Skip to main content

Waiting. Anticipating.


This is a very sacred time for me.

Something transforming was conceived in me nearly 7 years ago while I was heavy with child, enduring betrayal and all around me were the lights, bells, talk of presents and Christmas music.

Every year since that get-on-your-knees-so-you-can-see-your-Savior-God-made-into-flesh season when I was humbled and lifted up, Christmas is sacred to me.

I'm not distracted by the obsession with sales and decking the halls. I'm fixed on God made into flesh. I'm struck by Almighty humbled. I'm taken with expectancy for my coming King.

Each year I seem to hear a different tune in the divine melody God has been singing to me over these 6 plus years. This year its the sound of advent which has captivated me.

I didn't grow up with any kind of advent tradition, but a few years ago I came across this Jesse Tree and decided I wanted my kids to grow up with that as part of their Christmas memories.

Yesterday we hung our first ornament, or taped our first printout I should say, on our hand-drawn Jesse Tree. The reading was from the book of Isaiah where God says, "You're about as useful as a tree stump, but I'm going to grow a shoot out of your stumpiness. A Savior from the stump of Jesse (my interpretation)." Hence the Jesse Tree. And so we began tonight with creation. We went all the way back to the beginning to see how, from our fall, all creation as been waiting for redemption.

As I was reading last night my oldest challenged me, "We already know these stories! Why do we have to read them again?!" I was hurt. He obviously didn't hear the heavenly chorus I heard. I wanted him to hear. I wanted that seed to take root. I wanted... Jesse's shoot to grow out of him! And then I heard it, that sweet melody.

"You're waiting too Sheila. Not for your Savior to be born on earth but for Christ to be formed in you and your sons... in all those you pray for and plant seeds of truth-in-love in."

Yes! Advent. I'm waiting. I'm groaning. I'm longing. My soul sings, "Come thou long expected Jesus..." though I know he came 2000 years ago. I cry, "Oh come, Oh come, Emmanuel. And ransom captive ___________." The blank fills with names. And its not just them I'm Savior-longing for.

I hunger. I thirst. For rightness. His righteousness. Christ in me. The hope of glory. The me He made me to be.

I'm waiting. I'm anticipating. I'm believing. I'm hoping against hope like Abraham. Though I'm as good as dead in reproductive righteousness. Though I've produced my share of Ishmael's.

I'm waiting. Israel's song of old is my song. Their longing is my longing. Mary was pregnant with her God and Savior. And all creation labors, even me. Believing the day of His glory revealed in me (oh what amazing grace!) is coming. Even now, little by little it is being formed.

Christmas is so much more.

Listen past the jingle bells.
Look beyond the latest sales.
Hear the sound of redemption.
Pay attention to the groaning for glory.
Hold fast to the hope of His coming!

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.-Romans 8:22-25

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.- Matthew 5:6

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you...- Galatians 4:19

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. -Galatians 5:5

Quieted,
Sheila

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

eyes on the Author- the every morning struggle to walk by faith

I don't wake up full of vision and motivation.  Actually, what motivates me most is the idea that my french press and single-origin coffee from Guatemala are just minutes away from awaking my senses with it's warm, toasty aroma.  And on those days when I get my stiff, puffy-eyed body out of bed and make my way to the cabinet to prep the press with my favorite coffee and find we're out, I feel great motivation to get dressed and drive to the local store so I can hurry up and get back home before too much time has passed and get my coffee going.

Basically, coffee motivates me to get up in the morning.

Mixed in the grogginess between eyes open and that first cup of coffee I remember who I am.

I am not my own.  I am a Christian.  The weight of meaning in that word falls on me like gravity on the fledgling attempts of a young eagle to fly every morning.

I feel myself falling.  Falling. Squawking out a cry, "Help!  Help Lord!  I am yours. Let me hear your loving kindness…

An Unlikely 23 Years

Wedding Day- Sept.4, 1993
Connor's birthday- April 1, 2003
During our first separation and pregnancy with Ryland- November 2004
Seeking a new start in Arizona all together- October 2005
 Second separation March 2010
Still together on a desert trail- Spring 2015
Today has been a tough day, emotionally.

Twenty three years ago today I made a vow before God and about 100 family and friends to take James as my husband, to have and to hold from that day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, till death do us part.

Those are some serious promises.  Better, worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health have all been part of these 23 years.  Honestly, most of it has been hard.  We weren't a very likely match at 19 and 21.  He from the big city, me from a small town.  His dad a pharmacist, mine a log truck driver.  We met in a child development class, taking pre-reqs for nursing.  He hated it.  I loved it.  He had long hair and torn jeans and l…

Burned chicken, my story and Israel

It's been an interesting day.



 I'm sitting here trying to get a hold on how I nearly burned down the covered patio by barbecuing bone-in chicken breasts while I planned and prepped other things in the kitchen. I know time can get away from me sometimes, but I tell ya I was in here for 30 minutes and I set the burners on low!

I probably shouldn't post today's attempt at making something real on my new recipe blog. Or maybe I should. Keeping it real. Real, even if it is burned, leads to trust.

Like standing in front of a congregation of missed-the-mark makers like me (many of whom I don't know), telling my charred story, knowing it'll be recorded, knowing my family will be listening. It's a burnt offering, my homologeo. A sum of all that I can put in appropriate words at this time offered up to the Refiner's fire who's been keeping me real through it all.

A very dear person to me asked why Jews and Christians don't agree about Jesus recently.…