Sunday, November 25, 2012

Waiting For Waiting

I love Advent.  The busyness of shopping… The quiet dark nights…  The pre-Christmas gatherings with friends…  The white lights on houses and Christmas trees in town squares or malls...  I love the readings from Isaiah, which promise peace and justice.  And, I love that Advent and Easter are times you hear the stories of strong women in the Gospels – Mary, the mother of Jesus; Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin; and Mary Magdalene, who witnessed the resurrection.  I love the flow of readings from the celebration of Christ the King, the end of the Liturgical Year; to Thanksgiving; to the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new year.

This year, however, is an anomaly.  The Sunday after Thanksgiving is not the first Sunday of Advent, which means I have to wait for the time of waiting.

Those of you who know me know I hate waiting.  If I’m driving, I want to get there now – not be slowed down by traffic.  If I have a question, I want the answer now, which, thanks to Google, is usually possible.  If I’m in a meeting, I want to come to resolutions now, not keep postponing agenda items ad nauseum.  I’ve been told, “Patience is a virtue.”  Well, it’s not one I received!

Discernment, however, is about waiting – waiting in grace.  I waited to enter until it felt right.  I waited for acceptance in each new phase.  I waited to know if this is the right place and way to live out my vocation. (Half the time wishing it wasn’t so I could get on with my life!)  I’m now waiting to find out what the three weeks over Christmas break will entail.  Patience is a virtue I’m slowly growing into --   patience with myself, with others and with God.  God is funny that way…  If I don’t learn something quickly, God keeps on giving me opportunities to learn.  So, I’m waiting, somewhat patiently, for Advent, the season of waiting. 

Jenn Schaaf


  1. Thanks for sharing, Jenn. May you and those at the CDN have a wonderful Advent!
    Cathy Arnold, OP

  2. Jenn,
    You don't know how many times in the past 61 years that I have prayed for patience, "And I want it NOW!!!" You have always been much more patient than I am. I always thought that Paul inherited my impatience, unfortunately you must have gotten your share.
    I have always loved the way that you always were ready to make the Advent wreath with your dad, gathering boughs off of our own trees on the property and making a nice circle to put on our dining table. No matter where in the country you have been, you have used your creativity to make an Advent wreath with the materials at hand. Guess all of that Odyssey of the mind training came in handy!