My mysterious disappearance from the blog has not been all that mysterious really. Between an incredible amount of work and our recent Thanksgiving travels, I've not had any time to post here. And I miss it.
I've been thankful to have managed some scribbles in my journal during this time, which have helped to keep me sane. Most of all, I'm thankful for the blessings of Advent.
In years past, I've done a number of posts about Advent. I love to share poems, prayers, snippets of what I'm reading, thoughts about the season. This year I am living at such a flat-out work pace, and our extended families are going through so much stress, Advent had taken on a much more raw and urgent feeling...less about making our way toward the Christmas celebration (though that's still a layer) and more about clinging to the very real hope we have in Jesus. (Which is, of course, a big part of making our way toward the Christmas celebration...but I'm meandering here, and I only have a couple of minutes to write!)
One of the biggest blessings this Advent has been my yearly discipline of writing a poem. This is the twenty-third year I have done so, which means I have been writing an annual Advent poem for half my life. There are years the poem comes easily and years it's a struggle, but this is one of the first years I seriously thought I might just not be able to do it at all. It's not just the work pace right now, but the exhausted inner space. I am spending a lot of my writing working days plowing through work-a-day prose -- poetry has not been a regular part of my diet (reading or writing) for a little while, yet another thing I miss. And yet there's the mysterious blessing of having stored up so much over the years that it's there to draw on when I need it, even in lean seasons.
So when the poem started to do its push and pull inside my heart last week, I wasn't as surprised as I might've been. I found myself smiling at its approach like I would smile at the coming of an old friend -- "really? you decided to come this year too?" The poem never seems to mind how cluttered my house is, how worn out my body, how tired my spirit. So I got up early this morning, tired as I was, to work at a draft.
I am so thankful for the gift of creativity, even or especially when I'm convinced there's none left in the storehouse. Proof once again that it pours into us from the Creator whose well never runs dry.