We are halfway to Christmas, counting from December 1.
Some of us don’t know if we’re coming or going, up or down, like this staircase. Or worse – we feel torn in both directions, taking a moment on the landing to figure out which way first.
Depending on our orientation, we are “not quite there” (missing gifts, baking, etc). or halfway to finishing it all. It’s always at this point where I think I’m further along than I really am.
I get ready to wrap gifts, only to discover I’m only halfway done for someone and forgot to finish shopping.
I’m baking a double batch of biscotti but forgot the other half of the ingredients.
Maybe for you, the halfway mark is different – maybe it’s in life, or having children, or in accomplishing a dream or goal.
For our Nativity story, this is halfway point. It’s all desert, and mangers, and angels from here.
But I want to offer another thought on “halfway”. That maybe God doesn’t see it that way.
Maybe God sees each day as complete and whole. It’s all the little wholes that make up the bigger picture.
I’m thinking God maybe never says “Keep going, you’re halfway there!” because each step is complete along the way.
I mean, think about labor and delivery rooms, could anyone know the true “halfway” mark – ever?
It’s only in baking and bedtime stories that we can count on the middle marker. Everything else is very best guesses.
If we begin to offer congratulations to ourselves and others when they are “complete” for what has been accomplished, then we might find the motivation, and joy to continue.
Let’s offer ourselves the gift of compassion when we’d rather berate, criticize, or tell ourselves to go harder, faster, longer – and instead say “Wow. Look at all I’ve done! Thanks God!”
Let’s tell our kids “great job!” when they haven’t finished coloring the page yet. Or, when they’ve achieved this winter break, marking one half of the school year. Or when they’re struggling to complete something – and we can see all they have done. Tell them in the ways they most FEEL celebrated – hot chocolate, hugs, words on sticky notes because they’re teens and all they connect to are texts.
What would we tell Mary? Mary, who bore the news of her pregnancy, saw God do a miracle with Elizabeth, and then Joseph, and is ready to give birth? Would we tell her, “You’re not even halfway to paying your taxes yet! Hang in there!” or would we rather offer a joyous, “God has been with you! Look how far you’ve come! The path is all yours!!”
May we recognize halfway marks and choose our perspective wisely.
In Joy, Vikki
Advent Devotions for Moms