on ritual & a restless heart

advent

Last night, I worked late. Not too late, just late enough to finish up one of the myriad projects that sits scratched on my to-do list. I haven't turned the page in my calendar for a good 3 weeks. I've just been adding, layering, highlighting, crossing out, stacking as I go. The result is overwhelming to say the least, but perhaps if mentally I can look at a calendar that is still dated early November it can make my impending deadlines seem further away.

Price worked late too, and when he got home I closed my laptop, smiled, and said - "what now?"

We cuddled with Puff for a little while. I made dinner, from scratch, even cookies.

We sat on the couch and asked, "what do we watch? Have we started a new show?"

We haven't.

The last 6, 8, 10 weeks have been such a blur, and even though every step I take into our messy little house reminds me to slow down, my restless heart has loved the journey.

It's almost as if we keep living life at warp speed, we can't settle in long enough for the change to feel real.

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The last 3 nights, we've curled up in our cozy bed and read together for Advent. I've baked cookies twice, and I've woken up early. I went to the store and bought groceries yesterday, not just for the next 3 days before we get in the car again, but enough groceries to fill the refrigerator and the pantry cabinet and spill out onto the counter.

These are simple things, but they are the cadence my life has been missing for months, and I'm trying to find the beat of a normal life again.

Perhaps it's what I love about Advent. It takes my restless, weary, traveling heart and demands it to slow down, to take deep breaths and to wait for what is next.

If there's anything I'm bad at in this particular season of waiting, it's slowing down. It's taking deep breaths. It's waiting for what's next.

My heart is too restless. Too afraid, perhaps.

I crave the rituals of Advent this year, more than perhaps I ever have before. I'm measuring the countdown to my own firstborn in the way we wait with Mary, in the way we sing and pray, in the way we watch and learn to anticipate with great joy.

So here's to an Advent season full of hope, but one that is perhaps not really that full at all. One that is wide and deep and open, with space to rest and wait. An Advent season that empties us all out, out of busyness and pressure and fear, and instead prepares our empty hearts for the fullness of joy on Christmas morning. That will be my prayer for you, and for me.

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Come Thou long expected Jesus

Born to set Thy people free

From our fears and sins release us

Let us find our rest in Thee

Israel's strength and consolation

Hope of all the earth Thou art

Dear desire of every nation

Joy of every longing heart