Hope

by Stefani on 30-November-2009

Advent

Hello friends! I hope that your Thanksgiving was full of reasons to hug another neck, accept another heaping helping and give thanks for another handful of blessings. Ours certainly was. It was warm and filling in so very VERY many ways! And we do, we really do, have so many reasons to offer our thanks. 

And now we are home and a new season has officially begun. 

I carried my great grandmother's handbag to church on our first Advent Sunday morning. Inside it was a handful of peppermints, and her rosary wrapped in a lacy handkerchief. We aren't catholic, but it felt right. These are the things that she carried with her on Sundays and everyday. It wasn't as good as holding her hand, but it was good. I don't use it very often. The handle doesn't have too many trips left in it. But the familiar snap of the clasp surprises me every single time, like a little jolt of past comforts. 

She would have been reaching for her offering when I heard that clasp snap, or perhaps it was to quiet me with one of those peppermints, or for her handkerchief, which she would use to dab at her eyes when the choir sang just the right song or after service when she'd talk to her friends and laugh so hard that the tears came. 

I miss her. This time of year more than any other, accept maybe when it's canning time. 

When we came home from church this Sunday, we all huddled up and made a plan. We scrubbed from top to bottom… ceiling fans, windows (okay SOME windows), light fixtures, floors and closets. We fixed what was broken and polished what was tarnished, and we did it all to the sounds of Ella and Louie singing in the season like no one else can. We're making ready for a time of celebration. 

After the spit shine, we put out what are traditionally our very first Christmas decorations – my great grandmother's poinsettia tablecloth, our advent wreath and the candoliers in the windows, which tell all who pass that we welcome friends and that we await the coming of our king. 

We had a fancy dinner, complete with place cards and crystal and the holly berry plates. Then our youngest little man lit the candle of hope while Daddy prayed for each of us, that we may receive the hope of the world this season. 

I feel so full of hope. I hope for a season rich in tradition and comfort. I hope that we will make memories that will fill them long after I am gone, just the way my great grandmother did for me. I hope that we will navigate our way safely past the stress and worry and the wants that threaten to make us lose sight of what is perfect and good about the celebrations ahead of us. I hope that I can pass on some of the love and the joy that was so richly poured out on me. 

And I hope for you too… that the days ahead will be full of sweetness and family, warmth and blessing, a wonder-filled Advent season to you all!

Amy November 30, 2009 at 9:21 am

Oh, i just love this, beautiful! I just received my grandma’s recipe box from my aunt on Thanksgiving and it’s like having a piece of her-her recipes, her hand writing, her grocery lists. Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope the rest of the holiday season is just as wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

Mama Urchin November 30, 2009 at 9:59 am

We love advent too and lit our candle of hope last night for the first time this year. Of course it was accompanied by the singing of Come Thou Long Expected Jesus in a too high key by the urchins and I (Papa’s crazy and doesn’t like to sing) and the urchins don’t know a lot of the words. AIn fact they don’t know most of the words. So really it was just me croaking away. But still, hope, it sneaks up on you sometimes doesn’t it.

Mary-- The Yellow Door Paperie November 30, 2009 at 11:06 am

Our night was filled with Advent-ing too. My grandfather past two years ago yesterday. It feels new.

Such great words. This time of year really is about hope.

Happy Advent season!

Sarah Jane November 30, 2009 at 12:21 pm

We lit our hope candle last night, too. I love that it slows us down with all the craziness around us.

Carine Mattix November 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm

We always make our Advent wreath the week-end before that first Sunday. This is how we start our Christmas season. Building and decorating our wreath, in time for that first Sunday. I love the rythm of it all… knowing that it’s coming, enjoying it as we are in it. Looking back at it when it’s over.

Brittany November 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm

This is beautiful, we too started our Advent traditions yesterday and as I sit here literally on the phone with the bank awaiting approval/information on the short sale of our old house, I need the reminder of hope. Thank you.

melly November 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm

This post is so sweet! Your writing always inspires me. thank you!

Lindsey November 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm

How beautiful!! I love Advent. I love that you took your grandma’s purse to church. We didn’t get our Advent wreath down yet–the season really snuck up on me this year, but we’ll light our first candle tomorrow night! I really enjoy your reflections here. Thanks for sharing!

heather jane November 30, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Really beautiful. Thank you.

Betty December 1, 2009 at 4:02 am

What a beautiful post.

Mary December 2, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Your great-grandmother is very much alive in your heart. I love that you took her purse to church. It’s those details that make her live on through you.

Thank you for your always inspirational and interesting blog!

mommycoddle December 3, 2009 at 10:59 am

this one got me.

xo.

T December 10, 2009 at 3:01 am

Beautiful memories

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