Advent family time

The First Candle

December 2, 2010

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

Isaiah 11:1


“Daddy, it’s Admint!” an excited voice calls down the hall.

“Hana Kate, it’s Ad-vent,” I counter.

“Daddy! It’s Ad-mint!”

We are all excited, and we sit down to read our first reading.

“Daddy, let’s pray!”

“Not yet, I answer,” while Eden climbs back to me unsure of what the excitement is all about, but excited nonetheless.

We read. We pray. We sing.

Daniel plays the guitar, and I attempt to sing along to “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” squinting at the computer screen and trying to remember the words as my view of the computer is blocked.

“Did you know that Emmanuel means God is with us, Hana Kate?” Daniel asks. “He’s with us all the time!”

“Uh-huh. Does God be with other people, too?”

We smile, and I excitedly tell her that this is one of the things that makes God unique; one of the things that only God can do: be with everyone at the same time, all the time.

Then we light the first candle.

We all stare as it burns, thinking of our gratitude to God for having this special time to remember, to long as a family, still somewhat distracted by the newness of it all to us.

“Are we going to have hot chocolate to count down the days to Christmas?” I’d promised we would, so we do. She’s new to hot chocolate as of this morning, but anything involving chocolate brings great excitement.

Then, like a vapor it’s over.

She blows out the first candle and now all that’s left is the smell of blown-out-candle-smoke hanging in the room, reminding us of the first candle. It’s a vapor: a reminder of the brevity of our own lives.

But some vapors leave a mark as they go. I’m praying this one will..

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  • Julie December 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Oh! you have one of the “Advent to Lent wreaths” from Ann Voskamp! Those are SO beautiful! I have her Jesse Tree Advent book and this is the first year we are using it. What a precious time spent with family as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

  • Kim December 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Keren – I’m so glad you posted this! BTW – Chloe calls it “admint” too – ha! 🙂 we were not nearly as prepared as you were – (in fact we’re starting this week now that my huge church dinner is over with)….

    I’m super excited about these ornaments to make, though – I was just using different google images I had found, but these all kinda look the same and are somewhat coordinated…they’ll go perfect on our ‘paper’ tree on the fridge!

    Next year, we’ll have to get the advent spiral – that looks so neat!