Somewhere along my journey of Walking Through Advent…I took a left turn. I really wanted to write about it, invite interaction, hear about what you were doing, and share all the resources I had prepared (in a timely manner)…but God had other plans for me.
My family and I have enjoyed celebrating the Season of Advent at home. We have eaten by candlelight at dinner for 4 weeks (after reading the nightly scripture lesson). We have read an Advent devotional in the mornings and hung special ornaments on our Jesse tree. I made two kinds of homemade cookies and two kinds of pies (all this week!), wrapped my presents early, and cooked French toast for breakfast Christmas morning…all of these things I had promised myself I would do for my family this year. But I didn’t have time to share it here on the blog like I had wanted to.
I have been burning the candle at both ends to transform my ebook Prodigal Confessions into a 10-week Bible Study. I am expanding the chapters into a 5-day workbook format. And it has taken so much more time than I had imagined…I am just a little more than half way done.
Last week my mom sent me a text, telling me that she was at home baking brownies to bring to some elderly ladies in her church and neighborhood. I was sitting criss-cross apple sauce on the sofa, laptop in lap, books strewn all over coffee table, and no brownies/cookies/pies made for my own family yet. At first, I wanted to burst into tears. Lord, this isn’t how I pictured this Advent Season…I wanted to do something really special with my time. I don’t have time to make brownies for anybody, not even my own family.
No, I didn’t hear an audible voice. But I got a reply. Suddenly I knew two things.
- To everything there is a season…I don’t mean the Christmas, or Advent Season…it’s about seasons of life. My current season of life means that (each day) homeschooling comes first, then laundry/cooking/cleaning floors, then writing the Bible Study and last, though not least, comes writing on the blog. I don’t have much time for ministry outside of my home this year…or apparently sending Christmas cards from our family. Because—Writing.
- Some gifts don’t get unwrapped right away. I didn’t bake any brownies. I didn’t send you all the Advent newsletters I had planned to send…instead, I have been creating a gift that will be opened every Tuesday for 10 weeks, beginning after Valentine’s Day. Not what I had planned – but what an awesome privilege.
So be careful what you pray for…you just might get it!
- I prayed for mentors and I have gotten mentors (pressed down, shaken together and running over) to guide me in this process.
- I prayed for connections and I have received the gift of connections…mastermind groups for blogging, online friendships, encouraging phone calls and texts, and real-life friends who are like sisters. All these spur me on toward my dream of writing.
- I prayed for opportunity and God has provided that…Maybe I should have prayed for efficiency first? 😉 I am thrilled that I have: the chance to expand my eBook, the support to get it accomplished, and the encouragement to press on, even on hard days.
How about you? Did things go as you expected this Advent Season? How did it differ? Can you see God at work in your life and find contentment? Sometimes we have to adjust our expectations, or we will miss seeing God at work in our lives!