Anticipation not constipation

My recent moment of pure elation did arrive while I was in the bathroom on Tuesday afternoon. It lasted just a quick second, but complete appreciation washed over me, while I looked in the mirror. The water rushed over my sudsy hands, and I noticed that I was feeling an invigorated but absolute peace with life.

I am not describing an extraordinary personal movement here, (ahem…). But I do think it is important to record the little places in our everyday lives, where happiness can appear.

At that moment, I was in gleeful anticipation. I was about to leave the house, and it was early afternoon. I had returned early from Ottawa, purposely because I needed to pick up my wife, after her school day had ended at 3:45. I stopped by the house quickly, on my way to first pick up our little (4-month-old) girl, Joella, from the sitter.

I was excited because I was going to surprise Lindsay, by bringing her little bundle of joy to her. I knew that she would be happy to see her. Probably more happy seeing her, than me, but what the heck, she is super cute!

So there I was, anticipating seeing my precious daughter. Then I was imagining delivering her to her mother, my wife, who I adore. I just stopped myself and soaked up this little but magical moment on a bland ‘ol Tuesday afternoon. It is the stuff of dreams actually.

We had a new set of tires installed on Lindsay’s car, so that was the reason for the extra running around. We got to be together more, because of the inconvenience of dropping off and picking up a vehicle. It was a wonderful family day.

I can’t remember exactly, but it seems that once we got together, there were little hiccups and snags in our plans. I know that the tire job was in progress when we arrived at the station, it wasn’t complete. I know that we drove around a small town that had seen better days. I know that we visited a furniture store with beautiful items, waaay out of our price range.

All that stuff was okay, but the moment before I even left the house was mesmerizing. I loved that anticipation of the good times to come ahead. I was absolutely thrilled with possibility of seeing my two beauties smiling together.

This moment of the Christmas season is quite similar; we are in electric anticipation of holiday ahead. We want the family times, and the good food. We want to see the light in the eyes of a receiver of a gift. We want to open something fun too ourselves. We even take time to appreciate the greatest gift of all, the Christ child, Immanuel. I know that this mystery is incomprehensible, but we attempt. We give thanks and worship and wonder at the miraculous.

I hope I find myself awestruck again. I want to relive over and over again, the awareness of the gifts in my life. I want to constantly reawaken to that gleeful anticipation of beauty and of family and happiness. I want to see it in my mind, before it appears in real life.

The Christmas miracle is coming. Wherever we are, in a tiny real-life moment at church, or driving the car, or eating a quick lunch downtown, let’s stop and appreciate it. Once the day gets here, there may be challenges. We may not always be prepared to roll with the constant changes of direction. We may find disappointments, and get discouraged. A life in Christ is certainly not without its problems. In fact, we may be attracting more, when we align ourselves with the King, born to a virgin, in a lowly cattle shed, go figure.

Proper anticipation, the Advent time, is healthy for us. We want to fertilize our minds with appreciation and enthusiasm for the upcoming celebrations. We want to train our brains to expect and forsee beauty and goodness and real-life miracles. The more we can practice the awareness of our gratitude, the more we will experience it in life.

I am happy to think I will ‘see’ you here again next week, my beautiful friends. Thank You, each of you is important to me


Aaron Nichols



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