Preparing for Promise

by | Dec 9, 2012 | Uncategorized, Weekend


I’m in the nesting stage of the last trimester but I’m not pregnant. Cleaning all the nooks and crannies, washing rugs and chair covers, rearranging items on shelves in preparation for what I can’t put my finger on.

My husband brushed a soppy coat of shiny black paint on the front door a few weeks ago and cleaned the brass. We’re ready to welcome good news.

After the sun goes down, the kids take turns lighting the Advent candle before we eat holy words strung around the table, then we break bread.

Sometimes our hearts respond in action over what our minds can’t comprehend in the busy. The King is coming. And we are preparing to receive the fulfillment of His promise, whether we think we’re ready or not.

On this second Sunday of Advent, may you find a moment to step back from the soapy sink, put down the pen for the growing list, and take a breath. Listen to yourself breathe, stand next to the illumination in your living room and remember why those ornaments dangle on the spruce.

“This is why we need Advent – it reminds us to pay attention, to be on guard, to keep watch that we might be ready for Christ when he comes again.” Kimberlee Conway Ireton, The Circle of Seasons


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  1. lindalochridge

    That was beautiful Shelly. I am reading “1000 Gifts” right now and your post reminded me of that. I put out the manger scene today and just stared at it and drank of His presence. We need to pay attention.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Love that book Linda. And I’m trying to do that, pay better attention.

  2. Lynn Morrissey

    Shelly, literally, just before I read this post, my husband and I had paused, after watching an old episode of Downton Abbey, to turn off the TV and listen to our hearts quicken in the quietude of Advent. Michael left his favorite leather recliner and rose to sit next to me on the couch, his arm circling my shoulder, as twinkle lights encircled the tree. Glass globes glittered by soft light. Our eyes glittered too. Mike and I didn’t speak a word. We didn’t need to. We knew Who was present, and His presence spoke deeper than our words ever could. Our hearts were full. But tomorrow, Mother and I will feast on the words of Scripture and the melismas of Handel as we hear Messiah performed in our symphony hall. Somehow, I know He’ll be there too. And tomorrow, I think my heart will quicken so rapidly, that it will beat right out of my chest. Messiah is my most favorite oratorio, and sometimes, emotions just can’t be contained, can’t wait any longer. I think mine will soar straight to heaven. I pray, dearest Shelly, that you and your family have a blessed Advent. I think you will be able to put your finger on the moment of birth. Birth can never be hidden. You’ll know when it comes, and your heart will soar straight to the skies. God bless you, precious one. Thank you for all you share.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I love the imagery you expressed here about the two of you sitting quietly. I could almost feel the silent holy in the moment. I hope you enjoy the Messiah sitting alongside your mother. May He meet you there in a sweet way.

      • Lynn Morrissey

        Oh I love it! Didn’t know if it was just I seeing things! 🙂

      • Lynn Morrissey

        THank you, Shelly. And Messiah was glorious. Mother and I loved it (the music and singers were breathtaking!), and we were so thrilled to get special seats for this memorable concert. I think that the Lord did meet me in a special way as you had wished. I NEVER (!!!) have really had this experience before……NEVER…..and I hesitate to say it here. But just for the briefest moment, I envisioned Christ’s face in my mind’s eye. He seemed so real to me. It was just a fleeting glance, a fleeting feeling, which “came” to me, unbidden, and my heart leapt. I had posted on your newer blog last night about feeling such a loss and having no heart for this Holiday, after having just posted right here previously the day before about the sweetness that Michael and I experienced as we sat alone in the ” silent holiness of that moment” (to which you alluded) and also how Mother and I were joyfully anticipating hearing this glorious holy music. I realized just after I sent you the message last night about grieving the loss of those I loved, that the juxtaposition of my comments–joy and grief–could seem schizophrenic. But then I realized this is life–its highs and lows, its griefs and joys. Christ understands this. He was the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, as the countertenor proclaimed in song yesterday. And yet Jesus endured suffering, suffocating grief on the Cross for the joy set before Him. I think Christmas, as we experience it, is some of both. Thank you for listening, Shelly.

  3. Lynn Morrissey

    P.S. I don’t know if it is only I who am expeirencing this, but “snow” is falling across your blog. It’ really rather pretty. 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      WordPress does this in the month of December, isn’t it fun?!

  4. Sylvia R

    Thank you, Shelly. Sweet reminder.

  5. livingjoel225

    What a blessing your post is. Thank you. : )

  6. Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

    Lovely mood about this piece, Shelly. His presence warm and light.

    Love the photo. I have that same ornament… 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It’s a small world Pam, I’ve had those ornaments for quite a long time.

      • Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

        I only have one, and another similar one, that I picked up a few years ago at a candy and gift store… 🙂 Love ’em.

  7. Cheri

    Waiting is intentional isn’t it? If we don’t watch and wait, we might miss. And I don’t want to miss Him or any gift he has for me. Big or small. A blessed Sunday to you as you prepare.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I feel the same way Cheri, don’t want to miss a thing.

  8. Megan Willome

    ‘Morning, Shelly. This year, December is my slow month. (Weird, right?) But my biggest month at work is November, the kids’ sports are done, marching band is done. I’ve just been sitting, resting, reading. Shopping a little online. Truly, my soul is being restored.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      So glad Megan. I had a morning similar to yours, feeling rested and restored too.

  9. sonyamac

    The wait is a necessary passage! Amen

  10. Joanne Norton

    ” our hearts respond in action over what our minds can’t comprehend” … nothing could be much more truthful. My life, too.

    Thank you tor entering my heart tonight.

  11. Lisa @ simply living photography

    I have read this a few times… on the web, in my reader, and again today. I am not busy by any means. We have just moved across the vast pond, four months ago now, and I have no life. But still, I find my mind busy. Busy in missing what I had, and this post reminds me to be busy in what I have. The one thing that will never change, Jesus Christ. Thanks Shelly!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lisa, I’ve always wanted to live short-term across the pond but I’m so sorry you feel like you have no life there. And I can relate to not being busy too. Even though I’ve lived in the same town for four years, I honestly think it would take months for someone to know if I moved away. Sometimes God takes us through seasons of isolation just so we can find Him in ways we never would’ve otherwise. That is where I live today.

      • Lisa @ simply living photography

        I totally agree with God taking us through Seasons of isolation, I am definitely in one now. But I also know the joy of that season, and the heart ache. We actually lived for seven years in Germany and have just moved back to the states…. so it really is that I have no life here 🙂 If you ever have the chance to live, even for a short time, overseas you should grasp it fully. I am attending the Jumping Tandem conference, I so look forward to starting my new life here. Thank you for your ever encouraging words.

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