Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent, Monkeys, and Christmas Specials.

Advent blows.
Advent with three children blows.
Advent with three ungrateful teenagers blows.

Every year, this season goes by way too fast.  I can't wait for daylight savings time because that means it's going to get darker faster which in turn means that the Advent season will be here.  Each year I say, as a family, we are going to do something for Advent.  Each year, I fail miserably.  This year, I tell myself it will be different!  This year, we will eat dinner at the table for the full Advent season and do the nightly readings.  (Sometimes, with different schedules, we don't *exactly* sit together as a family.  More like, watching tv or on the computer.

So, Sunday, the first day of Advent, we eat in the dining room (oooh!) and I start to tell the kids how we are going to spend Advent this year.  Then, I look at my three teenagers who have been behaving like monkey's who escaped from some testing facility while hopped up on caffeine, red bulls, and 12 5-hour energy drinks.  Who have been pmsing for what feels like forever.  Who have been screaming at the top of their lungs at each other, whose rooms smell like foot lockers after another cowgirl loss.   I look at the three deranged monkeys and I explain how they need to be *nicer* to each other.  At least to try.  I  mean, it is the season of miracles, right?  It could happen! I explain how each of them need to work on something and as I'm explaining, all three monkeys start making weird monkey faces at each other and then bust out laughing their high pitched monkey scream laughs.  I felt so discouraged.  Sigh, but we finished dinner together, and went about our evening.  

I have spent the last two days trying to corral the monkeys.  "Please, don't say that to your sister!"  "Please keep your hands to yourself!"  "Please find where the odor is coming from your room!"  "Please stop me from sticking this pen in my own eye!"  All to no avail.  The monkeys are on the loose running rampant.  As if that wasn't enough, I spent exactly 7 minutes in adoration yesterday.  I just couldn't seem to sit still to talk to Him.  Everything I wanted to say kept getting interrupted.  So finally, I'm all "Dad, you know my heart and what's in it and what I need and what's bothering me.  Here!  Take it.  And, btw-I love you!" And with that, I left.

I have not been sleeping well the last three nights.  I just lay there in bed and say prayers to God.  It helps.  Then, when I do fall asleep, they are not pleasant dreams.  One was of a boat on that sat on my chest.  Not a toy boat, but a big sail boat type boat.  The next night was over my stupid brother.  How much I miss him and how I was looking for him.  I'll tell you this, when you cry in your dream, like big racking sobs, you wake up exhausted!  Then, last night, I was going 'in my tent' and wanted to be left alone.  I took a bus to downtown Philly (wtf?) and ended up at some sort of revival where they give you tee shirts with awesome Christian songs on the back.  When you get there, you have a little tag (admittance slip maybe?) and when your ready to come out of your tent, you give one of the people in the red shirts the tag.  I didn't.  I just held on to mine.  Although, I loved the shirts.  And, some of my favorite Christian music was playing.  Then, at the end, the last song I remembered was Just the way you are-by Bruno Mars.  One of my very favorites.  And, it seemed like God, was singing it to me (minus the part about kissing...ewww).

So, I woke up exhausted yet again.  And, I've even been going to bed early.  Apparently, when you've got a lesson to learn it doesn't matter if it's Advent or Lent.  Dude, I thought I was done with school!  I have a diploma around here somewhere!  Sigh.

 So, it seems like I am living my very own Christmas special with a lesson to learn.  I fully expect that at the end of Advent, when my lesson is learned, the heavens will open up, legions of angels will get their wings, music of praise to God will be sung, and shots of tequila passed around heaven because I finally got the lesson.

Until next time,
Happy Advent.  Pray for those alone this Advent season.


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