Advent So Far

How is your Advent going?  Not gonna lie, it has been an emotionally draining Advent, thus far.  Honestly, I tried to write a post earlier in the week, and I was just too drained to get a coherent thought out of my head — that and the fact that my house is falling apart — which means I can just about manage to get a 7 Quick Takes post out for the week.

Here goes:

1.We buried a beloved brother-in-law this week.  He was definitely the peacemaker of the family, the one that never got too involved with family arguments and chose to build bridges instead.  He never met a stranger — he could always find the time to have a deep conversation, whether he knew you or not — and by the end of that conversation, he was going to make you feel like you were the most important person in the world.

It was a gift that sometimes got those who were waiting on him frustrated — but it’s also what made you love the guy!  He made all of the rest of us slackers look like we were actually on time to events — because nobody showed up later than him. 🙂

He suffered a lot for many years, but he didn’t complain.  Nobody expected that call last week — we all anticipated many more years to know and love this man.  He was a beloved man, brother, husband, father, and grandfather — he will be greatly missed!

Rest in peace, dear brother!

2.  We Ended up in the ER with our Sweet 8 Year Old. 

The day after we returned from the funeral, our 8 year old was being a boy and managed to get a large “splinter” lodged into his side.  Public Service Announcement:  sliding stomach first on bleachers is never a good idea.

He ran over to me asking if he was going to die and I managed to calmly say, “No, you’re not going to die” even though I had my doubts at the moment — I’ve already told you I struggle with seeing the worse case scenario play out in my mind — but thank goodness my motherly intuition let me know that this wasn’t one of those “give ’em a kiss and move on with your day” sort of moments.

The splinter didn’t worry me as much as the fact that every doctor who looked at it in the ER wasn’t comfortable with removing it because it had penetrated into muscle — they told us we would need to sedate him in order to be able to remove the splinter.  All of a sudden, my fears started to get the better of me.  We had just buried a beloved brother-in-law and I guess the reality that our lives would be so different without this little boy hit me right smack in the face.

My husband gave me the play by play in texts and photos.  Here he was being admitted to the second hospital.

I stayed home to be with our other kids, but I drove up to give him a hug before he was transferred to a second hospital. As he drove off, I prayed a tearful “Lord bring give him back to me” prayer and went home to wait… and wait…and wait.

Thanks to everybody who prayed and offered to visit me or help out!  So many good and thoughtful people encouraged me and sent me messages to let me know it was all going to be okay.  Thank you to everybody who did that for me — it did make a big difference — you know who you are!

The doctors were amazing — they were an answer to prayer, for sure.  All is well and he is making a quick recovery!

Can you believe that was in his skinny little stomach?!  So glad I didn’t attempt to remove that myself!

3.  Waiting on a Dishwasher.

On the eve of Advent, our dishwasher finally broke.  It had been dying slowly for months, but we found many other things to spend our money on — so we were hoping it would last through to next summer.  Well, it finally broke beyond repair  🙁  Washing dishes for 8 people is incredibly time consuming and I have found myself imagining all the other things I should be doing instead of washing dishes.  Everybody is trying to help, but this is such a busy time that we’re all running around with too much to do and not enough time to do it.

What makes matters worse is that I have changed up our schedule twice to be available for the delivery — and twice they never showed!  Hell hath no fury like a mother of 6 whose dishwasher delivery doesn’t show!  I have spent countless hours waiting on hold and being transferred from place to place trying to find out why they can’t get me my dishwasher.

My house is literally falling apart due in part to all the extra time being diverted to washing dishes.  Oh well, the dishwasher is supposed to come today.  We’ll see how it all turns out.  Fingers crossed (Just an expression — don’t worry I put no stock in crossed-fingers).  Breaking News:  Yeah, it didn’t show up  again:(

I realize this isn’t a dishwasher, but you get the point.

4.  My Baby is Taking Drivers Ed.  

Dropping my oldest daughter off for her first day of driving on the road brought with it a stress I hadn’t known before.  I now have a knew sense of terror when I see student drivers on the road — doesn’t anybody realize that these kids have no idea what they’re doing?  Actually she is doing really well and I’m proud of her studiousness when it comes to the rules of the road.

She is constantly asking me questions about street signs and speed limits and 3 point turns, for which I only have guesses.  Anyway, I am sure I will appreciate having an extra drive around sometime next year.

My baby is driving! Okay, not this baby, but it feels like my 15 year old is way to young for this  — or maybe I’m too old 🙁

5.  We Celebrated the Feast of St. Nicholas

With everything that is going on, I have to tell you that having a “plan” for Advent has helped to keep us moving forward.  There’s been a lot of sadness and emotions this week, but taking time to watch our kids open the door to their boots on the Feast of St. Nicholas was a welcome reprieve to all the sadness.

Kids have a way of bringing us out of ourselves and enjoying the simple things — even when we’ve had some hard days.

Feast of St. Nicholas bringing a little joy to a somber time.
Gold coins – yummy!

6.  A Funny Thing Happens When You Let Your House Go To Hell In a Hand-basket…

This week, with the travel to a funeral, time spent in ER’s, year-end accounting, broken dishwashers, and all the other activities going on, my house was looking pretty awful.

We can usually manage to make sure by day’s end that things are in decent order.  Not this week — our house looked an awful lot like those TLC specials on people who are buried alive by their own clutter — hoard much? Seriously, we are talking epic messes all around the house — epic!

And one of my amazingly kind friends saw my post on my little guy in the ER and drove 40 minutes to bring gifts for the kids for the Feast of St. Nicholas!  How amazing is that?  The only problem was that my house looked like it was inhabited by insane people.

Imagine the worst your house has ever looked — and multiply by 2.  Each room I walked into was worse than the next!  And there were dishes piled up in our kitchen — because no dishwasher.  I managed to make her a cappuccino through the clutter, we had a nice chat, and she proceeded to clean up my dishes and polish up my counters!  How gracious was she?

Moral of the story, if you’re missing you’re friends just let your house go to hell in a hand-basket and they will undoubtedly show up. 🙂

Poor Santa Claus wanted to run the other direction when he saw the epic mess that was his new home 🙁

7. Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

You know the old saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”?  Well Advent has not been anything like what I planned in my mind.  I have had to continually readjust my plans and to listen to what God is trying to tell me through everything that has been going on this Advent.

I anticipated the “waiting” of Advent, but I didn’t anticipate the frustration, the agonizing, the pain that is a part of waiting.  Advent has given me a little glimpse into that and it’s helped me to imagine what waiting on the Messiah really entailed.

We are all on a journey, walking forward, waiting to be reunited with loved ones, waiting for the pains and sufferings of this world to be over, waiting for the sufferings of those we love to end — we are waiting for a Savior to dry our tears and bring us home — to our true home — for eternity.

Let’s not forget those who need us to walk along side of them, especially at this time of year.  Somebody might just need you or I to be a part of making that waiting a little more bearable.  Time to open our eyes and love the people who need us today.

Thank God for the people walking beside us — let’s not forget to accompany those who need us today. 

I hope your Advent is a blessed one!

Linking up with Kelly.

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4 thoughts on “Advent So Far

  1. So sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law…

    …But glad things turned out alright with that heck-of-a-splinter. Hope that the rest of Advent is less eventful for your family.

    1. Thanks Alicia! And you know what, I thought about you because I know you have had medical challenges with your kiddos — I don’t know how you do it! God bless your Advent!

  2. As usual – you have a gift of writing. Mom was keeping me updated on the splinter situation and I was so saddened to hear about cousin Joe. Just imagine how joy filled Christmas will be. Thank God we have faith! Prayers and love always- cousin Julie

    1. Hey Julie!
      I’ve said it before, but your mom is the bee’s knees — love her! I know she also lost a good friend lately — Advent has been saying goodbye for a lot of people. Yes, we are very much looking forward to Christmas! Thanks for all the encouragement! Love ya!~Your cousin~

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