DDP ’11//Watching & Waiting

Today was blessedly unplanned and empty.  Thank you, Lord.  And yet….unplanned and empty is often daunting and scary.  If it was just me.  Or Matt and me.  Well, unplanned and empty would be so different.  Time to catch up on the magazines I never manage to get through.  Opportunities to start and finish up some fun crafting/DIY projects I have in the back of my mind.  A chance to read the book I’ve been meaning to start since—-SEPTEMBER.

But, unplanned and empty with a 4.5 year old and 14 month old sometimes feels scary, in all honesty.  Like you are stuck and can’t escape.  Almost claustrophobic.

There have been many, many moments in the last year that have felt that way to me.  When the “What next?” question kept plaguing me and I wasn’t sure if the answer would be…”THIS.  THIS VERY MOMENT is the answer to ‘What next?’, Christine…”  Or…”What next?  Well, you don’t get to know the details about that just yet. ”  And so I often found myself looking out.  Almost like the world was passing me by, hoping that something would become painfully clear and obvious.  Like a parade would materialize outside our doorstep with banners announcing the next “thing”.

Advent is kind of like that.  Watching.  Waiting.  Hoping.  Anticipating.  Often times, I’m kind of tapping my feet and fingers, fidgeting in hopes of speeding things up.

Maybe God is just watching us and smiling.  Chuckling to himself as we want more, the full story.  Thinking, “She can’t HANDLE the truth!!!”

Sometimes we keep looking at ourselves, rather than looking outwards.

I love, though, the image at the top….how even the participants in the nativity are looking out.  Alex even put Jesus up on the window lock.  A boost to help him see over the trim.  Everyone had to have a clear view.

And one thing that each of these folks did was to look out beyond themselves.  Beyond the sheep they were to tend.  Beyond their wise men duties.  Beyond eating hay and chomping grass.  Beyond the duty to go to your homeland and be counted.  And they each looked at the One that had been anticipated for so long. It’s my guess that God was looking too.  Well, then it gets all tricky due to the Trinity and all.  We’ll just leave that one alone for now.

I read something a few days ago that talked about how God chose the most incredible path to bring about the arrival of Jesus.  He had been waiting for so long for the day that Jesus would arrive on Earth.  And once Mary was pregnant, God STILL waits.  NINE MONTHS!  I guess time is different for God, but still.  I love that thought.  God still waited.  Along with the rest of humanity.  God, too, waits.

Today we had some great opportunities for waiting and watching.  Waiting for the Christmas tree to be lit in downtown Sunnyvale and watching lots of things that weren’t lights being lit or Santa arriving {cue grumpy, hungry kids}.

Waiting to talk to Santa…

Waiting a long time for dinner in a restaurant.

Waiting and watching from the stroller…

Watching for who knows what {and waving at who knows what} while waiting for lunch…MOM…..

And a teacher moment from Drew…maybe these things are inborn early on?

In the midst of lots of watching and waiting, my deepest fears of what could unfold today, a day without a major agenda, were pleasantly surprised.  The day wasn’t without squabbles, time outs and misspoken words—that is par for the course around here.  But, I still think the random, sometimes unwanted moments of watching and waiting meet us in ways we could never expect.  Maybe even allowing us to see with new clarity something that was before us all along.

….and in case you were wondering….dinner did finally arrive, Santa also made it and Jesus is still perched on the window sill looking out.  Closure for today.

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