Advent: the Hope-filled countdown begins

“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes…and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A countdown is on,
with the daily opening of a door
in the Advent calendar.

Some have their minds fixed
on consuming chocolate
or finding a small gift.

Others watch a scene
unfold, a marvellous story
slowly, slowly gets told.

Perhaps a candle is lit
and left to burn while we
reflect on a word, name or date.

Anticipation builds
in the daily noticing,
receiving, seeing and reading.

December's cold drabness
is lifted by an interest
in things outside ourselves.

Gradually, these small
snapshots of hope, joy, mystery
are unveiled and revealed.

Until we reach the climax,
where the action really begins,
with a birth in Bethlehem.
© joylenton

“You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, Want us to wait. For the right time in which to discover Who we are, where we are to go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you … for the waiting time.” — John Bell, quoted in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers, compiled by Dorothy M. Stewart

God’s Love Note for your heart

“You count down your days when something good is anticipated or your future hopes are dimming. Every 24 hour time slot is a reminder to live more fully in the present moment.

Developing sacred mindfulness is beneficial to your mind and heart. In the daily pausing, noticing and appreciation you are opening your soul to gratitude and a deeper awareness of My presence with you.

Try not to let your life be ruled by the ticking clock. Seek, instead, to live each day with peace in your heart because of the numerous ways in which you can encounter My Love.

This is the day the Lord has made. This day matters. Yesterday is gone and the future doesn’t exist yet. Living well in the here and now prepares you for what will come next.

Blessings galore await you as you anticipate them while maintaining an open perspective on today. Keep casting your care on Me and I will equip you to live without the burden of worry and anxiety.”

Dear Friends, I’ve missed you! It’s been really hard to have to stay away from writing here to aid my recovery. But I’m so thankful to have been given energy enough to post today. Even though my stiff hands hurt to type and I remain weak and weary and uncertain when I might post again, it’s a joy to reconnect with you as Advent begins. 🙂 ❤

13 thoughts on “Advent: the Hope-filled countdown begins

  1. Dearest Joy, thank you for this Gift! I am with you in trying to gather myself up enough to extend some energy in the form of words during this special season. I posted today also, for the first time in a while. Words about being in a wordless space; which is where I find myself more often than not these days. And that is okay. We are always enough in the Eyes and Heart of our Maker and the Lover of our souls! I am happy to be *here* with you; as that is, and as we are! Deepest Peace, Comfort, and Hope to you, Dear Sister. You are in my prayers daily. ❤

      • They did?! I’m honoured to be a soul companion with you, dear friend, as we sit with our feelings and trust God to show us the way ahead during Advent without getting overwhelmed or exhausted by it all. May you have the ability to rest and savour the small moments, coupled with an increased sense of awe, wonder, joy and peace leading up to Christmas and into the new year. Bless you, dear Michael. x 😊❤️

    • Dearest Cheryl Anne, I’m liking your sweet, encouraging words and delighting in your presence here. But I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling similarly to try to summon up the necessary strength and energy to write. I feel as if I’ve inhabited that “wordless space” you mention for many months and I long for it to end, which heightens my gratitude for this small window of opportunity to finally share something!
      It’s hard to feel significant sometimes when we have to pull back from an online life. Though I love your beautiful reminder of where our true worth, value and significance comes from. And I greatly appreciate your ongoing prayers, Dear Sister and beloved friend. May you also be blessed with those sacred spiritual gifts of “Deepest Peace, Comfort, and Hope” in the days and weeks ahead. Blessings and love. xo 💟🙏🏻

      • Thank you, Dearest Joy! And a Blessed Gaudete…Sunday of Joy…to you! I will be remembering you especially in prayer on that occasion! ❤

  2. Praying that you find strength and hope to continue, dear Joy. What a loving piece this is. God be with you and your family in this quiet and joyful celebration of Jesus’ birth.

    • Dear Jenny, I’m so thankful for your kindness and prayers, and grateful you’ve been blessed by these words. May you and your family have a joy-filled Christmas celebration, and may you sense the increasing wonder of the imminence of God-with-us during Advent and beyond. xo 💟

  3. Dear Joy, it’s so good to read your words here again! Thank you for these lovely thoughts, reminding us to be mindful of His presence with us, to be eager to see how the coming of our Saviour changes everything. I’m so thankful that you shared your precious gift of energy with all of us here. Blessings and love to you, dear friend! Xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, I really appreciate your loving kindness, compassionate understanding, and caring thoughts. You know by your own personal experience just how hard it can be most days to summon up the strength to achieve ordinary things, never mind something which requires a greater capacity from us than we feel capable of. But God… (two of my favourite words ever!)… can surprise us with an extra measure of ability to extend ourselves when we need to or if the effort will help bless someone else. May you be given energy and strength enough to fulfil the rest of your creative commitments so you can finally rest and relax, and more fully enjoy Christmas with your loved ones. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo 😊❤️

  4. Thank you for this encouraging Advent poem and message, Joy. So beautiful and inspiring. I’m thankful God gave you the energy to write here. Love and blessings of hope, strength and joy to you!

    • I’m glad you found it encouraging, dear Trudy. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and beautiful blessing which warms my heart. How I would love a greater measure of hope, joy and strength! May you be blessed with them, too, sweet friend. x 😊❤️

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