As we begin this year's countdown to Christmas, my family and I started an Advent reading calendar to prepare our hearts and help keep our focus on the important parts of Christmas through the holiday mayhem. We've never done it before, as our kids have been too little to really understand, but as we sat down today with the lights twinkling and the fire roaring, it really started to feel like Christmas. As we cozied up, the storm raged outside (the RAIN storm, mind you, in 39 degree weather on the FIRST DAY OF DECEMBER - oh so festive!) and the Christmas music was playing softly in the background when our 6 year old asked, "What is 'Advent'?" I answered without really thinking, "It's the time leading up to Christmas that we use to prepare our hearts and remember what Christ did for us." And in that moment, a lifetime of Scriptures and Christmas cliches culminated in a newfound revelation that brings me to where I am now, sitting at my computer, and writing to you.
I was at a BBQ recently with my 4-year-old daughter when she called me over to a little group of teenie-bopper girls she was sitting with. "Mom," she called in that infamous tell-tale voice, "We've got a problem." Upon my approach, however, I saw no spilled lemonade, everyone was smiling, and there wasn't a trace of blood anywhere. "What's the matter?" I asked, confused but not surprised. 4-year-old divas going on 35 always have a problem - they're like birds. They migrate to find drama and they usually go in flocks. "Somebody," she began, exaggeratedly peering around the group, "Has shorts on that are TOO short." She delivered her last line with all the confidence of an old grandmother lecturing those young whipper snappers, and no, to my horror and dismay, there was no way the comment went by unnoticed. It was well heard by everyone in the group. I wanted to melt into the floor. But she was right. Somebody DID have on shorts that were too short, and it was my 4-year-old that had the guile to address the problem.