Today has been a joyful and refreshing day before Christmas here at the Uebel house. Outside of preparing the meal that's on the stove (a Christmas Eve tradition here: standing rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, and mashed potatoes), we haven't done any work, but have instead rested and enjoyed being together. We started the day by taking the dogs for a walk at a local park, then got showered and met some friends for lunch at Skyline. The afternoon and evening has been filled with family games (Scattergories was a big hit), playing music on the guitar and piano, reading, and taking a short nap. In past years, we've gone to midnight church services on Christmas Eve with friends, but this year we're changing the tradition to something entirely different: hanging out at Westy's (the local pub). What a great gift to have a day of rest with family and friends.
Tomorrow will be filled with presents, and food, and more family (including most of my cousins being here, something that doesn't happen often anymore). It will also be the consummation of the advent season that has been refreshing for me this year. There are a lot of situations around me where I've been waiting in hope for God to come and restore, and advent for me has been a reminder that hope is good. We are not foolish to hope because all of our hopes have their grounds in Jesus and the Incarnation, which we celebrate tomorrow. Even if the tough situations around me don't turn out like I pray for them too, my hope is not in vain because my hope is in the restoring power of God that will be seen in completion one day.