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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Celebrate Advent: Make room for love.

jenmichel@me.com

I wish I loved my children better. The milk spills and seeps through the crack between the table.

The book report she’s typed needs reformatted.

There are ping-pong paddles on top of the microwave and socks in between the couch cushions.

And he’s out of bed again.

I wish I loved my children better. I wish every time they needed me, I didn’t sigh. That I didn’t meet every occasion for discipline with my teeth clenched and my eyes flashing fire. I wish I were more ready to laugh and memorize the details of their faces and hands. I wish dishes and laundry were more easily set aside.

I wish my heart’s love were clear water, and my family and husband could stand at its edge and find their reflections.

“Do this, and do it with love. For this is your work that will ripple out into eternity.” – Ann Voskamp

I wish I had God’s heart.

His heart written finally in the story of Advent, a gift of grace given to unexpected people in unexpected places. Love rippling out into eternity.

A baby in a manger.

A carpenter, a young virgin, a donkey, and shepherds.

Bethelehem.

What could God mean by it all other than to say that love matters most? That love is humble? That all must be set aside today for love?

“Any work done for love is an act of worship. It becomes a special devotion, a prayer. And recognized as this, it must be seen as something that requires total attention, with full care given to every detail. Attentiveness to the work being done is a spiritual virtue. It is not right to see some things – creative tasks or prayer, for example –as superior to others. Any task can become an act of devotion, just as any can be falsely glorified. All deserve equal care.

The final truth follows from this last. Since all that we do becomes an act of devotion each person’s life becomes one long litany of praise. . .It is up to us to make the celebration as beautiful as possible.”

-Finding God at Home, Ernest Boyer, Jr.