Without a doubt in my mind, I know that this Advent will go down as one of the most blessed of my life. In the hearts of my children, too, I believe it will, in time, be noted as one of the most special -- as the Advent mommy came home.

After a year of trying to make working outside the home and managing a family of seven come together, I surrendered and returned to the hearth. The joys have been more than what I could have anticipated.

I didn't realize how thirsty my soul had become, how infrequently I had been taking nice long breaths. I have spent much of my first couple weeks at home catching up on all the things that have gone undone for the past 11 months.

Until now, I had been avoiding my kitchen, knowing I could not deal with all that being in a kitchen and providing warm, healthy meals entails. Instead, my family was having to fend for itself, mostly, or being tossed bags of fast food. How good it feels to be reunited with my Crockpot!

I also took part of a day to start decorating for Christmas. I don't know how this would have ever gotten done had I not come home.

Each decoration hung...

Each photo of a friend or loved one displayed...

Each symbol of the blessed waiting this season entails...

Each extra step to help my family feel welcomed when they walk through the front door...

Has felt like a breath from heaven.  

Oh, I know I will come down from my high soon enough. Then again, as a friend pointed out the other day, I had 11 months of not breathing, so perhaps I'll have 11 of breathing deeply. All I know is that God has blessed my steps back to the home front, and I plan to seek His will each day to make good on this gift, this second chance to be a mom who doesn't just skim the surface but goes in deeply and wholly.

Thank you, thank you Lord Jesus, for the hope, the promise, and love you offer us now, and always. We await your coming into our lives more fully, too, with great anticipation!

Q4U: Do you have a favorite-of-all-time Advent? What made it so?

Copyright 2012 Roxane Salonen