Advent Astonishments

Tomorrow is the first day of Advent, and my body aches with some sneaky, persistent virus that has finally caught up to me. Perhaps those two facts are related, and perhaps they’re not related at all. But let’s say they are, because it fits my narrative. You see, being a mom and a teacher during the holiday season means effort. I don’t need to elaborate on this. It’s just what is. And for the past two Advent/Christmas seasons I have done my darndest to take it slow and adapt to the changing season as my mammalian body desires: with a touch of hibernation. My soul has been learning to hunker down as well. To ponder and dwell comfortably in the discomfort of the dark. Looking with deep curiosity to the bits of light that grab my eye. So here I am on the couch, canceling weekend plans and preparing my spirit for the season of anticipation.

But this year feels like more than anticipation. The themes of Advents past don’t resonate with where I am now. This feels like more than waiting on a miracle, more than the beauty of Mary’s “yes”, more than a young couple’s journey back home to give birth to their own hope and future. It feels like more than miracles and stars and angels. All of that, yes. And also, more. This Advent season I have committed to write every day about something that surprises me, something that nudges me towards wonder, or a way in which I have adapted my theology of Jesus to meet the evolved openness of my faith. Perhaps something in the discipline of writing and the intention of slow noticing will show me what that something more is that my soul is reaching towards. And perhaps the very act of being present is the whole thing.

I would like to invite you to the kind of cadence that requires us to take notice. And if something catches you off guard with humor or beauty, will you share it with me? Will you take time to honor a moment that wakes you up to wonder, to say “I see you” to a world that has so much to be astonished over? And in the meantime, follow me here and on Instagram for daily Advent Astonishments. Happy wonderment, everyone!