When We Need Help Anticipating Advent

I’m thrilled to welcome my friend Crystal Twaddell as our guest today. Crystal’s warm heart to encourage and uplift is obvious here in her beautiful words on anticipation. Enjoy as we anticipate our King!

Anticipation is such a gift!

Every year we join the world in celebrating Advent and counting down the arrival of Christmas…the arrival of the King of the World. We offer up our very best in preparing our homes and our families for the celebration of the One who holds our future. Through busyness of the season, we do our best to anticipate and grab hold of the meaning of Christmas.

In years past, I’ve often felt as if I’m missing some aspect of this anticipating.  As though there’s an unidentifiable disconnect, separated by distance and time. It’s as if there’s been some small void in wrapping my head fully around the coming King – until this year.

For the past 4 weeks I’ve been in a state of anticipation and counting down more than Advent.  In fact, as you read this I’ll be 3 days from picking up my son from the airport, which to some may not seem all that exciting, except that he’s arriving all the way from China.  And the anticipation of his arrival has my heart about to bust with excitement!

It was about this time last year when anticipation resembled dreading his 4-year departure. I simply couldn’t fathom the distance between us, not seeing him or the void his absence would create in every facet of our close-knit family.

I began asking God to prepare my heart for the adventure – over and over again. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been a precious time of growth for all of us.

And in a short time, I came to appreciate this gift of anticipation. That regardless of which side of the spectrum I fall on, there are sweet graces waiting on the other side of allowing God to carry me through both.

Maybe this advent season leaves you experiencing a bit of a void also.

When the thing we’re anticipating is the one thing we really don’t want. When remaining in our safe place is much sweeter than any grace awaiting us on the other side of hope. When expecting disappointment is easier than believing in a promise.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is ask God to prepare our hearts.  We ask Him to teach us a new way of thinking and we invite Him to lead us down new paths. Because even though we know there’s something better waiting, we simply can’t get there on our own.

And in return, He asks us to fully embrace the anticipation…for the sake of the gift.

He calls us to surrender our heart full of anxiety and our need to control.  He urges us to release earthly expectations and empty ourselves of all that can go wrong.

In return, He wraps our heart in peace and binds our thoughts in hope until our soul overflows with gratitude for all that is good…in the midst of all that is unknown.[tweetthis]In the midst of the unknown, allow God to wrap our hearts in #peace and bind our thoughts in #hope @CrystalTwaddell #Advent[/tweetthis]

In a short time, we realize anticipation is a gift of faith that makes us more alive with joy. We grasp that our life has meaning and purpose. All because we accepted the invitation to fully embrace the journey of anticipating.

So as we continue celebrating Advent and counting down the arrival of Christmas, it’s my prayer that we commit to living fully in this beautiful space of anticipation. That we tuck hope deep within cracks of our heart to sustain through uncertainty and that God will fill any voids of our soul so we can experience the true joy of the season.

It’s my prayer that our hearts will bust with excitement…

For the coming of our King!

Crystal is an advocate of living outside of comfort zones as a means to unlocking hidden potential and experiencing God’s wild and uncontainable love.  Mother to a professor, a worship leader and a budding biologist, her greatest joy has been having a front row seat to God gathering up all the little pieces of a broken past to create a beautiful legacy of hope through the gift of motherhood. She writes on combining a little bit of intention with a lot of passion to create an overwhelming legacy of hope.  She’s also a lover of fresh markets, lattes and all things French. You can connect with Crystal through her Blog and also on Facebook , Twitter and Pinterest.


Linking up with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart, and Deb Wolf at #FaithnFriends

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20 thoughts on “When We Need Help Anticipating Advent”

  1. I had never thought of anticipation as a gift, but it is ! With all the busyness of the season that we allow to overlay the real reason for Advent, it’s so easy for forebodings to drape themselves around our hearts and minds. “He wraps our hearts in peace and binds and binds our thoughts in hope” is a beautifully written encouragement! I pray your visit with your son is sweet and satisfying. Blessings from your neighbor at Crystal’s.

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    • I never looked at anticipation as a gift either, love how Crystal encourages us in the midst of the unknown! Thanks for your thoughts Alice!

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  2. This encourages me today: “Sometimes the best thing we can do is ask God to prepare our hearts. We ask Him to teach us a new way of thinking and we invite Him to lead us down new paths. Because even though we know there’s something better waiting, we simply can’t get there on our own.” Thanks for sharing this piece of your story with us in ways we, too, can relate, even if we’re waiting on different things.

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    • I agree Lisa! We all have seasons of anticipation and often times all we need is to seek God more fully as He leads us! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. What a great post! I am the type to take simple anticipation and bubble over with it! It’s not always a bad thing, but I don’t often consider it a gift. I definitely will answer the call to ask God to prepare my heart during these times! So glad I stopped over today 🙂

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    • I agree Nicole-Crystal did a great job showing us all how to appreciate anticipation even more! So glad you stopped over today too!

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  4. Beautiful post, Crystal! I am not sure I ever viewed anticipation as a gift before this year. I have been more focused in my Advent reading, wanting to prepare my heart for His arrival. And you are so right, anticipation is a precious gift. May you, your son and family have a most blessed Christmas! xo

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  5. This is a great angle on anticipation, Crystal. I loved this: “And in a short time, I came to appreciate this gift of anticipation. That regardless of which side of the spectrum I fall on, there are sweet graces waiting on the other side of allowing God to carry me through both.” Beautifully said!

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    • It was my pleasure to share your words of wisdom pointing us to see our anticipation as a gift from God. Thank you! May your Christmas and time with your family be blessed beyond measure!

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  6. Crystal, Beautifully edifying post!

    I can’t imagine saying goodbye to a child for four years, but your post gives hope that God redeems the anticipation and the void.

    I am reading Timothy Keller’s Hidden Christmas for Advent this year and I have been so blessed to read it. One of the things he touches upon is our fear is a result of wanting to stay in control. Thank you for reiterating that message in this blog post.

    Merry Christmas!

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  7. I’m sorry I’m a few days late to the party, but I’m so glad I stopped by! What a beautiful post, Crystal! Oh, my, but it spoke to my heart. And this:

    “Sometimes the best thing we can do is ask God to prepare our hearts. We ask Him to teach us a new way of thinking and we invite Him to lead us down new paths. Because even though we know there’s something better waiting, we simply can’t get there on our own.”

    this spoke to some things God’s been doing in my heart this year. I’ll be praying this prayer.

    I hope your reunion with your son is beautiful, Crystal!

    And Jill, I hope your days leading to Christmas are filled with the peace of Jesus’ presence!

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    • Thanks for your thoughts and stopping by Jeanne-you’re always welcome! I also loved how Crystal helped me change my perspective on anticipation and a new way of thinking and leaning into God on a new path. Merry Christmas!

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