Practicing Parents

A Parent’s Prayer for Advent

~ by Arianne Braithwaite Lehn

leaf-in-snow

Lord Jesus,
I now stop what I’m doing,
what I’m thinking,
what I’m scrambling to plan,
and hustling to finish so that I can
be here. 

Be here in the safety and warmth of your love.
This love that holds me fast and keeps me grounded.
What I want to be a season of joy for my children so quickly becomes a season of increased expectations for me –
not because they expect things, but because I do.
It’s the pressure I put on myself to
make things perfect,
and memorable,
and happy,
and *special.*

But you came to me amidst darkness and stars –
reminding me how darkness and light are most beautiful together.

And in that holy, mysterious and messy night you re-defined perfection,
promising me that leaning into the mystery
and laying down in loving awe
composed the most beautiful response.

You tell me the best gift I can give my children this Christmas is
to look with love into their eyes.
To pause throughout the day to pray over them.
To envelop them with arms of fierce grace when I feel most frustrated or annoyed.
To sit in wonder for a moment (or many)
and marvel at all that shaped our family this year.
To give thanks
and allow tears to fall
and dreams to rise.

To take my pilgrim band by their hands and walk together,
deep into the heart of Bethlehem shining bright within our souls.

This will be more than enough,
Because you’ve made a manger in which my heart
will rest and find your heartbeat becoming mine.
Amen.

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