I started tearing up the other day.  They were on me so fast, I could barely stop them from coming.  It was because of the rain.  Now it typically rains during the fall/winter, but this was the first of the year.   I may live in California, but here in the Central Valley, there is not a beach in sight.  That’s OK though, because I do live just west of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and they are amazing!

  IMG_7158There are good points and bad points to this area, but the worst is the air quality.  It sucks to put it mildly.  As the year goes on, the air quality deteriorates to the point where you can’t even see the mountains, that are with a short drive away.  The funny thing is, at some point, I forget they are there.  I drive east every morning, and eventually they fade into the haze.  So with the first rains of the year, I knew the mountains would be making a comeback.  I also knew that since it was raining, they would be obscured by clouds for now, but soon I would see them.  And in the anticipation, I found hope.  

Later in the week, over the Thanksgiving holiday, we were busy getting our house IMG_7181ready for some work to be done.  It wasn’t a time to visit the mountains, but at one point my husband told me to put down my needle nosed pliers and come with him.  He needed to go to Lowes, and knew I needed some moments away from the chaos that was our home.  He also knew I would be able to see the mountains as we drove.  Even with our view obscured by roads, buildings and cars, the view of the Sierra’s in the distance was enough to bring me comfort and renewed energy.     

   So what does it have to do with Advent?   

Well Advent is all about looking forward in anticipation.  During this season there are pregnant moments of waiting which are filled with the seeds of hope.   We anticipate so many things during this time.  Sometimes it happens and sometimes our hopes are dashed.  Whether it is family, work or any other expectations, we are ripe for disappointment.  But… there is hope.  

IMG_7743It’s the hope that even though the world seems to be going crazy, that night over 2,000 years ago did make a difference.  That moment in time gave us something to look forward to.  Something bigger than ourselves.    And in that hope, we are given strength, encouragement and the ability to share that same hope with the world!