Glory to God in the highest Heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. -Luke 2:14
By Amy Graham-Carlson
Advent was a new addition to my vocabulary when we joined South Main in 2013. It was a new word, but definitely not a new concept. I grew up in an amazing Christian home where we referred to ?Advent? as ?Christmastime.? At ?Christmastime? we look forward to cooler weather, all things shiny, most things smelling of pumpkin, cinnamon, and peppermint, beautiful music (whether sung by Dolly Parton, Chris Cornell, or a choir, ?O Holy Night? is simply glorious), gathering with family, and truly focusing on the gift of Jesus Christ.
The same year we joined the church, we bought our grown-up house; the one that has real guest rooms, plenty of bathrooms, and a living room that can accommodate our extended family. This house made us the logical choice for hosting Christmas Eve with our family, and ever since 2013 we have been honored to do so. On this day each year grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends converge on our home with more food, presents, and love than we deserve. We eat, drink, and visit. Before opening any presents, we stop and read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke. We pray and thank our Heavenly Father for all of this, and especially, for sending his son. This is, without a doubt, my favorite day of the year.
On August 27th of this year, Hurricane Harvey turned us in to ?floodies.? (Thank you Shannon Dove for introducing the term.) As any floodie can tell you, every day presents a new challenge such as preparing a meal when you are down two appliances, paying for demolition and repair without insurance reimbursement, scrambling to relocate when displaced by construction, deciding which spouse stays home from work to meet with the next adjuster, managing the kids in an industrial setti ng, or simply waiting for a little reprieve. As anticipation builds for Advent, I am hopeful this chaos will fade. This year, all I want for Christmas is peace in our home.
Dear Heavenly Father, please bring us peace in the midst of our chaos and help us to focus on the true meaning of Advent. Amen.
Amy Graham-Carlson is the wife of Steve; mother of Ben (10), Chloe (8), and Simon (3.5). She is a pediatric anesthesiologist at UT Health.