Mark Twain and Plans for December

Years ago I lived in New Haven, Connecticut, for a short while. A favorite place to take visiting friends was to the Mark Twain House in Hartford. It was always a hit with our friends, and we loved it because the tour guides to the house were never at a loss to tell a new tale about the colorful author. A favorite of mine was told in the Billiard Room where he did much of his writing. Occasionally there were interruptions to his work caused by visitors who wanted to speak to the famous author. He opened the door and stepped out of the room onto the balcony, and the servant could then truthfully give regrets to the visitor by telling them that Mr. Twain had stepped out for a bit.

My husband and I have been dealing with some of the curve balls of life, which you can read about here Waiting on God – when your back is to the wall . . . and here Curve Balls. Worry. Thanksgiving.

It has been stressful as we considered all options for our financial well being. Added to that, it is December, Advent is upon us, and there are the usual holiday things one wants to do. A house to clean and decorate, baking that wants to be done, a tree to deck with lights and ornaments, gifts to wrap and send, invitations to accept, and extend. On top of everything else is responding graciously to kind people, trying to help, who, bless them, apparently think we are idiots who haven’t considered the most basic solutions to the issues at hand.

With the majority of my siblings and cousins living in my home state of Ohio, one consideration has been selling our house in Arizona and moving. Although being closer to them is a draw, the immediacy of the need to DO SOMETHING, has been daunting. Finally, my husband and I had a heart to heart, charted a course, and did a Mark Twain.

We made a plan and, as part of that plan, chose Advent to step out. We have charted a course, but have stepped out, vowing to celebrate Advent, enjoy Christmas, and take up the plan again in January. We have reduced our commitments. We have bowed out of a few, previously accepted, invitations.  We have stocked the larder. We have decorated with gusto. We have started inviting friends over (the first came last evening).

This decision was a game changer for me. We have a plan. And that involves time to breathe right now. My stress has just been shelved. My husband and I are on the same page. Today we will get to light the second candle on our Advent wreath, counting down the four weeks of Advent as we prepare for the coming of the King, a baby born in Bethlehem.

We hope that you and yours have a safe and happy month of December with appropriate holiday feasting and celebrations spent with those near and dear to you.  If you are a Christian, we would urge you to step out, this Advent, shelve the things that can wait and turn your attention to the birth of the one whose coming breathes life into our lives.

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