Monday, November 30, 2015

For Granted

"Let every heart prepare Him room."

We start this Advent journeying and I'm caught unprepared, those candles still somewhere down in the basement and our devotional who-knows-where.

The kids are bickering when I glance at the clock. Between picking up the oldest and picking up my husband, I have about an hour. It's time to start dinner. I open the freezer.

It's one of those days where I need something to make that doesn't need a lot of watching, so I can do the driving and come home to dinner ready to go. No deadlines, no oven-watching. The trouble is, what I have available it something several of my family members won't like in the least. I steel myself for the inevitable and begin.

Washing the dishes after, I think about how I'm not really doing this for me. Really, if I had my druthers, I'd have take out from some sushi restaurant. Or maybe share a greek platter with my husband. I certainly wouldn't choose to spend time and effort on dinner that is lackluster at best. But because I love my kids, because I chose to have them and continue to choose them every day since, I make a healthy dinner even when it elicits a lukewarm reception.

Tonight I feel taken for granted a little, and that gets me to wondering. What do I take for granted?

If my husband didn't choose me, choose us, he wouldn't spend every dime of his paycheck on me and the kids. He might not bother to come home. Plenty of husbands and fathers don't, you know. The thing is - humans are selfish animals, set to self-care and self-centeredness in every way. Every time he pushes down that animal and chooses differently? That's love. That's a blessing. And how often do I take that for granted? Daily.

If my parents didn't choose me, choose to have me, choose to love me, choose to cherish me long after I left their home - would my home back up to theirs? Would they make space in their limited lives for me and my kids? Or would they find something easier to do than let seven urchins track mud through their home and rent out their tiny house to a family that is bursting it at the seams? Yet daily I take that for granted.

The truth is - anyone who makes space in their life to hear you, to see you, to meet with you - that person is choosing to love you. That friend who texts just to tell you they are thinking of you? They are making space for you. That sibling who forgives you time and time again? They are making space for you, too.

It's this grace-space making that has all the makings of a miracle. It's how we are smoothed out a little here and a little there, just a little bit each and every day.

May my goal always be to be a maker of space, a crafter of community, an artist of almsgiving. And may I never take for granted those who have done the same for me.

This Advent begins and I feel a bit directionless until this drops into my lap like the first snowflake on a newborn winter's day.

That's it, then. In making space for the Christ child, we make space for each other.

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