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Advent . . . so much more than waiting.

Our twenty-five-year-old daughter, our youngest, has always been a free spirit and independent thinker. Early in her college career, she told us upon graduating; she was moving to New York City. We smiled and knew when she figured out the cost, both financially and logistically, she’d stay put.


Fast forward to her graduation. She has a job offer at a big ad agency in Manhattan. Off she went.

Last advent, knowing her tiny flat would not accommodate a big advent wreath, I sent her three purple and one pink votive. She cried when she got them and said it made her think of home. Together we’d text about each week: “Rae, today it’s all about hope! We can hope for the mercy of Jesus to come in…hope for covid to die down…just hope for all things good.”


This was the picture she sent during the second week, peace. “This world needs peace, Mama,” she texted. “It’s a big ask. Only God can make that happen.”

“True,” I texted back. “But what is your part in that process?”


“Oh, I love you, Mama.”


When my children were small, I often had to rummage through hastily put-away Christmas decorations from the year before digging up our Advent wreath. I remember running from Hallmark store to Hallmark store to make sure I had my set of four candles—three purple and one pink — this was before Amazon, mind you. I never regret how I made that effort to honor our church’s tradition of the period of preparation. It gives my adult children a foundation and direction for this busy time of year.


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