Getting ready for Advent, for me, is like getting ready for a first date. :) Nervous. Excited. Wanting everything to be perfect. Special. Memorable.
Selecting the right music. Making sure everything is at it's best. Paying attention to details.
At this point, I have part of our Christmas gifts bought, and several things on layaway. For the remaining unbought items, I already know what I'm buying.. just have to do it. Getting these head-achy nitpick things out of the way... so we can concentrate on the true reason for the season.. the coming of our Lord!
Amy is 18 this year. I don't know how many more Christmas's she will be living here at home.. so I want to enjoy her here.. while I can.
Robyn.. she is only 11. Still young, innocent, and still with such a child's pure heart, untainted by the world. I want her to be excited and happy and hopeful and joyful as only an innocent little girl can be.
My children... my hubby.. making these beautiful memories that will live forever in my heart. I want to try and remember every detail. Thank God for cameras! They are good at giving you that little glimpse back. I love looking at old pictures of my girls when they were tiny. Amy was the happiest child that ever drew breath. Pictures of her...brown eyes shining with happiness and mischief, all dimples and lit up face. My Robyn... so quiet and serious, carefully examining anything and everything... and wondering the 'why' and the 'how' of everything. My curious, snugly, loving, inquisitive Robyn. :)
I can't believe Advent starts in just a few days. I've printed out prayers, recipes, activities, and anything I can find to make our Advent more special and wonderful. Looking forward to my hubby being on vacation so he can spend more time with us.
I've lost track of how many nativities we have. I have fond, beautiful memories of each of my girls, sitting under our Christmas tree, playing with the manger scene.. carefully examining Baby Jesus, and making the Holy family and the animals all 'talk' to each other.
We have a clear, lead crystal Nativity on an end table... and one year.. Baby Jesus had disappeared. We did find Him.. in Robyn's bed. She was afraid He would be cold and lonely. :) Sweet.
So, I am preparing.. the best I can. Candles. Music. And waiting for Him in joyful hope.
It's going to be a good Advent this year.
But.. mom's chemo started again. Today. She's had non-Hodgkins lymphoma for 14 years. This is like.. the 4th time it's come back. She started treatments, again, this morning. She's not responding as well as any of us hoped. At all. So there's the fear... the quintessential monster lurking literally under the bed, and his name is Cancer, and he's as real as real can get. So I'm trying, so hard, to focus on all the good and the joyful things and the blessings. I don't want to think about losing my momma. I hate that fear of the unknown. That fear that they won't be able to force that 'monster' back under the bed.
The future... the unknown... scares the hell out of me. But I have hope and faith... and no matter what happens... Baby Jesus is still coming in a matter of weeks. Jesus is Faith and Hope and Divine Mercy and Forgiveness and Joy and Holiness... Jesus is LOVE!!
Thank God I have my faith. Honestly, people who are without faith.. I cannot fathom how they get through anything. Seriously. I may be the worst Catholic on the planet. I may epicly stink at the whole 'image of Jesus' thing.. I know I am horribly, horribly sinful and mean and selfish.. and the list goes on... but one thing I KNOW.... that Jesus's Mercy is infinite.. and I have faith in Him... even when I have no faith in myself and my voice shakes. He is bigger than anything that stupid monster under the bed can dish out.