I admit that spiritually I have been feeling somewhat unmoored ever since Dear Husband and I landed in Pittsburgh. The primary culprit was searching/waiting for a church home for an entire year. During those months of DH's under-employment (and my over-employment, in a sense), I missed seeing a regular church family every week, as I had had weekend shifts about 50% of the time, and the other 50% we were visiting at some church or other. We became friendly with a couple of congregations, and we made friends outside church, but it has been a relief to finally have a Sunday morning center. Even if I can't be there in person (still over-employed), somebody is thinking of me.
The secondary culprit is that I have been lax in my spiritual discipline, reading and praying almost never. This is wholly my fault: "I'm too busy." But Facebook gets a lot of airtime on my phone. I especially miss Tuesdays evenings with our Bible study, both the camaraderie of peers and the "homework" that gave me something to ponder in between worship services. "You can do anything for a short period of time" is my Christian family's Buddhist-like mantra, so I made a New Church Year's resolution to do an Advent devotion this year.
Good friend A.S. found me some likely culprits. For the whimsical at heart, there's the little plastic Wandering Wisemen (and their camel Hezekiah!), whose antics remind me of DH's creche stylings. For the artistic, I can recommend Jan Richardson's The Advent Door. Father Richard Rohr offers daily meditations through the Center for Action and Contemplation that seem to aim toward inner peace, but I was hoping for something less mystical and more...progressive. I signed up for the Office of Social Justice's thrice-weekly devotion on "Immanuel, incarnate," since that is one of my favorite themes in Scripture. But I was really hoping for something I read and pray on in the mornings before work, perhaps by the light of the Advent calendar candle my grandmother had sent us. I finally settled on Making Advent Great Again from Homebrewed Christianity, even though it starts a week before Advent, runs Monday-Friday, and comes at 3pm instead of in the morning. DH and I can do them together over dinner, instead of watching a comedy show. (It's great to laugh with your best friend, but I suspect it will be even better to talk with him...) I even gave a little more than the requested donation, because I value the time and talents of the authors HBC has put together.
This Advent I will listen to the voices that cry, "How long, Oh Lord?"
Editor's Note: Although the counter on the website ran out November 27, I received no email, so I surmise that someone discovered too late that Advent didn't start the Sunday after Thanksgiving after all, and I am going to have to wait another week to start my devotion.