Someone I knew once said,
“You win some…you lose most.”
It feels a bit dismal at first, but maybe there is something to a statement like that.
This week we began Advent. At our dinner table we light a candle around our homemade advent wreath, read scripture and reflect upon the idea of waiting with expectation in this season.
I would love to say it is a transforming powerful time where my children are hanging on every word I share, they ask insightful questions, and it ends with a singing of Handle’s Messiah, closed by an earth shattering prayer, and we are all changed…but that would be a bold face lie.
The truth is, you win some…you lose most.
We stumble through the scriptures, we awkwardly push through the reading and reflections, and it usually ends with my kids asking…
“Are we finished yet?”
And me saying, “please don’t light that on fire…I like our house and don’t want it to burn down.”
As you can obviously tell, Advent is a huge success at my house. We. Are. Nailing. It.
You win some…you lose most.
Here is the truth though. Working through the season of Advent is not a performance piece. We are not judged on how well we executed it. We are not given a score. We just consistently journey towards Christmas Day. We reframe our worldview and outlook from the ways of consumerism and meeting everyones perceived expectations to focus on the birth of our Lord and Savior. As the people 2000 years ago were waiting for the birth of their King, it wasn’t all holly and jolly. They didn’t always have beautiful moments with twinkling lights where everyone thoughtfully reflected upon the excitement of the first Christmas in the near future.
We must let go of the unattainable ideas that we are putting on ourself. Release the ideas that our Christmas cards have to be perfect. As best as we can, free ourself from those pressures and expectations and fix our eyes upon Christmas. Not peppermint mochas and handcrafted gifts, but Christmas.
The time between when we found out we were pregnant and the time our kids were born were filled with lots of expectations. There was chaos, there were high expectations, there were moments of hope, peace, joy, and love…but also moments of discouragement, dissonance, and disappointment.
As we patiently journey towards Christmas morning in this season of Advent, I want to help you to be reminded that not everything is going to be “perfect”. There will be highs and lows. But we can work to make the most of this time we have.
Carve out time each day to dwell upon the hope, peace, joy and love in this season, not the stress and anxiety about travel or family or gifts or whatever else is consuming your mind, but focus upon the birth of Jesus. Think about the Word made flesh. Reflect upon God stepping into creation. Spend a few moments each day reading through the Advent Guide and scripture. Take time to reflect and pray. Some days will be great…some will not.
You win some…you lose most.
The good news is, Christmas is coming even if Advent is terrible. So, even though you may feel like you are losing, we all win in the end.
For more info about Advent and Christmas at The Chapel or to access the Advent Guide, go to thechapelatseaside.com/christmas.