December, above all months, is the sweetest and the most difficult of all.  I think we seek answers more earnestly, we yearn for promised light and peace.  Advent, after all, means “coming.”  We’re all expecting, awaiting.

I am a bit of a fighter.  I don’t always do well with sitting quietly.  I have battled and battled lately to move forward, and in doing so, have felt further back than I have in years.  It has broken my heart.

There is an advent calendar on our wall.  My mom made one like it when we were young.  I made ours years ago, when the kids were so small.  Every year it comes out, marking our journey to Christmas.  The sweet thing about it is the tiny, felt baby Jesus hiding inside of Mary’s felt tummy.  He comes out on Christmas morning to lie in the manger, and we’ve arrived at Christmas.

The other morning, at breakfast, my daughter looked up and noticed that the little baby was peeking out.  “I think the baby is trying to come out early!” she laughed.  I was quiet, but my girls started talking about what would have happened if the baby had been born early, before they got to Bethlehem, before they arrived at that horrible, holy little stable.

What if He had come earlier?  People had prayed for the Messiah for millennia.  How many times must they all have wondered why He was waiting?  What if He had come later, back home…no stable needed?  It’s impossible to even consider…He was meant to come just that night, and everything before and since is made right because the timing was just as it should have been.

In our lives, I think that we forget.  We forget that timing is divine and that it is right.  I am learning this Christmas that progress isn’t always pushing and pushing until a way appears.  Sometimes, it is waiting.  Waiting quietly until it is time for the next answer to come.

Doing the little things, the small things each day that make all the difference.

Because, after all, the small things are the big things.


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