Posted by: Shel | December 11, 2008


God send us a little home
To come back to, when we roam.
Low walls and fluted tiles
Wide windows, a view for miles.
Red firelight and deep chairs
Small white beds upstairs
Great talk in little nooks
Dim colors, rows of books.
One picture on each wall,
not many things at all.
God, send us a little ground
Tall trees stand round.
Homely flowers in brown sod
and Overhead, thy stars, O God.
God bless thee, when winds blow
Our home and all we know. 
–Florence Bone

It’s Advent.  The children want the Christmas  trees lit as soon as they wake up in the morning.  With the curtains and the blinds open and the Chrstmas trees lit, there’s a happy glow in the house.  Samantha is humming along with the choral music coming from the stereo as she paints with her watercolors.

I am serene.  Our budget is tight this year and the wolves are at the door.  My middle child has been referred for an evaluation for selective mutism.  I’m still not thrilled with my oldest child being in school; I’m still praying about homeschooling.  The house is only semi-clean and an aunt I haven’t seen in years has invited herself over for the expressed purpose of seeing the house.  Cliff is working long hours and coming home tired.

But we are happy.  We are blessed.  We are a family together.  And it’s Advent.  There will be time for worrying about those things later.  Or just maybe, they will sort themselves out in due time.  But now is the time for baking cookies with the children, for taking walks in the evening and looking at the lights, for lighting candles and listening to music.  Contrary to the call of society, it’s not a time to speed up, shop more, decorate more, or be the hostess with the most-est.  It’s a time to slow down.  It’s a time to be grateful.  It’s a time to wonder at the joy of all the simple gifts we’ve been given, and, of course, that greatest gift of all, that Gift Whose advent we so anxiously await.

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Es ist ein Ros ent­sprung­en, translated by Theodore Baker


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