Yesterday, we experienced an interesting mix of precipitation which resulted in a light crust of ice and snow accumulating on the grass. While meteorologically it may not have been significant, when coupled with the arrival of the first Christmas toy catalogs, I was suddenly faced with just how fast The Holidays are approaching. I always seem to find myself being caught off guard by this time of year. Perhaps this is because, for much of my life, October and November were a whirlwind of extracurriculars and projects which, after a quick breather in the first week of December, dumped me unceremoniously into Exams, end of the year dances (with associated drama), my birthday and then Christmas itself. Needless to say, for me there's a heavy dose of dread entwined with the usual Christmas merriment.
This year, however, is quite different. First, I'm not in school, so the rhythm of that life is gone (incidentally, I've been out of school for a while now, it's just a hard habit to shake). Second, we have a toddler who will be able to truly experience the magic of the holidays for the first time. Thirdly, and most significantly, we wont be celebrating Christmas (or Thanksgiving, for that matter) in the same way, and I have no idea how different things will be. I'm excited to learn about the difference between western Christmas and eastern Nativity, but that old feeling of dread is still there, though perhaps tinged more by nervousness and apprehension. I rather dislike the unknown.
This brings me back to looking out the window yesterday afternoon, watching the sleet turn into snow, and realizing that the next few months will be very different for us and, seeing as how these things tend to run into each other, our church life wont really slow down again until... May, maybe? July?
I'm ashamed to admit it, but there is a [small] part of me that longs for the days when the church status quo was only interrupted for Christmas Eve and Good Friday.
The rest of me is ready to embrace this new aspect of our lives wholeheartedly. Feasts, festivals, fasting - Bring it.