after baths we put up our jesse tree ornaments from the past few days that we had missed for one reason or another. the girls were in footsie jammies and i watched them scramble over kirby to reach the branches as i tried to tell short and interesting versions of each of the symbols. afterward we lit the second candle on our advent wreath, prayed a short prayer and sang a verse of 'o come, o come Emmanuel.' together, in the dark of our dining room, with two candles burning and two wide eyed girls watching it struck me (again, for the millionth time) how amazing it is to be given the privilege of parenting. these kids can't sing along with a christmas carol yet, they cant understand the depth of the Story, what it means to rejoice because He came to ransom us... but i get to show it to them. i get the creative freedom, the ability to establish beautiful and meaningful traditions in our home, i get to teach them, to point them to Him, to help to stir up an anticipation- an anticipation that now is excited only by christmas lights and the idea that someone named santa might drop off a princess bike on christmas morning... but also that a Baby was born on a still, cold night and there was a moment that changed everything. i don't think there is a better job on earth than mine.
this is why i love advent... it is so easy to talk about how important it is to remember what christmas is 'really about.' but without advent, we would only have one day to do that. one day to remember, be thankful, rejoice, reflect. and while that would be fine it it were all we had, advent allows us to stoke the flames, to pay attention to the lyrics in the songs we are singing, to really get excited and to remember why. it's the most beautiful time for me and i love seeing it come to life in the eyes of my babies. it reminds me of the magic that we should all feel right now.
i loved this reflection in a little advent journal made by a friend of mine-
"Are you ready for the coming of Love? Behold, He comes in the womb of a woman. You will catch your first glimpse of Love on the straw of a stable. There He is, emptying Himself, the Lord of Hosts; out of love He became a child."