As we beging the secular descent into holiday hell, which seems to have replaced the holy season of Advent and the Incarnation (Christmas), I reflect on those things that I’ve been blessed with:
I consider the very simple, modest beginnings of our first home in the city, second-hand furniture, tiny yard, and lots of pb&j. We were happy.
Then, our move to the country… sinking every penny into drilling wells, cleaning septic tanks, upkeeping 10 acres of woods, plowing a driveway so long that even Jehovah Witnesses wouldn’t come up, homeschooling, canning, hunting, and freezing. My husband was never home because he worked overtime every day and 7 days a week just to pay the bills. Life was hard but we were content.
Now, 26 years into our marriage, we are mostly empty nesters: one child married and living two hours away, and our youngest is finishing up at grad school. We have moved back to the city; living in small condo in a quiet community. Our grass and landscaping is done for us, my husband no longer works overtime, and we are able to have weekly ‘date nights’ without worrying if the bills will get paid. We are blessed.
Today, I reflect on those times, but focus on the constants in my life:
- My husband
- My children
- My faith
It doesn’t matter where we live, what we own, and what our home looks like. It’s the three constants that keep me grounded, keep me safe, and guide me to a life of holiness.
As the holiday commercials tempt us with cool products we don’t need, clothing and jewelery that feed our vanity, and decor that fuels our desire for that magical morning of glitter and glam which leaves us with major credit card debt and the need to rent a small storage facility in January, let us focus on what is really necessary and important: faith & family. Without God we would have neither.
Today, before the crazy really hits…
- be grateful for the simple things,
- pray for the grace to be happy with very little,
- hold your family close to your heart, forgiving and asking forgiveness where you need to, and
- praise God for whom all blessings flow.
Pray for me this Advent as I pray for you.