Posts Tagged Advent

An Expectant Mother’s View on Advent

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is just a week away. Since Thanksgiving is so late this year, that means the Advent season is quickly approaching too. This year, at 36–almost 37–weeks pregnant, I am viewing advent from a different perspective. Mary, Jesus’ mother, was at the same stage of pregnancy I am right now waiting for her baby boy to be born. I imagine as a first-time mom, Mary would’ve felt much of what I’m feeling right now: anxious and nervous about labor and delivery (because of not knowing what to expect), wondering when I might go into labor, excitement about being able to meet my son soon, wondering how being a parent will change my life and if I’ll be good at it, etc.

Advent is about waiting expectantly. At Christmas, we’re waiting expectantly for Christ to be born. Now that He has already come and gone back to be with the Father, today we are waiting expectantly for Christ to return at the Second Coming. I think being nine months pregnant gives you a great sense of how we should feel about longing and waiting for Christ’s return. I’m longing for this baby to be born (although somewhat reluctantly sometimes when I think of the pain I’m going to have to endure for him to get here) and I’m ready to not be pregnant anymore. I know the baby can come at almost any time at this point, but I still feel like I have so much to do before he gets here. I need to finish putting baby things away, get a few more baby things that we need, get the car seat inspected in my car, finish up things at work before maternity leave (mostly trying to work ahead), etc. I’m trying to prepare as best I can for baby’s arrival, but I also know he can come before I even get to do some of these things. So in the meantime, I’m actively waiting by doing things to prepare for whenever he gets here.

Similarly, we don’t know when Christ will return and we may feel like there are so many things we want to get done before He arrives (like getting married, having kids, traveling, experiencing life the way you want, sharing the Gospel with those who haven’t heard–hopefully this last one should be more of a priority–etc). Jesus may come back before any of these things happen, so we need to be prepared too by actively waiting for Him and focusing on the things that matter most in eternity. We should be living in a way that is actively preparing ourselves for Christ’s arrival on this earth. I know I don’t generally think in these terms or live with this in mind, but I want to have that kind of focus.

To help me with this, I’m going to be reading through Ann Voskamp‘s The Greatest Gift, this December. It’s a beautiful little book published by Tyndale that traces and celebrates the lineage of Jesus while pointing to the coming promise of Christ. {For full disclosure, I do work for Tyndale, but was not required to post about this book. I’m just personally excited to use it!} I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to keep up with the readings once Baby Stroud is born, but I’m going to try to keep up as I can.

Ann actually did a great webcast today with Liz Curtis Higgs as they both spoke about remembering the true meaning of Christmas. You can watch the entire “Christmas at the Farm” webcast on-demand and I’d encourage you to do so!

So as I’m patiently waiting for Baby Stroud to arrive (still patient right now…if I go past my due date, that may be another story), I hope I can take these feelings of waiting, anticipation, and even anxiety and allow them to remind me that I’m also waiting for my Savior’s return, which should be even more exciting and highly anticipated. May that reminder help me to refocus my attention on what is most important this Christmas season.

Do you do anything special for Advent to focus on the true meaning of Christmas? 

Advertisements

, , , , , , ,

1 Comment

On Waiting

12/23/10 - Chicago Union Station after getting engaged

Around this time last year I was anxiously waiting. I can’t even explain the emotions I felt, but anyone who has waited for something good and exciting to come–a specific thing–knows the feeling I’m talking about. Lisa Velthouse‘s recent blog post reminded me of those feelings. She captured my thoughts perfectly as she wrote:

“…with all of my breath I have been waiting. Wishing. Wanting. Hoping. Praying that it would happen. And what I have been telling myself is that if this something were to come true it might possibly change my whole life for the better.”

The event I was waiting for was a marriage proposal. I knew it was coming soon because I knew Gerald had talked to my parents about it around Thanksgiving. He probably shouldn’t have given me so much detail because that made the waiting harder. I knew he was looking for an engagement ring because we’d shopped for one together. I knew we were going on a series of dates around Christmas time so I wouldn’t know when the actual proposal was coming (sneaky, but it drove me crazy with anticipation). I was putting so much hope and anticipation for the day I would get engaged knowing that moment would change my life forever and feeling like my life would somehow be more complete once it happened.

Well, that proposal came. We got engaged on December 23, 2010–a year ago today. The event was actually a little anti-climactic because I didn’t even realize what was happening until Gerald practically told me in the poem he wrote. I didn’t have those feelings of anticipation right before because I was being grumpy in the car on the way to the proposal site. If I had known what was going to happen, my attitude would’ve been completely different.

With Christmas just a few days away and the season of Advent coming to an end, we remember God coming to earth in the form of a baby. Since that first Christmas, we’re now also supposed to be anticipating Christ’s return to Earth as the conquering king. Advent is supposed to remind us to look toward that future coming with great expectations. We know what’s going to happen (read Revelation), but we don’t seem to care as much.

I’ll admit that I don’t often think about Christ’s Second Coming, nor do I wait anxiously for it to arrive. Instead, I’m more focused on what I have going on in my everyday life and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Christ’s return seems so far away, and yet we’re told that He can come at any time when we least expect it. I’m not sure if I’ll feel the same kind of anxious anticipation about Christ’s return as I did about getting engaged, but I think if I try to focus my attention on things with eternal value, I will be desiring and anticipating that return with more urgency and with greater expectation.

For with engagement came joy, but also stresses and more hard work; but with Christ’s return all the wrongs in this world will finally be made right. And then our lives will truly be made whole.

So what are you waiting for?

Merry Christmas!

, , , , ,

6 Comments