And this weekend, the brakes were drawn to a grinding halt.
Last week, Elias succumbed to chicken pox. I'd been, in some small measure, hopeful of their arrival this winter. After years of avoiding it for Heidi's sake, with her now off medication, I was keen for her to get it before she got too old. And to be brutally honest, I welcomed the break that chicken pox would bring. The necessity to hibernate at home with my little people and shut ourselves away for a little while... life had got a little too crazy and I wasn't quite sure where the off switch was...
And then Saturday happened. When your husband is the one ending up in a hospital bed, doped to the nines on morphine, you realise that somewhere along the line perspective and priorities have got skewed. That things have got out of whack, and that life is not meant to be lived in fire-fighter mode.
We are so grateful to God that he is recovering well, but trying to learn lessons. Slowing down. Listening to our bodies. Recognising our fragility and weakness... being humble enough to recognise our own limitations. Our bodies are wonderful gifts, and God has wired them to tell us when things get too much.
This weekend we got the memo.
And so I'm thankful for Advent... for chicken pox... for scary hospital trips... because each, in turn, force us to do what Dave and I seem to find so impossible to do. To say no. To stop. To dwell. And be. And savour this slow and sacred season together.
Will you join me in slowing down this advent? In spending time at the Saviour's feet. In being thankful for what matters and savouring the heart of Christmas?