"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Despite the best intentions

Advent is one of my favorite - if not my absolute favorite - times of the year. Maybe it's because for every single one of my 4 pregnancies, I was pregnant for all of Advent. For obvious reasons, it's much easier to get into the Advent spirit when you're carrying a precious baby in your womb just like Mary did.

When I was pregnant with Levi, we found out on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (today!!) that he was indeed a boy. And that was probably my favorite Advent ever - pregnant, with a boy, just like Mary was over 2000 years ago. Even if we didn't get to celebrate Christmas quite the way we were anticipating.

I really do have the best of intentions every single year to slow down, pray more, spend more time with my hubby and kiddos, and basically, just focus on Jesus, Mary, and the beauty our Church has to offer this time of year. Being pregnant really helps with that, especially because the last 3 times I've been in the throes of morning sickness (and with Landon I was on bedrest!).

This year, though, I feel like I'm failing big time - even though we don't have any major events going on like several of my friends (i.e. moving, pregnancy, etc.). I don't remember the last time I've been this behind on laundry, the baby and I are still holding on to a cold the big boys had last week, said baby is also cutting his first tooth, I think we've only done our Jesse Tree 3 days (despite starting it early), there's baby pee on my bed sheets (proof that he nursed alllll night....size 4 diaper couldn't even handle it) that will contribute to the worsening laundry situation, there's poop in the baby's carseat due to an unfortunate diaper blowout situation, and, um, I'm tired. So tired. Oh, and I also realized this morning we need to pack up all the 6-month clothes and bust out the rest of the 9-month ones because big boy keeps growing. As babies do (though why does it seem to happen overnight??).

Did I mention the laundry situation? Right.

Between the baby's endless nursing and the big boys waking up earlier and earlier, I'm finding my morning quiet/prayer time is being oh so limited too - despite the fact that I've been setting my alarm for months and even started setting it earlier. I'm really, really trying to slow down and create quiet space/alone time in my life. But still I'm finding myself praying Morning Prayer in bed as I nurse the baby, just to wake up and have approximately 30 seconds of journaling time before one of the other boys wakes up. Sigh. Life isn't exactly cooperating with me at the moment.

I can't even blame the holiday craziness on everything either- our Christmas cards went out last week, I have 95% of our presents done, and we did stockings on St. Nicholas Day so those are done too. Yet I found myself, on perhaps the coldest day in Louisiana this fall thus far (it's in the 40s! go ahead and laugh away you northerners), rolling up to preschool drop off this morning wearing a t-shirt, pajama pants, flip flops, and glasses, in lieu of real clothes and contacts. For the first time this year. What the heck is happening? (The kids were dressed, at least...)

Despite the best intentions, my Advent is not looking like I hoped it would. Sometimes you just can't plan around the craziness of life.

But perhaps it's what God planned for our little family this year. Because there is no doubt in my mind that all of these unplanned situations and frustrations - and the ridiculous lack of sleep going on in my house right now - is what has me clinging even more to the fact that Jesus is coming. We'll celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, yes, but He's coming too. It could be next year, next month, heck TOMORROW, and it won't matter how far behind I am on laundry or how much sleep I'm getting (or not).

What matters is that our souls are ready, our eyes are looking heavenward, and our hearts are at peace because we're resting in Him. And I'm going to keep making time for prayer and silence, no matter what life brings my way, because we don't know when Jesus is going to make his grand entrance. Gotta be ready.

We've got this. (Right?? I hope so.)
"Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, 
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand." 
-James 5: 7-8, NAB

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