O, Come, Emmanuel!

This year instead of sending out a Christmas card we sent an Advent letter to some friends and family. We prepared ahead of time for this Advent season to be a time of rest. It really has and I've enjoyed not being hectic. Our family has enjoyed lots of time together where we can enjoy all that comes in this season. It has been a great reminder of how life can be every season if we are conscience of what we put on our schedules. 

Ada at her last Parent Tot class. I'm hoping to post an update soon of
some exciting things going on for her!

I've begun to think more about this upcoming year and instead of adding to my schedule I will be paring back to make room for special moments and a time of being. In, this I am happy to report that I'm feeling like myself again. I was depressed for a good 9 months and it feels good to be me! I am grateful for a friends who meet me to exercise, Vitamin D, St. John's Wort and some counseling sessions. Thanks to all who have reached out and asked how I was doing and have been praying. There were times it felt hopeless and I'm grateful to be feeling much better. At some point I hope to share more of my process but whenever I sit down to write I have been speechless.

Here is our Advent letter. May you make room for Him in this coming days that we would be aware that He is with us. Joyful in the waiting.


Every year, for the past six years, we have slowed our schedule down during the season of Advent. This can feel opposite to what is going on around us but choosing to do this has made this part of the year a time of anticipation. We would like to share some of what we have learned during these seasons and invite you to join us in anticipating "the coming" of Jesus.

It seems for years, oh wait it was literally years, we were anticipating a child. Christmases would go by and again we wouldn't be pregnant. Through infertility we learned that hope is not wishful thinking but a confidence that things will come to pass as promised. More importantly, we learned that we could still look to Jesus and that He could become our true Hope, despite the outcomes that we wished for.

Catina in the Christmas Pageant at Church.

Our second child, June, was conceived during the liturgical season when Mary heard the news that she was pregnant with Jesus. That year we anticipated June coming the same way that Mary anticipated Jesus coming.  Every year thereafter has been a time of remembering Mary's experience. Anticipating June, who was due on Christmas, gave us a physical identification and reminder of waiting for a child to be born. 

Two years ago, during the Christmas season, a friend of ours spoke of the story where the angel says to Mary "For nothing is impossible with God." I (Ann) looked this verse up and saw that a bit later it says "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Well, phooey. Believing is much harder for me than it is for Greg. In fact, I believe (ironic, eh?) that Greg has the gift of faith. 

We were asked to think about something that we believed was impossible for the Lord to do for the upcoming year. We wrote this belief down on a card, and as my hands were full with Ada, Greg wrote my hope down for me. So symbolic that the one who actually had the faith was writing it down for the faithless one. What he wrote was "Ada walking."

A year passed and those cards were sent back to us and Ada was still not walking. She was two then. It was discouraging to receive that card. Was my faith not strong enough? Did I even believe she could walk by then in the first place? How come others had their cards come to fulfillment?

June, the star of Bethlehem.
So we waited some more. Waiting for children, waiting for Ada to walk, wait, wait, wait, wait, WAIT! I was at a Bible study last night and a woman pointed out that the Old Testament was full of stories about waiting again and again. How Sarah and Abraham waited for children and how Joseph waited for his father to find him after he was thought to be dead. 

Why this time of waiting? Why this time of anticipation? What we have learned in waiting and anticipation is that we can struggle with faith and grow deeper in Him through it. We can learn what it means to have hope. We can learn to be joyful while we wait. We can learn to give Him glory in the journey and the result. Anticipating Christ in this coming season is a reminder of lessons learned and more lessons to be learned. 

We’re looking forward to this advent to come. This year Advent begins November 30th. The word Advent means "the coming." Please join us in this anticipation of the Christ, Emmanuel "God who is with us."


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