Monday, December 7, 2015

The Joyful Passing of Advent

On Saturday I woke up with an upset stomach.  I'm sort of a wimp when it comes to sickness, especially of the intestinal kind, and I laid back down in bed realizing my weekend plans would all have to be cancelled.  Phil took the kids to First Saturday Mass, then Confession, then grocery shopping (yes, he's a rock star!) while I went back and forth to the bathroom, wallowing in self-pity that poor me was not feeling well.  

Then I fell asleep, woke up an hour later and felt 100% better.  Drama at it's finest.  All the plans were back on tap, and my cloud of despair was lifted.

Likewise, a few weeks back, I had plantar's fasciitis in my right foot.  It was so painful to bear any weight that I was hopping around my house for a few days before I was able to step normally, though still with pain.  I lamented to Phil that my running days were over forever and that I needed to join a gym with a pool so I could start swimming since I would never be able to pound the pavement again.  He told me to wait it out.   I took a couple weeks off from any cardio workouts, stretched, iced, wrapped my foot, and used inserts, and wouldn't you know, it healed!  I am back to trying to run off the pounds I quickly accumulated while resting.  

These two recent examples have shown me that I can be a bit dramatic and irrational when it comes to my own body.  Sometimes, a cold is just a cold.  A stomach ache is just an ache.  An injury is just a temporary setback.  A wave of nausea is not a pregnancy scare.  A bruised friendship can be saved.  A ruined dinner can be recooked.  A bad test grade can be resolved. What seems like the end of the world to us in a moment is just a foggy memory in the long run.  Time and prayerful waiting can heal so many wounds.

This too shall pass, says every wise grandmother.  
(Because she knows from time and experience that it's true.)

So many times in life, we just can't see the big picture.  Back when I was pregnant with my fourth child in as many years, I knew, just knew, that I was destined to be pregnant every year until the age of 50.  It seemed so out of our control, so hopeless to think maybe one day we could master NFP enough to make it mostly work.  When there were low funds in the bank, it was nearly impossible to figure out how the emergency car repair bill was going to get paid, but it did.  While trying to plan for our kid's future education, it seems pointless to throw pennies at what could easily be a million dollar expense.  It's so easy to fall into despair in the midst of hard times.  But it's only when we have fallen that God can lift us up, and grant us the grace to get through it.


This Advent, I am aware that we are in a season of waiting for the Christ child.  Yet we already know that He has come, and will come again!  We can be joyful while waiting!  It's so much easier for our generation to be preparing for a celebration of His birth than to be of generations past who hadn't yet received Him at all.  Their despair was real and valid.  We are the blessed ones!  We know Jesus has come to save us purely because He loves us.  We need not despair with the complaints of this world, we already have the hope of eternal life with Jesus.  Just as Advent always leads to Christmas, the things of this world shall pass into eternity.  It's something I need to remember before jumping off the deep end next time I get a man-cold.  ;)


  1. Wonderful post Colleen! I love your thoughtful and thought-provoking posts. They are always from your heart, always teach me something and never sound preachy.

    At the ripe old age of 46, I'm finally learning to take it easy on myself and others. There is nothing going on that can't eventually be overcome, adjusted, repaired, overlooked, or completed.

    Enjoy the rest of your Advent and I hope your family stays away from illness (especially the stomach variety)!

  2. Colleen this is so so important to remember! and I might just tend to be little like you sometimes (or worse). Aaron's always like "Mary, not EVERYTHING is a crisis!"- lol!

  3. Yes, wonderful post! I am also a wimp when it comes to sickness (especially the stomach variety) and I have a tendency to try to "connect-the-dots" with every ache and pain thinking that it's something larger than it is.


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