The Latin word for Advent is the simple yet powerful word: coming. It is a season and time of expectant waiting and anticipation. We prepare for the day we have been longing for. We look forward and long for what is to come. As a Christian during the season of Advent we do two things: We eagerly await the day when our Lord will return to His bride and make all things new, but we also remember the day He humbly came to this broken, sinful world and made a way for sinners like you and me.
As mom’s we do the same thing. We await the coming of the next season with our children. We grow weary in the current duration of challenge and hardship. We fall prey to the lie that what is ahead of us will be easier than our current situation. We get bored and overwhelmed with our everyday life.
- Once they are sleeping through the night I will have more rest and will enjoy the newborn stage.
- Once they are eating solid foods then we can go out to eat and things will not be as hard.
- Once they stop teething they will not be as fussy.
- Once they are walking it will not be as hard to get out and about with them.
- Once they are talking it will be so much easier to communicate and understand what he or she needs.
- Once they are out of diapers we will think about having another one.
- Once they are in preschool I can think about getting my house back together.
- Once they are in school then I can go and enjoy some of the things that I used to do before children.
- Once they are all old enough we can start having real family vacations.
The list can go on and on as we linger in our parenting distresses and daydreams.
I understand this all too well. I am in an advent season of my own. I am a mom of 3 children aged 14, 11, and 7. Our family moved to Edinburgh, Scotland last January as fulltime missionaries. My husband quit his corporate world job, we sold our house, raised support, and moved to a new land. We left the comfort of our community and all things that we see as familiar. This past fall I became very homesick and was stricken with anxiety and depression. Yes, missionaries are broken and human and still have struggles. There have been many days where I just longed to mark another day off the calendar. I just longed to be home and believed that somehow if I were in the comfort of all things familiar I would be happy. I have, in my flesh, desired and anticipated the next thing. Often when the hard hits, we are tempted to set our hope on “the next thing” to deliver us, the things the accuser tells us we “deserve.” On the other side of “waiting,” it looks so much easier, happier, safer, depictable, and green.
Simeon was a man well acquainted with living in the present but also knowing that more was to come. He was anxiously awaiting the consolation of Israel. He knew that He would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. I am sure it had to be hard at times as he waited. He still had to live out his everyday life. He had to keep being present and available to those around him, as we must do in the lives of our families. But seeing the Christ child was the renewal of his hope for redemption!
The longing and ache we feel for things to be better isn’t cured by any earthly “next thing.” The longing and ache we feel is for our redemption. Like Simeon, our ultimate hope must be on seeing the coming of Jesus: our ultimate redemption. When Simeon saw the Christ child, God’s promise to him fulfilled, he felt ready to die… but when we behold Christ, we are emboldened to continue, knowing that God is faithful to fulfill his promises to us.
We continue advent and Christmas because we must remember the object of our hope: Our King of Kings made Himself an outcast, our Savior made Himself poor, for our ultimate deliverance from everything “hard” in a fallen world.
Can I encourage you in this advent season to pause? Take a deep breath. Look around at your current blessings. Look at the current hardships. Contemplate and linger in the present provision of God’s grace to you. But as you pause, also look back at God’s faithfulness through all generations and in your own personal story. Let His provision be the very thing that spurs you on, presently serving and loving in one of the greatest gifts you have been given: motherhood. The accuser wants you to jump forward and miss out on the sweetest moments. He wants you to just go through the motions. But God wants you to find joy in the mundane daily life of motherhood by setting your ultimate hope on Christ.
May God richly bless each of you this advent season and may we be women who linger and reflect on the goodness of Christ in all things.
Questions for Reflection/Application:
- How are you as a momma living everyday life? Are you just waiting for what is next? Are you longing to skip this hard season? Do you wish you could just jump ahead so it would be easier?
- What hopes do we value as moms above seeing Christ come?
- How would your motherhood look different on a daily basis if your greatest hope, like Simeon, was seeing redemption in Jesus?
Ashley is a born and bread low country southern momma who now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She and her family moved from Charleston, SC last January to all things British with World Witness. She has been been married to her husband, Nathan, for 18 years and together they have 3 children: Sarah Elizabeth, Knox, and Mary Haddon. She enjoys homeschooling their children, painting, decorating, and being with the people she loves. You can contact her at olsonsteamscotland@gmail. com .