Our gingerbread houses were a little bit crooked but piled high with all the good stuff.
We cast votes on the strongest gingerbread house, or the most liveable, or the tastiest, or the most creative.
Today, on Christmas Eve we’ve cracked them open, breaking off pieces to eat.
Our lead-up-to-Christmas traditions are done and dusted today, the advent calendar is finished and the anticipation for Christmas day is almost over.
We broke out the Christmas tree early this year, mid-November, and the kids berated us a week later for making it feel close to Christmas when actually it was too far away.
I tried to explain that the anticipation of something is often better than the reality.
Yes, our Christmas day will be filled with family time and good food and presents (because lets be honest that’s what they’re really anticipating) – but the lead up to Christmas is so much better.
It’s a daily reminder that something good is coming. In expectation of the greatest gift, we walk out our days in wonder of this season – full of drives around streets with Christmas lights, baking, playing our favourite carols and choosing the perfect gift for our favourite people.
I have the same expectation of 2019 – and the biggest thing I’ve learned this year is how to walk in wonder in the midst of the not yet. To be grateful for the days we have now, to find joy in what I hold in my hand in this moment, and to see the good in what’s right in front of me. I know there are gifts coming, there are answered prayers coming, but I’m learning not to let that knowing, that expectation, steal joy from my every day.
What I’m believing and hoping for will one day come.
But right now, I can be content in what I already have, without having to acknowledge the missing or the broken.
It is the simplest mindset shift, but one that has brought so much rest.
Rest in the anticipation.
Rest in a good God, who doesn’t hold out on us.
Rest in gratitude for the right here, right now.
Rest from striving, from the hustle, from the doing-in-order-to-gain.
I’ll be reminding myself in 2019.
It’s okay, it’s all going to be okay.