The theme for advent around here this year is practicing patience, enjoying the waiting, the longing. I unpacked our Christmas boxes after two years of storage in my Mom’s attic. It’s kind of silly the deep satisfaction I felt when, really, it’s only nativity sets and ornaments, but I did, all the longing of wanting to make a place for our own little family, fulfilled.
The first Christmas we spent at my Mom’s I was very nauseous, about two months pregnant. We had sold our house and moved a month before. There had still been herbs in my garden, the last jalapenos on our bushes. I had left the house where I had birthed two other babies and wasn’t sure yet where I’d be delivering this third, the last one.
On Christmas Eve in our room my husband handed me a small bag. I opened the bag and unwrapped the paper. It was a beautiful etched glass ornament, all smoky metal with gold accents. I looked at my husband in dismay. What on Earth was I going to do with a Christmas ornament when all my boxes were put away and I had no tree? He caught my look and my hands.
“This ornament is a promise. We will have our own place again and our own tree.”
So I wrapped the bulb back up and kept it in its bag in the closet for the next year and a half. And I just got it out today. I opened up the paper and for the first time since two Christmas’s ago admired the etched lines and metal sheen.
Sometimes we wait for a short time. Sometimes we wait a lifetime. And sometimes there is no longer waiting than the forty-five minutes before lunchtime to a four year-old belly.
Wherever you’re at, whatever promise you may have waiting wrapped up on your shelf, I hope that your longing may find satisfaction this season.