Friday, December 10, 2010


contributed by Elli

Our Advent log is atrocious. I asked a classmate for some firewood that still had the rounded bark cover to one side. She gave me a wobbley, uneven, cut up ragged piece of wood about 2 inches thick at most. We tried for a couple days to carve out the candle holes with David's leatherman which didn't work, and finally on Sunday night we were able to drill holes with a borrowed electric drill (thanks Aimee!). We got it home and realized the holes were still much too small, and after attempting again to whittle with the leatherman decided just to shave down the bottom of our candles. David then meticulously melted pieces of the cut off wax to secure the candles in place. The candles stick out of the wood like skinny crooked teeth. When the log shifts onto one side all the candles lean so the wax drips onto the coffee table.

For some reason, I am in love with it. I sit beside it every morning to do my devotions and on the Tuesday of the first week of advent David and I had our official First Week of Advent lighting. Our living room still had sheets and pillows from guests the past weekends strewn about, mugs and books and papers that never find a home in files or the recycle bin. We turned off all the lights and I watched with childish excitement as David met the head of the match with its box and the flame grew. I didn't cheap out on the candles (pure beeswax...mmm) so it lit right away. We sat back and without deciding this between us, went into silence.

For me this sort of thing needs some silence. This recognition for both of us that we are disheveled and junky and really don't look like much. But then the light is there, and it really does take all the focus. There was a moment looking at it that I didn't want to light the others; I couldn't imagine it looking any better than it did with just that one candle lit. Just one light was enough for me to feel a bit of hope that words spoken may just be true, and that I really can trust that God's promises aren't forgotten. He sees me.

David and I daily wobble between excitement and joy with this pregnancy, and fear with the knowledge we don't have a clue what we're going to do. I'm going to take a try at believing God's light will guide me on a path of peace. It is so much more alluring and curiously welcoming than the despairing dark corners I tend to find myself in.

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