common is the "wait" and the way you correlated the two just really brought such a blessing to me today, a blessing that I really needed as last night and tonight are those in the "shuffling" area.

Thanks for your wonderful, Holy Spirit inspired, insight. Bless you.

Diza
p.s. we have the advent calendars, too, and good grief, the waiting from day to day is too much for them! lol

emilymr said...

We got the mother of all advent calendars this year from... my mother. It's a beast. It doesn't fit in the house. http://tinyurl.com/2hnvmm

I hear ya on the waiting for the bathroom. And how about the waiting during the dawdle home??? I need to remember that life is in the waiting. Otherwise, I think Micah's shortened my life by about 16 years just in this last week. :/