December 7th, 2022
Soft Sheets & Christmas Joys
“Praise the Lord! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting! He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!”—Psalm 147 : 1, 3-5
Advent is a joyful time of year, as we are preparing and remembering the gift of Jesus to the world. Joyful, may not have been a way to describe what happen all those years ago, as Mary found herself pregnant before her marriage to Joseph and having to travel all the way to Bethlehem to be taxed according to a decree by Caesar Augustus. Upon their arrival to Bethlehem, Mary went into labor. The city was crowded and busy; overflowing with people because of the tax decree, hard as he tried, Joseph could only find lodging for Mary in a stable.
I am merely speculating, but this all seems rather stressful to me. Somehow, it’s easy for me to believe that Mary and Joseph were extremely brave and calm, with complete trust in God. And, they had each other.
Today, I read a story called, “Soft Sheets” it was written by Jan Richardson and it made me reflect upon my first Christmas season of being single after a long relationship.
Soft sheets is about the purchase of new sheets and the excitement of sleeping on them. That first night the sheets seemed to be mocking and making fun, because they were no longer to be shared with another. A waking dream of sorts, ghost of Christmas past. As sleep came, dreams gave way to vivid imago of what had been, and morning came sweetly with soft sheets.
That first Christmas for me was rough, reality had hit me in all the vulnerable places. I remember pretending that life had not changed, I simply pushed my grief inward. I did not want others to see me defeated, I wanted the joys of past Christmas’ in my life. It took me several years (stubbornness runs deep) to grasp the “joy’s” I wanted to hold onto. I was able to accept the truths in life and simply be thankful for the experiences and adventures I had be blessed with. After that it was easier to let go of the burdens I held onto that were so intertwined with my joys. I believe that God loves us and His great love is able to teach us lessons even in the most unpleasant circumstances.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”
you are my delight,
but sometimes I need you
to take flesh
to feel the breath of you
on my neck,
the hem of your garment
thrown across me
when the night
is at its darkest
and the land
has turned to sleep.
- Jan Richardson
C. S. Lewis — “Lewis said that joy must have a stab or a pang of inconsolable long- ing that nothing else can satisfy. Because of this longing, joy creates a dissatisfaction with any other state of mind. Joy will not let people settle for anything less. The longing gives us the knowledge that there is something more, something better to life, even if we have never ex- perienced it. This knowledge is the work of the Holy Spirit. Longing tells us that there is something missing from our lives. We cannot de- scribe what that missing experience is, but we know it is there.” —-The Fruit of Christ’s Presence & Surprised By Joy
Thank you for visiting my advent blog, I am blessed by your support. May you experience unexpected joy today. Amen.
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.
2 thoughts on “Second Wednesday • Advent 2022”
This is meaningful, Charlotte. Your honest sharing reaches all of us (yes, I too, relate to “stubborn”), and your faithful hope and joy then shine through. Thank you!
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Karen, I so appreciate your words of encouragement and supp🤗🤍
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