Be Inspired. Be Honest. Be You.

SMC Women's Ministry

Be inspired. Be honest. Be You.

Every December

IMG_9653 Every December I know what I want and I make plans.

This is the year I will read an Advent devotional every day.

I will light the candles in order on the wreath.

I will stop and look at the night sky looking for that sometimes-elusive bright star leading the way through the darkness.

I will send out cards with our picture perfect and edited faces, all dressed in red and green finery.

I will make my shopping lists early and give thoughtful gifts wrapped in beautiful paper.

Christmas baking will fill my kitchen with the best of all smells: sugar and cinnamon and butter and yeasty Birthday Bread.

I will go to sleep thankful and expectant of the gifts of the coming day.

I will . . .

But . . ..

This year I am behind in my reading.

I have not found the Advent Wreath to place it on the table, much less lit a single candle.

On my nightly walks the sky has been cloudy and the weather so cold I can only bend my head down into the cold wind.

Our family cannot find the time in our schedules to be at one place together at any single time dressed and ready to smile when we don’t feel like smiling.

Online shopping is frustrating and I chose something that can be stuffed in a gift bag.

It is hard to fill the kitchen with aromas of butter and sugar and cinnamon when you are on a restricted diet.

I fall asleep exhausted before I am able to start my prayers.

Advent is more than the daily reading, candle lighting, star gazing, picture taking, gift giving, Christmas baking experiences.

Advent is a slowing, taking a deep breath, sweeping the cobwebs out of my heart that have gathered in the last 12 months.

I entered 2018 with a bright shiny heart filled with love and peace and much hope, but ...

I enter Advent with an almost empty heart having gone through this life in this dark world.

Advent is smearing the balm of peace and love over the scabbed pieces of my heart.

Advent is practicing hope, that elusive gift that for some of us, seems to be just out of reach.

Advent is examining my heart and discovering the thin places almost ready to tear, allowing doubt and fear in, allowing that peace of God to flood and fill those places.

Advent is accepting the gift of the Child, once more filling my heart.

In the words of Ann Weems,

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to kneel in Bethlehem,

the air thick with alleluias,

the angels singing

that God is born among us.

In the light of the Star,

the wise ones and the humble.

I want to see them come,

bearing whatever they treasure

to lay at the feet

of him who gives his life.


What do I want for Christmas?

To see in that stable

the whole world kneeling in thanks

for a promise kept:

new life.

For in his nativity

we find ours.


I want the whole experience, the angels, the singing, standing with the “wise ones” and humble”, bearing my own gift of my heart, my hopes, my fears and receiving his greatest gift, love.