Sunday, December 20, 2009

Waiting in Hope

Well, I had hoped that the blizzard of 2009 would've passed us over this weekend. I know, I know- I'm SUCH a Grinch to not want snow- especially around Christmas. The Clevelander in me has just seen one too many snowstorms in her day and the commodity of 'playing in the snow' wore off somewhere around high school. Also, the pessismist in me sees the disadvantages of snow, like having to shovel, or being kept from places or events you had planned- LIKE OUR CHRISTMAS PARTY!

How DARE there be a white-out scheduled for the DAY of our annual Christmas party?!?

I was scoffing at the chaos of DC on Friday when there had been the call for 20 inches of snow over the weekend. I said I'd believe it when I actually saw it. DC tends to freak out over snow, and when I went into Whole Foods Friday night to get some last minute items for our party, it was like Y2K all over again. I asked the cashier:
"Is it like this every Friday?"

"No, it's the snow." she replied.

"But there isn't even any snow yet!" I exclaimed.

I was hoping that the predictions would be wrong because I had been so looking forward to hosting our big party. My roomies and I go all out. With my networking skills, Susan's flair for holiday decor, and Steph's culinary delights, we make pretty good hostesses. Not going to lie. And the snow was putting a damper on our plans!!

Such a metaphor for our spiritual lives, right? We plan and plan but we cannot compete with elements like nature that our beyond our control. So we have to surrender. There comes a point where worrying or planning just isn't going to help.

Though I was disappointed, and HOPING that the snow would STOP (I mean, seriously, it did not stop until 1am last night- about the time our guests would've been leaving- oh, the irony. sigh) I surrendered that there had to be something else God wanted for us this night. Maybe to just enjoy a more intimate setting with a few friends and to be thankful...or maybe to enjoy all the rum and goodies we had prepared ourselves! Don't mind if I do!

We ended up having a couple brave friends- 4 in fact. 3 within walking distance and 1 who braved it with her car (she ALMOST made it to us, but did have to call us to help her dig it out at one point). And though it wasn't quite the same as if all 100 of the people I invited on Facebook would've shown up, I feel like the same goals were accomplished: we sang, we danced, we ate and drank, we played, we laughed...definitely a successful evening.

But it just kind of went along with what my year has been like. I keep wanting BIG things to happen. A BIG event. And God keeps showing me the ordinary. I had been hoping for a big party, but last night was really no different than many laid back nights with friends. But maybe God is showing me, 'what's wrong with that???'

Today at Mass (we walked to Mass- there was no getting our cars out. We were pleasantly surprised at how many people turned out! It was almost a typical crowd!) Father talked about how- to people in Mary's day- she and Joseph probably seemed insignificant. Bethlehem means 'town of bread' or something (BTW- how COOL is that! Our Bread of Life came from the Town of Bread! You can't MAKE that up!) and was really only known because King David has also been born there. Mary was just a girl to most, Joseph just a carpenter...they seemed insignifcant but were asked to play such a part in changing HUMANITY.

As we walked to Mass, we saw many of our neighbors digging out their cars, helping one another. Whenever a person would get stuck, whomever else was also out would run to help push the car. The girls and I started singing Christmas carols while we walked, doing what we could to contribute to the Christmas community we had going on. And it just seemed like all was RIGHT in the world. People helping one another, coming outside of our houses...not rushing off past one another to wherever the next place we need to be is. It made me think, this is what community is supposed to be, and it gives me HOPE that we can still do this as humans.

Also, the peace and QUIET of the snow is such a gift. I was disappointed that we couldn't have the loud, crazy party I may have pictured, but the limitations the snow puts on traffic lends itself to a natural peace and quiet.

I was expecting the last week of Advent to be BIG, but it seems God is showing me it may be small, insignificant, but that there is beauty to that. Because His Will is still in that. Though His Incarnation at Christmas was far from insignificant, the scene, the setting was. It was NOT a big, loud party to welcome Him in. But a quiet, still night with just a few select characters to witness. Kind of like what my friends and I shared. And it was beautiful. And in it- HOPE.

And so we wait in HOPE this last week before Christmas. Whether the Lord ushers Himself in with a loud party for you or just a small stillness, May you experience the blessing of His Incarnation at Christmas.

Peace!
Julia

To any of you new readers who may have found me through Todd's posts on Sainthood Project, welcome! Feel free to leave comments! I use my blog to reflect and update friends and family on my life, but feel free to use this place to reflect too! I'd love your feedback! God bless!

1 comment:

The Swandas said...

So did you write this post? Or was it me? I can't remember. ;) Because these words come right from my heart:

"We plan and plan but we cannot compete with elements like nature that our beyond our control. So we have to surrender. There comes a point where worrying or planning just isn't going to help.

I keep wanting BIG things to happen. A BIG event. And God keeps showing me the ordinary. What's wrong with that?"

No wonder we get along so well.