This morning I refused the rush.
I refused the rush because if I didn't slow down the whole thing was threatening to come unraveled. I was about to come completely unraveled.
So I resisted the urge to hurry off after I got my littles to pre-school (in what was sure to be a vain attempt to check off my holiday-sized to-do list in the 4.5 child-free hours I had anyway.) Instead, I lingered around my 4 year old's classroom after drop-off and I grabbed his chubby little hand in mine as his class headed off to Chapel. This mama was sorely in need of a few minutes in a room with old wooden pews, hymnals, and a display of stain-glass windows whispering the story of the gospel.
I sat in one of those old wooden pews next to my middle son and together he and I watched Father Bill light the first candle on the Advent wreath as he explained to all the three and four-year-olds how precious this season was, how it was a season marked by peace, joy, love, and hope and as little eyes watched, enthralled as that first, lone candle glowed and flickered and cast dancing shadows, I wondered how it was that this Believer's heart could be so desperately lacking those exact things.