Thursday, November 29, 2012

Five-Minute Friday: Wonder

[I seem to have thrown off the whole "five-minute" stipulation of this writing exercise, so I'll try to get back to that in the New Year...]

"Only the most mature of us are able to be childlike.
And to be able to be childlike involves memory;
we must never forget any part of ourselves."
~Madeleine L' Engle

I remember, but in my mind more than my heart, what it felt like to wait and wait for Christmas.  The growing, gnawing, jittery anticipation.  It was, truly, my favorite time of year - and it couldn't come fast enough.  Oh, how this has changed. 

I remember, the nine-year old me.  Making a list - a long list, mind you - of all my stuffed animals.  A little over a hundred, I recall.  And I knew them all by name and I wrote each name on a scrap of paper, and over one hundred folded pieces filled a tin canister, from which I drew a name and devised a calendar for the month of December: which of my furry friends would sleep with me, each night, leading up to the ultimate slumber party.  None could be left out.  So, come Christmas Eve, I'd sleep beneath a hundred stuffed animals.  Strange as this may sound to adult ears, this was part of my journey of anticipation in the month of December.  It feels like one hundred years ago, but I remember.

And I miss this child that has forgotten hopeful anticipation.  Can I reach back into my memory and access childlike wonder at Christmas, pull it forward several decades later, live it out in a thirty-one year old version of me?  No, I don't need to sleep beneath a pile of animals (I wouldn't be opposed to it, but my husband may not be thrilled).  But instead this childlike heart cries out from beneath a pile of stuff that has grown through the years; not the joys and comforts of faux furry friends, but of sorrows and disappointments and heartache and loss.  And I want to throw it all off this year and say Enough, to climb out from beneath the pile and rediscover wonder and breathe again the air of joy and life that holds this season in a swaddling cloth of glory.

The Wonder of waiting for mystery.  
Waiting with hope.
Waiting with hunger.

The anticipation, each day, of the One I wait for.  The eager searching, eyes wide open, always hopeful.  The longing for this, the greatest Gift I'm given every day, but this time of year - this season - is wrapped in remembering and mystery.
And then, the sigh: this is the One we have waited for. 

This is Advent, and I am determined to find Him here, as a woman who carries her childlike self into this season and waits for the Christ to come and be born, anew, in her heart.

*Joining the fabulous Five-minute Friday gang once more, at Lisa Jo's blog, for a free-writing post on the prompt of "Wonder."


  1. "The Wonder of waiting for mystery.
    Waiting with hope.
    Waiting with hunger."

    I loved this part, especially. I want to wait with this kind of anticipation, for the One who I've been waiting for. Linking up after you at Lisa Jo's!

    1. That is the best kind of anticipation... never, ever disappointed; always and forever so much better than we could imagine. Thanks for visiting here and saying hi!

  2. I remember sleeping under a pile of stuffed animals... all the time. :)
    I think for me Christmas was simple, that made it easier to anticipate. I still love Christmas and the anticipation, but now it's so much more complicated. The scheduling and planning, buying of gifts and time for decorating. Never mind any holiday baking, I'm not a kitchen person. But I think all these things, while somewhat necessary, make it more complicated as an adult to really just bask in Christmas. Oh to find a way to still enjoy the season and yet keep it simple. :)

    1. Yes, Krista. Yes. Keeping the simplicity is soooo difficult. If I could just take my grown up understanding of what the real treasures are this season and combine it with childlike wonder, I think that's all the simplicity I could need. Actually practicing this is hard. I think it must take conscious, intentional decisions ahead of time - what I will and will not do this season, where I will invest my time - and a whole lot of intentionality walking this out, saying no to what's not so important and yes to those that are. I'm so happy to "meet" another person who understands the joys of sleeping beneath a pile of stuffed animals (I did it other times of the year, like you). I pray for both of us, that we would rediscover childlike simplicity and discover for the first time, perhaps, how to do this as adults...

  3. Your words today brought me right into the heart of the sacred wait. I want to be here. Thank you for that L'Engle quote, those precious memories of you stacked high with furry friends, creating traditions of your own. I agree with all that's been said in your space: it is a constant struggle and a thoughtful discipline to make decisions to enter into the still and resist the cultural pushes in all the forms they take (some ugly, some just good that distract from the best). As always, I so love your heart, my friend.

    1. You are so, so right on, friend with this: "some ugly, some just good that distract from the best." What a great way of putting it. I, too, want so badly to be here, to enter into the sacred wait. I've been praying, God this is the only gift I want this season... I so love your heart, too.