"The darling of the world is come..." R. Herrick

I say this every year, but how I wish that I could freeze time. Just now, in this very moment. Still on the sweet, breathless cusp of it all, with the days stretching out in gilded promise, glitter sparkling behind the closed doors of the Advent calendar and fresh bits of holly and greens appearing throughout my house by the day.

I’ve been making gingerbread cookies for the Christmas tree today, and weaving delightfully wonky little cedar wreaths for my kitchen windows. I cut a branch of holly I’ve been eyeing for weeks for the arrangement I always put on the big Empire chest in our bedroom and I ironed my rather tattered but dearly-loved silk ribbons and tied them on the arms of the chandelier in huge, drooping bows.

My fingers are marked with the battle scars of encounters with prickly greens, and even that seems a thing to rejoice in.

Soon the memories and tender joys of this Christmas will join the ranks of all the loved Christmases past. But I am determined to keep this precious time with all my heart, even as it flies. My heart’s deep prayer as I enter into this most sacred season is that I will just love my Savior well in all this happy hullabaloo of preparation. I crave a spirit like that of Brother Lawrence, who made a life practice of acknowledging the presence of Christ and lifting all tasks to Him even in the doing of them.

The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen…I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees.

That is my ambition, by the grace of God: to prepare my heart and my home for the coming of Love itself.

Happy waiting, dear friends…

"To do Him honor, who's our King, and Lord of all this reveling..." R. Herrick