advent journal: getting there



week of

advent has passed

only tonight did I bring the

boxes up from the basement so we

could start hanging memories on our tree

it will be tomorrow before I hang any lights in

place of the dead ferns that give our old house a boo

radley feel in the fall we are moving slower than the season it

seems Jesus will be in high school

before we get to bethlehem




  1. Milty, it’s okay. Ease up on yourself. Just because you did it one way for years does not mean you cannot change some to suit this year’s “condition”. I remember the first year we had no tree and few decorations. My mother had a stroke over Thanksgiving weekend. We found several of my Christmas tree collection and put them on the library table in the foyer. The gifts then went under the table. Advent and its happenings were centered at UBC. We learned a lot. It will be a rich Advent, but a totally different Advent. With love and support from the funny farm, currently covered in an abundant layer of Texas ice.

  2. The walk to the stable is different each year. Sometimes I run; sometimes I crawl and make interesting detours. The year our infant daughter died, I think I screamed all the way .This year, having just moved, I am without a church choir directing job. Typically my whole world is revolving around that cantata, the four Sundays in Advent, and planning our family celebrations with and around church services. I feel myself floating a little in Advent of 2013. Due to travel and working on the last minute revisions to my cookbook, I’m worshiping in a different church each Sunday. Odd how my body wants everything to be the same, to have the plan (to have helped MAKE THE PLAN!), to hear and see the same things….and yet I’m pretty sure that’s not what Advent’s about. On my own, I admit I’m glad to have the basic lectionary texts engraved in my heart and to enjoy having more time to invite friends for supper or to bake. My mom, gone now since ’85, always said, “Christmas comes. It comes no matter what, Alyce.” The joy of opening the doors to the stable of our hearts and welcoming in new love awaits. No doubt. Walk, stroll, skip, roll, maybe just breathe there. We can take our time. All of us. Even Jesus took 9 months.

  3. Be kind to yourself. You haad a wonderful relationship with your father, it is ri
    ght and just that you should still grieve.

    I have been in and oiut of the ‘black abyss’ that is depression my entire life.

    I always had Christmas Eve at my house for the family gathering. The year my father died, I put the tree up in the living room and left it bare. That was as far as I ciould go. When my (now) son-in-lsw came in, he found the lights and strung them on the tree.
    That act not only brightened the evening for all of us, it showed me how much he loved all of us.

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