I have been getting ready for the YMCA show in Redlands this weekend like a fiend.
Yesterday, the door of doubt and anxiety swung wide open, blowing in the words,
"I'm doing it wrong. All wrong."
I have to confess. It began with an innocent question from my husband.
"Why are you making paper wreaths instead of painting? Isn't THAT what you do?"
That question has fermented over three weeks.
Am I doing what I'm meant to do?
or am I catering to the masses?
It came to a crashing head yesterday as I doggedly went through my day, determined to have fun at what I was doing........and add more paintings-quick ones, but work nontheless.
By the time I was finished, I hated every. single. one.
By the time Miss Brenna got home with her foul mood I was about in tears by dinner time.
I know, right???? A foul mood from this sweet face?
I found myself sitting in Bible Study not even able to open my hands during the singing.
"Can I not get ANYthing right?"
reverberated through my head all night.
We looked at the concept of Advent last night.
It's nothing I was raised with, nothing my church has ever taught, but something I realize I long to understand.
A sense of waiting with held breath for a great gift.
Freedom from oppression.
A glorious coming.
But it came in a manger.
A baby, for crying out loud.
This is the meeting of our longings? Our great expectations?
Growing up, Christmas for us was epic. Four trees. Glitter everywhere. Sparkle galore.
And so many, many expectations of the season. As I grew older, I realized my mother longed for her expectations to be met in this holiday. Family. Gathering. Glitz, you name it.
And every year they were dashed as the season ended and January hit.
Now that she is gone, I have mixed feelings with the waiting for Christmas.
I can hear Bing Crosby sing and either get sentimental, or want to bash the radio in.
I walk into a store with ornaments that are covered in glitter and want to either buy all of them or run straight out the door.
These things-songs, trees, my mother- won't meet my expectations.
There will be days of complete and utter contentment sitting by a decorated tree and there will be days of so much tiredness and getting sick of wrapping gifts by that same tree.
Each of these days before Christmas, I want to think of a baby...
This morning I took the canvases I finished and painted over every. single. one.
and decided to do an Advent series.
To learn more of the waiting. The longing. The hope.
A contentment began to settle in.
So I prepare.
I prepare for the show like a fiend and wait with joyful expectation instead of doubt.
And when someone asks if I am "ready for Christmas", I'll have to say yes.
Because I will be waiting with even greater hope and joyful expectation.