O Come, O Come Emmanuel

December 4, 2012

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{my little attempt at hand lettering}

So, for my birthday I received, from Henry’s Dad and Nancy, a new Canon Power Shot with camera case and memory card to replace the one stolen from us at the Milwaukee Zoo this Summer. Now we can actually take some video of Sprootle. I decided today to take some shots of what I’ve been up to for the last few weeks and here they are, with running commentary.

Thanks to this Restarting class I’ve been in this fall, I have a whole new understanding of Joy, and therefore, of the Incarnation and a new lease on the season of Advent. I may get around to writing more on that later, but just as likely, I won’t. It is a busy season.

I’ve always loved Christmas carols – especially this one – which we liturgicals sing at the beginning of each service in Advent. We try very hard to be on time for church so as not to miss it. It’s the highlight of my week. My time spent on Pinterest has made me long to be able to do some nice hand lettering and one day I just said to myself: “you can do this.”

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{our new t.v. cabinet}

I took this because, yet again, our living room has changed. Yes, that’s Sprootle on the rocker. I had been praying for a t.v. cabinet, being convinced that the t.v. needed to be hidden for us to maintain some kind of control over how much Piggle watches t.v. You would think, being, in fact, in control of this that I would feel more in control of it. I do not. I do not feel in control of my own consumption of t.v. sometimes – which is one of my “good reasons” stated via a recent Facebook discussion on my advice from someone older and wiser than I to keep Piggle from watching too much, and myself from relying on it too much…for his entertainment and for my own anesthetization. Again, maybe more on that later (part of my class) but maybe not.

Anyway, TWO DAYS after I went to Great Lengths to bring home this cabinet (found something beautiful at the Salvation Army, in pretty good condition, but it had to be taken in 24 hours and they do not have a delivery serivce. So, I rented a truck from Home Depot and got some manpower to help us get it up the stairs. I had help with kiddo watching from my Mom. Whew!) Piggle destroyed our television. It was a nice flat screen HDTV which we’d inherited from my Grandma. I fell on the floor sobbing when I saw the “crack” in the screen and that the rest of it had gone dark. The next day found us wondering whether this was a sign from God or just a blessing or what have you. I think I am growing out of that particular line of thinking about the t.v. I don’t know though…we’ll see. Right now I just feel like God gives us freedom – even to own and watch a t.v. and that I am growing in my capacity not to turn to it for comfort just like anything else. Piggle and Henry got the stomach flu a couple of days later and since then we’ve been using our computer for basically the same amount of show watching we did before. Well, Piggle is. I am not watching much at all. Which is nice. And I have a book I’m reading. So…we’re keeping the cabinet which I like very much and am glad we have. And we’ve decided to purchase another t.v. with birthday money we received from Henry’s Grandpa. And that’s the end of that particular saga for now. I guess in an ideal world I’d be the perfect mother who had enough energy for her very high-energy son who doesn’t give me much rest between all of my other jobs which I do quite adequately, thank you very much, and could keep him engaged in the life of our home all of the time he wasn’t playing by himself like a perfect angel and not destroying other things in our home, but that’s not the case. Probably not for anyone. Sometimes I just need a break.

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{case in point: he was watching Word World. And there is our tree. It is fake and loaded with purple balls. Yay Advent!)

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{Henry’s childhood nativity scene given to him by a former teacher(?), which is missing Joseph. Whoops!}

This makes me so happy every time I open it each year. 1, because Henry in his little boy writing, labeled the box “God Seen” and in parentheses his mom wrote (scene), but I LOVE that it says God Seen. Indeed, little Henry, indeed. And 2, I love that my own son now plays with it and I get to tell him about baby Jesus and he actually gets it a little bit this year. And I love that we’re moving into our new church building (we did the 3.5 mile procession on Sunday night from the rented high school to the new sanctuary) at this time in the year when Gilead is really seeing the world for the first time. I mean, I can see that he is seeing the world. We spent a very long time on Sunday playing in the enormous, perpetually overflowing baptismal font that is set in the middle of our new space. I really would love to write more about this whole thing, but again, probably won’t. Just the memory of him playing in the “living water” is enough to make me cry. I just love Advent.

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{the new Shuffle Family Advent Calendar, which is not perfect, but in its imperfection, is.}

Which brings me to the one craft I have completed since Wyatt’s birth (I think. I can’t remember) in a flurry of activity and on the spur of the moment one Saturday in November. My own family had one with a moving star for over the numbers and we always fought over who got to move the star each day. I hope my kids don’t actually fight over it, but I surely hope they like it the way we liked ours. It’s burlap and then felt for the nativity scene and random fabric scraps I had for the numbers. I used hot glue. Oh, the star is felt too, with a safety pin hot glued to the back. I doused it in elmer’s and blanketed it in glitter and then let it dry flat for a week so when I picked it up it was stiff, just like I needed. Am I smart or what? Simple and done. I was going to, and probably still will someday, make pockets and insert dowel rods but the rods are too long for the door and I don’t want to mess with any sawing, so I just hot glued it to the door. It’s low enough that Piggle can touch the figures. And he is interested in the star, by the way.

Happy Advent to you all. I pray for you to feel the true longing for Jesus which characterizes the reality of all that is and also that you would know Joy – which is that God wanted so to be with us, and for us to be with Him, that He came here to make it happen.

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3 Responses to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Having not been at Rez–or any church–for the last two weeks, this is actually the first Advent contemplation I’ve heard. I’m so glad I read it! A great entre into the season. Thanks, Jenn. 🙂

  2. Sarah Says:

    And awesome lettering :).

  3. Henry Shuffle Says:

    How are you so talented and beautiful? I think I married the right woman.

    “God Seen” wow, as in “God, seen.” Never thought about that.


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