This Advent has been so disappointing.
I had so many plans swirling around in my head... so many activities I wanted to try, presents I wanted to make, and elaborate lessons to bestow upon the kids.
A certain little someone who shall remain nameless (but her initials are G-R-A-C-E) has seen to it that every plan, every hope, and every lesson is put on the back burner this year.
It just ain't happenin' this time around.
And truly, I have felt like a failure. I felt so disappointed that I wasn't going to have the opportunity to celebrate Advent and its feast days with the appropriate fanfare that I thought they should have.
I needn't have worried.
As you may recall, I posted last year (here and here) about the Jesse tree that I made for our family.
That, and the Advent wreath, have been about the only things we've managed to do faithfully this year. What has impressed me, however, is that even though the pomp and extra celebrations aren't there, the message still is.
My older kids have really begun to grasp the whole salvation history picture that is painted through the symbols of the Jesse tree, and are starting to draw the lines from one Biblical character/event to another -- God created the world, and created man. Mankind fell, and was removed from Eden. As mankind continued in its wickedness, God sent a flood to destroy everything, but spared one family and made a covenant with them. Later on, He made a covenant with one man, Abraham, and through him all of creation would be blessed. He had a son, Isaac, that he loved with all his heart and soul. God called him to sacrifice his son as a test of his faith, but called it off before any harm came to the boy. What God would not ask man to do, however, He would do later on -- sacrifice His Son.
And on and on and on.
As we sat at the table tonight, with Grace crying and Marie continually asking to be "scused," we talked about the story of salvation, and the kids were following along and answering questions and jumping all over each other (figuratively) for the chance to be the one to tell part of the story.
THAT is what is important... not the extras (as WONDERFUL as they are), but the fact that the faith is being passed on -- rather sloppily at times, and not in ways that I had envisioned, but being passed on nevertheless.
So as I wallow in self-pity here and there over all the plans I had that have fallen by the wayside, I will try to remember that they ARE learning, and that is what is important.