Remember those chocolate advent calendars you had as a kid? .... or maybe you just bought one for your children... They give a tangible way for us to see the approach of Christmas.
My wonderful husband knows I love good quality chocolate, but he also knows I love tea. So, this year, the evening of November 30th, he presented me with 24 Days of tea!
Every morning, I get to wake up and experience a different flavour of tea...Cherry blossom, Orange pekoe, Banana nut bread, Moment of zen, Dark chocolate delight, Sleigh ride, Santa's secret...
It comes in a beautiful case, and when you open it up, you see 24 little boxes. You find the one for that day and open it.
Inside the little box is a small container with the special, organic tea.
The best part though is the love and thought my hubby put into this. He didn't just go to the store or order this online at www.davidstea.com. He did that, but then he also sat down and typed up 24 little notes on his PC, printed them out, cut them up, and inserted one for each day! I'm pretty sure if you look up the definition of "love" in a dictionary, that just might be it!
We have been married for over 30 years. While it hasn't always been "happily ever after", it has definitely been a great ride. I am enjoying growing old with this guy.
I wrote the above on December 2nd. On the Sunday before (November 29th), our church celebrated the first Sunday of Advent. The children participate in the readings and lighting of candles (with supervision from a parent of course). Here was the reading and scripture passage for that first Sunday of Advent....
WEEK 1 - HOPE “Advent” is a word that means “to come.” It is a time when we get ready, preparing ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child. We should get our hearts ready by thinking about Him, created an expectation of celebrating when Jesus first came to earth.
Isaiah 9: 2, 6–7 “Those who walked in the dark have seen a bright light. And it shines upon everyone who lives in the land of darkest shadows. ... A child has been born for us. We have been given a son who will be our ruler. His names will be Wonderful Advisor and Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace. 7His power will never end; peace will last forever. He will rule David’s kingdom and make it grow strong. He will always rule with honesty and justice. The Lord AllPowerful will make certain that all of this is done. ” (CEV).
This candle is symbolic of the long years of waiting and hoping. The prophets, inspired by God, kept reminding the people to look forward to the coming of Messiah, the Son of God, who was to redeem the people from their sins. The Hebrew word for Jesus means “salvation.” Before Jesus left this earth to return to His home in heaven, He told us we should watch and wait for His return.
Sometime between when my husband gave me the "24 Days of Tea" on Monday, and Friday evening (the 4th), I said something about Advent being a sacred time which is about celebrating the Messiah's birth. I won't go into all the details, but my husband interpreted it to mean I didn't want the notes in my advent calendar. He proceeded to remove them all (except for one).
I could have screamed and had a hissy fit, or got all sulky and quiet, but I decided instead to appreciate he was trying to respect my comment about the spiritual side of advent, and not get angry about it. I calmly explained that I absolutely love the notes and it does not take away from the Spiritual aspect of Advent for me, and that I would really like him to give me the notes back so I can read them every day. I wish I could share that he immediately gave them back, but life isn't always like that (at least not in our home). So I now enjoy my tea sans the note from my hubby.
On Tuesday, the note he forgot to remove said "I want you to know that I love you very much and that I am honoured to have you as my wife and lover."
I promptly sent him a text and said, "You didn't remove today's note from my advent calendar! 🙂 I love you, and am honoured & thrilled to be your wife & lover too. 🙂 xoxo"
He replied, "Sorry. My mistake."
So I said, "That's a very easy one to forgive! 😉 (I really do love the notes you know.) Have a fabulous day."
I'm glad that I kept the notes he gave me a number of years ago when one other time he did a similar thing before Christmas. I must admit that when I feel down that he took my notes away, I just go and re-read the ones he gave me in the past. Same type of messages of love and appreciation. (I feel Satan wanted me to get upset about this, but I'm not gonna let him win this one.)
The reading the young lady read last Sunday was about love. It wouldn't really make sense to go through the motions of doing an advent tradition, and then not live out the message of love would it? Here's what she read:
WEEK 2: LOVE
This is the second Sunday in Advent. Last Sunday we lit the first candle, to
remember that Advent is a time of preparation. During these days we are
getting our hearts ready for the coming of the Christ Child. This Sunday we are
remembering that Jesus came to earth to tell us of God’s love. We know that love
is coming. Love is Christmas. God has become involved with us. Love asks us to
be open, to be honest, and especially to trust. We light this candle on the second
Sunday in Advent to remind us that Jesus came to earth to “show and tell” us of
John 15: 9–11
“I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love
for you.10 If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving
me, because I have obeyed him. 11 I have told you this to make you as completely
happy as I am.
Love has many voices and it speaks in many places. What are some of the voices of love that you can think of sharing this week?
I hope that you are taking time to remember the real reason for this season. Please take time to remember Christ's birth, and that He came to bring peace on earth.
"Lord, please let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me! Amen."