Monday, December 3, 2012


I pulled the lid off the tote with eager anticipation.  There is something about Christmas décor that puts a skip in my step.  The smells of seasonal scents.  The glow of the Christmas lights creating the perfect setting for reflection and writing.  The meaningful adornment that seems to bring added beauty to a sometimes mundane looking home.

The reds, greens, and golds drew me in.  My fingers dug deep, and as I pulled out each item the story of where it came from and what it meant danced through my head.  The smile couldn’t be erased from my face.
Near the bottom was a new advent candle setting I received for Christmas last year and, quite frankly, had forgotten about.  I opened the box and brushed my fingers along the gorgeous angel base. “Prepare the Way of the Lord.”

This is nicer than anything I ever buy myself, I thought. Definitely centerpiece worthy on the dining room table.
Pulling out the green gathered runner, I brought new look to the dining room table. Finished with a silver tree and the advent candles, I smiled at the picture worthy view.  It looked like the put-together, pretty life that I long for.

Days passed and Ava climbed onto the dining room table.  I lunged toward her.  I wish I could say it was solely for her safety but the truth is I really didn’t want my pretty looking life ruined.  But, before I was able to reach her, her chubby little fingers circled a candle and broke the new treasure.

Hannah looked at me with eyes of curiosity.  What is mom going to do with this? 
Taking a deep breath, I removed my sweet, smiling toddler from the table and told Hannah it would be okay.  We could get a new candle for only a few cents.  But inside I was crushed that reality struck so soon.  

Despite my greatest efforts my life is not flawless.

I questioned what to do with it.  I didn’t want to take the entire decoration down, but I didn’t want to remove the candle and have people think I wasn’t smart enough to know how many Sundays there were in Advent.  So I left it there.  Broken.
Each time I entered the dining area my eye caught the broken candle.  I got frustrated with the kids, and I looked at it.  Fear entered my heart, and I looked at it.  Heartbreaking news reduced me to tears, and I looked at it.  Over and over again my eyes were driven to the damaged wax.
And through my tear filled eyes, I realized that it is the perfect Advent candle and, oddly enough, the right decor.  It represents life this side of glory.
I am broken.  Human imperfection robs me of a picture perfect life and frailty causes me to fracture.  I need something bigger and stronger and far more perfect than I.  I need Jesus.

Lighting the candle drives me to acknowledge me need for a Savior and the flame symbolizes true hope for me in the midst of an imperfect, messy, not always so picturesque, hurting, broken life.    
Baby Jesus, come.

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  1. Your words...are so beautiful and have really touched my heart. Thank you for sharing.


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