But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.  (Micah 7:7 NASB)

For a few weeks now, the sights and sounds and signs of the Christmas Season have been amping up. The Santa Clause Parades, the Bazaars at local churches, the decorations and lights being hung in the community…all these little Christmas moments.

Each year as we turn toward Advent, I get excited. I love this Season. I love the wonder of the story, the beauty of it. I love the decorations and the songs. I love contemplating the right gifts to give friends and family. I love peppermint flavouring and a little extra sparkle all around.

This is not always the case for those of us who work in the church. There are many pressures that go along with this Season, many expectations to be met, extra work to be done. And that can make for grumpy, exhausted and stressed out clergy.

I decided a long time ago that this would not be my story. That I would go out of my way to find joy in this season, to forgive myself if I failed to meet an expectation or two (to decide that I’d just let go of some expectations that I might have of myself), and to take rest (extra rest, when needed).

I didn’t know it at the time, but this decision would be one that would serve me well throughout the Advents to come. I truly enjoy this Season, and all that it brings with it.

Part of my enjoyment has to do with blogging regularly – writing (almost, see above comment about forgiving myself when I fail to meet an expectation) daily about the story of Christ’s birth keeps me in touch with the real reason for this Season.

So, all of that to say, I am beginning my Advent blog today. In anticipation of the Advent Sunday of Hope which officially begins the Season. It’s time, and I’m ready.

May you, also enjoy this Season. May you know the hope, peace, love and joy that the Baby born in Bethlehem imparts to human hearts.

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