Follow by Email

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Advent Letter 2013



I John 1:3 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

This advent I am so thankful for what it means that Jesus Christ came as a babe into this world.  Let me explain.

Having a child has changed me.  While it is common to acknowledge how a child is a needy being; I am becoming well acquainted with my own neediness, illuminated by my role as a parent.  Where once I used to be able to juggle busyness and enjoy the “work hard, play hard” motto, I now find myself frequently in moments where I am “this close” to losing it, to having myself unravel, to being claimed by uncertainty.  As a parent I am all too often unsure of what the correct answer is.  Should I be working less? Should I be spending more personal time alone to refresh myself? Should I be more involved in the community? Am I making the right choices about managing my time?  And as I come out of these places of guilt and questioning I find myself in need.  In need of being heard, known, and understood.  And in need of energy, truth and wisdom.  I often fight and struggle and delve deeper into trying to remedy this need on my own.  Luckily, I have moments where it all becomes clear: I need my Father God.

Recently we went on a vacation.  To Saskatchewan. And while it was lovely to visit dear friends and family, there was nothing particularly “thrilling” about this vacation.  And yet I am so thankful for this time away.  Away from day in day out routines of work and meal planning and daycare drop offs and pick-ups and scheduled work-outs etc. etc.  In the days following our return I realized how desperate I had been starting to feel, how I was truly just barely holding it all together.  After spending a few moments lying on the floor in quiet time one morning after dropping off Rayna at daycare and before getting ready for work (in ‘corpse pose’ for any of you yoga folk) I began to feel whole. This starkly contrasted the feelings I’d had just a couple weeks prior of being inches from shattering.

I realized I felt whole because I was acknowledging who I am: a child of God.  A child.  A needy child.  In need of guidance, direction, and divine love.  In need of comfort, compassion, and sometimes a good kick in the butt.  And I was acknowledging that I am the daughter of a God who can provide all those needs.  Indeed, he does provide all my needs.

It has been a struggle at times this past year to fully embrace my faith.  Though I am never willing to discard my faith it all too often becomes ‘luke-warm’.  I have struggled at times with Christianity’s relevance and with the importance of being radically committed to Christ.  However, as I spent those brief moments lying on my living room floor, free from distraction, I was able to see what I’ve always known, but all too often forgotten: I can not do this life-journey with only human capabilities.  I am much too fragile for that.  Even if there aren’t answers to all the “faith questions” out there, this I know: I become whole when I acknowledge that I am God’s child redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

This advent we take time to reflect on what it means that Jesus came as a babe to this world.  This advent I thank God that Jesus came as a babe, grew into a man, and died on the cross to redeem me from my sins so I can be called a child of God.  This advent my heart is stirred by these 5 points:

 Children are needy

I have a child and now I feel extremely in need (of energy, wisdom, balance, etc.)

God had a child named Jesus

Through Jesus I am able to be called God’s child

God takes care of the needs of His children



This advent, may your heart be stirred to what it means to you this year, that Jesus came as a babe into this world.