Practicing Parents

A Dad’s Advent Longings

          image1 (1) ~ by Horace McMillon

I am particularly looking forward to this Christmas. My oldest, Julia, has been away at a boarding school in another state. She has made solid progress. We look forward to welcoming her home on Christmas Eve. Never has Advent been more real to me. I am not sure that I have as much appreciated its meaning as I have this year. The anticipation of Advent and my anticipation as a parent have come together.

Hope. I certainly hope that we are on the right path. I know that there has been growth, both on her part and the part of us as our family. It is easy to be afraid. It is easy to be overcome by fear. We can fear all the things that can go wrong. We can fear of all the negative influences that are out there. We can simply fear that out best efforts will not be enough. In this season of Advent, it is my hope and prayer that the grace of God as manifested in our lives will be enough to carry us through.

Peace. We long and pray for a peaceful home free from chaos and excessive drama. We long and pray for peaceful relationships within the home. May three generations living in close proximity be blessed by being in close contact with each other rather than frustrated. We hope and long for peace inner lives for each member of our household… That my Monique (my wife), Julia and Horace (my children), Mimi (my mother-in-law), my mom Lena (who lives two blocks away) and that I myself will know something of this peace of God that surpasses all understanding.

Joy. May our home and lives be filled with joy. Joy in our work. Joy in our service. Joy in our times together. Joy in our time apart. Joy at the overwhelming sense of  wellbeing I hope and pray we experience fully. May we share the joy that comes with love with all that we encounter. May the joy we show be our testimony of God’s goodness, love, and sustaining grace. Oh yes! We pray for joy.

Purity. I’m not entirely sure I even know what this means anymore. But I pray for purity of heart. Purity of intent. Purity of desire. I pray that our deepest longings and desires are fully aligned with the highest possibilities and purposes God has for us in this time and place. I pray this for all of us. I pray this most urgently for Julia as she returns home. I pray this for both of my children as they journey through their teen years.

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