Oh, I had a plan. A great plan. One that involved reading and orderly going through our Advent calendar and singing and cooking and serving those in our community. A schedule for all of this. It was going to be fun and a time for our family to serve together. A time for us to give out of love for the One whom God sent to die for us. It was a plan that would lead us up to the birth of our Savior when we would remember the greatest gift we have ever received. I, me, us, we were going to do this. Yep. It was a plan.
Then. BAM! Life came trainwrecking in. In not too many details: I had my appendix out the day after Thanksgiving. Then every last one of these blessings got hand, foot, and mouth disease. And I caught a nasty cold. So, that is all we have been doing since November 26. We have been up to our ears with unplanned events!! And these crazy distractions were coming left and right. When would we make those cookies and bring to these people? When can I meet with this friend or that family? Why can’t we just get things together?
These questions kept coming. And the distractions continued to happen. The baby wanted to be held in the middle of sugar cookie making. The three-year-old needed assistance on the potty. And two 5- and 7-year-olds needed a real heart-to-heart.
And sometimes I had this OVERWHELMING temptation to get frustrated at my distractions. But then I look around the room at my distractions: they are PEOPLE, precious little wild children who are more important than cookies and checking the box I made for ourselves during this Advent season and singing every Christmas hymn we know and reading every story I had planned leading up to Christmas day.
YES! All these things are GOOD. So good. But maybe life isn’t about how well we crossed every plan off of our well-intended to-do list.
Maybe life on this earth is about taking every punch and doozie thrown at us and having joy amist the chaos. Joy in the middle of crazy and hard and wild and no order whatsoever? Yes. Because we can talk all about this wonderful reason of Christmas with our children even if it isn’t well-organized and in a pretty little bow. There will be seasons for that.
But if this Advent season has been laden with illness, traveling, unplanned events, or maybe sorrow, God has a plan. Maybe He is teaching us that all we must do is COME. Come to Him. Bring our children to Him. Speak of Him. Show Him to others. Serve and give when we can. Make a plan, but don’t be bound by it, gripping white knuckled as if it were our salvation. Because if a list and a plan and order are our only joy, we have a big problem. I had to check my self this season. Where does my joy lie? Really and truly only in the unchangeable Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Oh, come let us adore Him. Whatever that looks like for you or your family, do it. Get that Bible out. Read the accounts in the Gospels. Read Isaiah 9 and see the unbelievable prophetic word of the coming of Jesus. We NEED Him. He HAD to come. We were desperate, alone, drowning in our sin and shame without Him. God’s perfect rescue plan to save us is mind-blowing and worth talking about all year long. So, even if you haven’t started yet, tell your children the old, old story that ends in salvation for sinful rebels like me and you. Celebrate Him this year!