As I write, I listen to the churning of the dishwasher, the laundry machine, the hum of the oven. In another hour, I will have two hot loaves of banana bread cooling on the counter, ready for breakfast tomorrow. Bowls of cheese-and-chive bread dough are rising in the refrigerator, tomorrow to be changed into soft, savory rolls.
Advent has begun.
I love this time of night. The hush, the sense of well-earned rest. I particularly love when it’s raining or windy, as it often is here in Seattle, and I can snuggle down beside my husband under a cozy quilt and give thanks for the peace that comes at the end of a day.
Advent has that same feeling to me, and I find—just as I do with the rhythm of my days—I must work to preserve that peaceful feeling, or it will be gone in a flash.
So, I try to get my shopping done early, and I refrain from decking the halls too soon, and I light candles in the evening to calm my mind, and I soak my heart in Scripture and in prayer. I sit for long hours rocking babies and try not to think of all there is outside my walls that I might be missing out on. Cookie exchanges and parties and the rush, rush, rush of the malls and their sales.
There’s nothing wrong with those things, but for me, the peace is worth so much more. I want to treasure it. This quiet, this stillness, this is what I want to wrap and give with glad hands to my wide-eyed waiting children.
Each evening, as we light our candles, read the Story, whisper prayers…
I wish them peace.
Because that was His gift to me.
What about you? What do you do to prepare for Advent? How do you strive to find and cherish peace in this very full season?