It’s finally Advent. Light in the deepest darkness. 

This round up of the week is so late it might count as an early one for this week. Actually, I can’t remember much of last week. I know we got through it. I know none of us melted down too much along the way. I know we headed to my brothers house for family fun and I know I slightly underestimated how exhausting it would be to navigate family fun with two small ones overwhelmed by all the fun and slightly confused as to why the road trip didn’t involve the much loved Daddy.

He was at home resting and I was discovering that it’s very hard to drive without the extra person to deal with small child demands. Driving tired plus whining from the back is a skill I didn’t want to master but master it I did this weekend. (If getting us all home in one piece counts as mastering it) Aside from small child exhaustion and my own exhaustion leading me to cry randomly throughout the day on Saturday (glad Mum was around to hug lots) it was a lovely weekend to catch up with the excellent brother and sister in law, hear the latest on the exciting new job and enjoy our nephews and niece having fun with their cousins.

I got home to a tired husbandface who after 2 hours of contact again needed to lie down. It’s a bit bleak around here these days. I’m hopeful of some change as meds have been upped after a trip to the doctors today and he is in conversations with work to see what he can stop doing. But still. It’s a long hard road and I’m not all that good at accepting that.

This morning I got to do what I love to do this time of year and lead a session on Advent at Tuesday group. We stopped and were silent. We were still, trusting that sensing the absence of God leads to longing for his presence. We were silent because we live in a dark world and we need to take time to long for the light. There is much going on at the moment that makes me long deeply for the light in our lives, for Jesus to step into the situations of grief and pain.

We are all facing situations of darkness and pain. We are not the only ones facing incomprehensible sorrow daily. We are not the only ones walking wearily down the road. Together we plough onwards and occasionally turn our faces towards the sky longing for answers, for relief, for a new reality, for someone to come and take the pain away. Surely someone can come and take the pain away? We long for Jesus to come, to bring an end to sadness and we long for Jesus to be present in the midst of this darkness in our life and our friends lives.

This morning we listened to Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. It says this:

“Come to earth to taste our sadness,
he whose glories knew no end,
by his life he brings us gladness,
our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number,
born within a cattle stall,
this the everlasting wonder,
Christ was born the Lord of all.”

We have a God who tasted our sadness. Who knows what it is like to walk this planet and who knows the ache and sorrow that seems to be close to all of us.

I long for him to show up this Advent time. In the midst of that longing I also long to know the value of small. Although I want to write endless series of posts on Advent, although I want to invite neighbours round for drinks, although I want to get my Christmas on in a big way and fill our diary with people and events, I can’t. This time is a time of small. We have limited stores of energy. My energy must be used in loving my boys and man well. Our life this Christmas will look small and slow and fairly unpopulated. I want to embrace that way of living. I want to know my enough is found in Jesus and not in what I do or how many friends I have. I want to lean into the silence, the small, the dark and find hope in the baby who came into the dark in a very ordinary way.

I want to find him in the midst of the sorrow and exhaustion this year. I want to love my boys as he would want me to and I want to stop long enough on the weary road to hear the angels sing.

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