Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Thoughts on Waiting

All of our beautiful white snow was washed away rather violently by thunderstorms over the weekend. I was out shivering in the cold rain yesterday, searching for a “just right” lemony cypress (like the one I snapped in London, below) as my spirits dampened like the ground.

Beautiful window box in London with ivy, mums, and cypress. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. An enchanting window box with cypress in London. Personal Reflections…Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Waiting.

But the storms passed, the rain turned to snow, and this morning, a fresh light frosting covered the earth around our home.

A Nordic French winter vignette with snow, bench, mirror, lantern, and rustic charm. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Personal Reflections…Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Waiting. My NordicFrench inspired courtyard in winter.

The gift of this snow reminds me there is often something NEW and FRESH waiting to arrive.

Beautiful fall window box with ivy, cypress, and mums in London. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Personal Reflections…Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Waiting. A beautiful fall window box with ivy, cypress, and mums in London.

Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Thoughts on Waiting

I am happily following along an online Henri Nouwen Advent book discussion for guidance from Henri’s writings about the spiritual journey during this Advent season. It’s the first week, and already I am so moved by wisdom about waiting from his book Here and Now. I thought you might also be interested in the topic since the hustle and bustle of the holidays often lacks depth and may leave us weary.

Farmhouse Christmas decor inspiration inside Urban Farmgirl in Rockford. Hello Lovely Studio.
Cheerful farmhouse Christmas decor inspiration inside Urban Farmgirl in Rockford, IL. See more inspiration HERE. Hello Lovely Studio. Personal Reflections…Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Waiting.

Am I adding insult to injury though with this topic of waiting? Ha! Waiting certainly seems to be one of our least favorite activities at Christmas or any season. Ever witnessed a room full of joyful souls in a waiting room? In a line at a store? It’s rare. We want our turn and our green light. We want our prescription, our paycheck, our package, and our pain relief NOW.

Vintage truck filled with farmhouse Christmas decor at Urban Farmgirl in Rockford, IL. Hello Lovely Studio.
Vintage farmhouse Christmas glory tailgate. See more inspiration HERE. Hello Lovely Studio. Personal Reflections…Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Waiting.

In today’s modern era, with all matter of high tech gadgets to minimize waiting or entertain us during the wait, we seem to be as impatient as ever.

Large Farmhouse rustic Christmas bells and greenery in the back of a pickup at Urban Farmgirl in Rockford, IL. Hello Lovely Studio.
Vintage farmhouse Christmas glory tailgate. See more inspiration HERE. Hello Lovely Studio. Personal Reflections…Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Waiting.

I remember expecting for the first time and feeling so anxious to deliver during the last trimester. But then I would dream an awful nightmare about the birth and awaken in the morning so relieved I had not delivered prematurely. Waiting is vitally important when there’s new life on the way.

Christmas plaid and vintage style meet in the tailgate of a farmhouse Christmas pickup truck at Urban Farmgirl in Rockford, IL. Hello Lovely Studio.
Vintage farmhouse Christmas glory tailgate. See more inspiration HERE. Hello Lovely Studio. Personal Reflections…Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Waiting.

Thoughts on Waiting

What if within the waiting – this pocket of space and time before something new arrives to us – we could relax into a gentle and trusting reassurance? What if we could seek the Grace for a lens adjustment to view waiting as a sacred lovely passage?

White romantic Christmas rustic tablescape by Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Thoughts on Waiting.

We can.

We can seek the Grace to see with new eyes.

Gold advent wreath and rustic farmhouse tablescape by Hello Lovely Studio.
My advent wreath on the table. Hello Lovely Studio.

From the meditations about waiting from Henri this week, I am leaning into the idea that my waiting is shaped by my alertness to the Word. Am I in a state of alertness to the Word at Christmastime when I have heard and read these Biblical passages for more than half of a century? Is my heart receptive and open to Scriptures which breathe with life, meaning, and transforming energy?

Galvanized advent calendar house by Hello Lovely Studio.
My advent calendar full of little handmade gift boxes I made. Hello Lovely Studio.

If I am honest, the answer is no.

White ironstone pitchers with fresh evergreen sprigs for a farmhouse Christmas decor look by Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Thoughts on Waiting.

Most of the time, my heart is full with matters from daily life and caring for family, our home, my health, and worries about the future. It is humbling and even humiliating to think about how much time I devote to staying alive for as long as possible compared to time devoted to receiving life.

English marmalade crocks decorated for Christmas by Hello Lovely Studio.
English marmalade crocks hold Christmas ball ornaments and bells. Hello Lovely Studio.

To be most attentive for the Word to reach my heart, it seems I need meditation and both solitude and community, as well as tension, pain, and even resistance. But mainly I need Grace.

Neutral and minimal Christmas decor- Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio. Making Our Hearts a Bethlehem: Thoughts on Waiting.

Henri Nouwen comes with a reminder for me that “when the Word comes, it can become flesh in us.” Isn’t that what the Christmas story is all about?

Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio.

So this week, my thoughts will turn toward what it means to wait as I make my heart a Bethlehem and anticipate the birth of wholly new life.

And I’ll ponder familiar verses with a fresh sense of awe and wonder.

Ilse Jacobsen lace up boots in khaki green- Hello Lovely Studio
Hello Lovely Studio.

Can I adopt more of a “let it be done unto me” attitude during these holy days of waiting? Can I wait without fear?

With Grace, I’ll try.

Christmas quotes from scripture - Luke 2:7. And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son...Hello Lovely Studio.
AND SHE GAVEBIRTH TO HER FIRSTBORN, A SON….Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio.
White Christmas decor inspiration from a simple kitchen sink with fresh wreath. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio.
Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. And there were shepherds living out...Hello Lovely Studio.
AND THERE WERE SHEPHERDS LIVING OUT IN THE FIELDS NEARBY…Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio.
My white kitchen decorated simply with white and green for Christmas. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio.
Christmas quotes from the Bible and second chapter of Luke. Just then an angel of the Lord stood,,,Hello Lovely Studio.
JUSTTHEN, AN ANGEL OF THE LORDSTOOD BEFORE THEM…Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio.
White tablescape at Christmas - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio.
Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid!"
BUT THE ANGEL SAID TO THEM, “DO NOT BE AFRAID!” Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio.
Vintage Dundee marmalade jar used as vase on Christmas tablescape. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio
Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio. Today in the city of David a Savior...Luke 2:11
TODAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID A SAVIOR HAS BEEN BORN TO YOU…Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio.
White romantictablescape with candlelight and blush roses. Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio.
LUKE 2: 13-14. Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio.
AND SUDDENLY THERE APPEARED WITH THE ANGEL A GREAT MULTITUDE…Christmas quotes from the second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio.
A pink candy house by Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio
Christmas quotes from scriptures and second chapter of Luke. Hello Lovely Studio.
AFTER THEY HAD SEEN THE CHILD, THEY SPREAD THE MESSAGE THEY HAD RECEIVED ABOUT HIM. Hello Lovely Studio.
A pink candy house by Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio.

Please visit my Quotes/Scripture Pinterest Board and re-pin away to spread the love and encouragement!

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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2 Comments

  1. Joanna
    December 4, 2018 / 1:25 pm

    I’m not a fan of snow or the accompanying cold, so do not feel depressed by the lack of it. I can see it up on the mountain range. It is pretty!
    I’m much better at being patient. I had to train myself to not always want to hurry, for instant gratification, first in line, run, run, run…I won’t say I love waiting but I’m not bothered either.
    I’ve stopped the hustle & bustle of the season by keeping things simple – from my Christmas decor, entertaining and gift giving. I don’t run out and fill my arms with presents. Spending money on gifts that might not be needed, wanted or loved. I buy quality gifts for my loved ones. I try to stay in the moment and enjoy what life brings me every day.
    I’m not deeply religious but I do believe. I was brought up Anglican but strayed after an incident that shattered my belief in the church. God is not just found in a church. He is all around us – in nature, in birth and even in dying. I find my peace in my own way.
    Blessings,
    Joanna

    • michele
      Author
      December 5, 2018 / 8:04 am

      Gifts that may not be needed or wanted is a good reminder to us all. We get so caught up in getting the giving crossed off the list and traditions, we’re not always mindful about whether these efforts make sense. I’m so thankful God is not limited to any box or within walls of a church. Oh, my, where would I be were that the case!?! Yes – everywhere and accessible to everyone, religious or not. Religious is one of those words that means something different to different people. I never considered myself religious either, mainly because I objected to so much cruelty done in the name of religion. Rather, spiritual practices in my daily life have become a natural flow, helping me to stay awake to reality and seeking Grace. xox

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Vintage Collapsible French Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing