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Today feels a little more like Christmas at our house. We put up our tree and decorated it this morning. Until today, we’ve only had a wreath on the front door and have been waiting. This Advent season I have felt more peaceful, more intentional about the pace of our days.

We have slowly gathered supplies and made some gifts for others. We have shopped for the foster kids on our Angel Tree tags and returned the gifts to church.

I have been very aware of the darkness of Advent every time I drive up to our house. All the neighbors have lights up, but our house is very dark.

Tonight at dinner we talked about eating by candle light and what that must have been like in ages past. The boys were sure that it was difficult. We had 3 candles lit on the Advent wreath and it gave us just enough light to see our plates. I’m trying to notice the stillness, notice the darkness, notice with anticipation of something about to happen. A child is coming!

I hope your family is finding time to sit in the dark and watch the light of candles. I hope you are able to give gifts to others. I hope your family is feeling the joy of the coming Christ child as we move through Advent.
Slow down the pace and keep breathing.

I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me
Welcomes the wonder of this day.
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate….

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

from A Morning Offering, by John O’Donohue

Another in our series of Advent Meditations. Laura Thornton is the Children’s Minister at All Saints Church.