It’s a fact that in our lifetime we will spend at least 3 years waiting…waiting for stop lights, doctor’s appointments, sitting in traffic. Most of us think of waiting as a waste of time…unproductive and pointless.

Advent is a season of waiting. But it’s far from a waste of time.  From December 1 through December 24 we are waiting to celebrate the day of Christ’s birth.  Most of us know that December 25th probably isn’t actually the day Christ was born, but that doesn’t really matter.  This is the month that most of Christendom chooses to acknowledge the waiting in preparation to remember and celebrate His coming.

The word “Advent” means “arrival or appearance”.  We spend these days anticipating, awaiting the arrival of the Messiah…not literally, but figuratively.

These days tend to be filled with activities.  Some of these activities help us mark the waiting, but some of them simply distract us from being conscious that we are, in fact, waiting for something more than a day full of presents. We are waiting for HIS PRESENCE. Immanuel, God WITH us.

I was reading the Christmas story in Luke 2 this morning and, for the first time, I found my own heart resonating with the shepherds in this well known story.

I find it interesting that this is the only announcement from heaven that Jesus was born. Why would God choose to reveal the birth of His Son in such grand way only to lowly shepherds tending sheep in the fields at night?

The life of a shepherd is about as far from royalty as one can get. I can only imagine spending night after night watching over the flocks, The darkness enveloping the landscape except for the twinkling stars. There is a calm, a hush, a quiet.  Then out of nowhere an overwhelming radiant light flashes in their eyes, like when you’ve been in a dark bedroom for hours and someone suddenly turns on the overhead light…only brighter AND the glory of the Lord surrounds them. No wonder they were terrified!

Immediately they are reassured and comforted by the angel who told told them NOT to be afraid.  And why did they not need to be afraid?  Because he was bringing them “GOOD news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord had been born….”

They didn’t need to be afraid because God was giving them His very presence.  He was giving them Himself.

I want to stop there because nothing has changed.  This is still the GOOD news that brings great joy!

As moms, we often feel like much of our work is unseen…because it is.  It can feel like humble, lowly work especially in a culture that will go to unfathomable lengths to be seen and heard.

Yet, who does God reveal the most significant event of all time to?  The humble, the lowly, the unseen.

This is why I am convinced that the richest parts of motherhood and homeschooling are so much more than what can be seen from the outside.

There is a depth and beauty God wants to create in us THROUGH the countless moments that we cry out to God for mercy, for forgiveness, for direction as we shepherd our little ones. These are opportunities to walk humbly before God, to be okay with not being seen, not being known…because we are content knowing that HE sees.  HE knows.

It’s the place where the “wise woman builds her home”(Proverbs 14:1) as she yields every area of her life and ministry at home to her Maker. It’s where the homeschool mom embraces the simple homeschool plan that God has given her for her family without feeling guilty that she’s not doing enough.

It’s a place of waiting with EXPECTANCY that God is has GOOD things in store, that in Him we have a future and a hope. It’s trusting that if we walk in obedience to what He calls us to…nothing more, nothing less…that He WILL be faithful to fulfill HIs promise to bless because He IS Immanuel…God WITH us.