Half-way through Advent and this was the state of things.

It may be that 2018 goes down in the books as the year mom failed at the Advent calendar. It’s really too bad as I purchased the candy necessary and even made up the calendar with activities ahead of time.  The problem came with the books.  All of the “good” ones we own were missing and I had waited too long to get any of the desirable ones at the library.  That and it felt like Advent had really just snuck up on us and I just didn’t get my stuff together.

Lu has asked hopefully every day if “today can we do the calendar?” It’s been about 50% success rate and that has left me feeling terrible and wringing my hands.

The older kids say feelingly, “It’s FIIIINE.”

“But I never would have done this when you were her age!”

It’s true.  I distinctly remember when I was pregnant with Gem staying up until 2 am to prep packages and books for the eldest 4.

“Mom.  You have EIGHT KIDS. It’s not like you’re not doing anything.”

My cheeks burn in being recognized, the extension of forgiveness, the recognition of the reality.

Last week we had a full weekend followed by 3 full days of feasts and potlucks and parties and events.  In the middle of it, I realized that we were halfway through the season and from my view, had very little to show for it.

And isn’t that the way of the spiritual life?  We set out with the best of intentions and get started with the decor but life sneaks in and clutters things up. In Advent, we can let all the things get in the way of the view of the babe.  Our plans and intentions get crowded with our other plans and intentions and we end up messy and tired.

Thankfully, each day, each moment, offer a chance to begin again.

So we did.  We cleared the holy space and hung up the stars, reminding us that He still leads and we still seek.  We stopped the to-dos and pondered the to-bes. I packaged the candy, visited the library and wrapped up some books.  We may be able to salvage 2018 after all.