I’ve completed about 90% of my nesting to-dos, which have ranged from the essential (assemble crib) to the useful (stock freezer) to the it’s-about-time (finish Jem’s baby box). My mom even thoughtfully treated me to a fresh pedicure yesterday, so I am as ready as I’m going to get.
I’ve never prepared for a baby during the season of Advent before, and it’s been a good little parable to live out in this past week: you could cut my anticipation with a knife as I scour my life from top to bottom trying to think of what more I could possibly do to make ready for this coming baby.
I’m not an Advent purist; part of my “anticipation” is enjoying festivities, carols, and decorations of the Christmas season. But Advent is not all frosting and sprinkles; it is hard work! It takes discipline (not my forte) to stop amid the physical preparation and do the spiritual work of contemplation and repentance. What are all the ways that I am that innkeeper–too sleepy, too busy, too distracted to make room for the Messiah?
This week Stephen preached at our church on the the theme of hope. I thought again of my physical preparations for our Baby Four, and the way that all those little hopeful gestures–the car seat in the van, the crib in the corner, the clean onesies in the drawer– are shadowed by fear. What if this hoped-for baby never comes home?
Thanks be to God for the Advent gift of confident hope– undiminished by uncertainty or fear. We celebrate the fulfilled promise of the first coming of the baby in the manger, and we cling to the certain promise that he will come again to make his blessings known to all of us who have hoped beneath the shadow of the curse.
(Also, speaking of NOT confident hope: I have several other posts in my head that I’d love to get written before Baby comes, but we’re down to less than a week now, so we’ll see…the next time I talk to you might be from The Other Side!)