I read the word aloud and let out a sigh as I grab my favorite Tazo tea from the top shelf of my pantry.

That’s what I long for right now. Calm. Here I am, in the middle of Advent, and I am frantically running around from work, to party, to practice, to work, to serve, to be, to do.

Why does Calm seem to sit on the top shelf?
Why do I have to reach for it?
Why does it not seem to sit out within arm’s reach?

I sit down and curl my tiny hands around the warmth of the mug and I breath in deep the chamomile, rose petals, and soothing herbs.

It’s quiet tonight, out there. I hear the ticking of the clock, the low rumbling of the heat, and the wind rustling through the trees.

In here, in my heart, it’s loud. The voices are like sirens. I shouldn’t have said that today. What if I completely ruined my witness? Am I even a Christian? Have I bought that gift yet? Am I being completely selfish? Do I love Jesus enough? Oh man, I forgot to tithe Sunday. Is this my life, really?

I look in the mirror. I just got my haircut. I run my hands through it and think, why do I do this every single time? I really have got to find a new outlet for adventure. Chopping off my hair isn’t working. I roll my eyes and pull what’s left of my short locks back, away from my face, away from my mind.

I wash dishes. It’s very therapeutic for me, scrubbing the dirt off with my hands. In a matter of mere moments something dirty and used has become new again. I sigh. I want to be made new, again, today, right now.

I tell Jesus in that moment, “I know why Martha wanted to stay in the kitchen. She wanted to do something. Why is it so hard for me to sit with you? Why did Mary choose the better portion?”

I go the keyboard and begin to sing. “O come, O come Emmanuel/ and ransom captive Israel/ that mourns in lowly exile here/ until the Son of God appear!”

Emmanuel. God with us. With me. I move to the table and begin to write. I peer around my computer screen and see the Word of God and I stare. I wrestle with the voices to do something. I look back and imagine the word of God like a hand outstretched, and I reach out for Calm- this one within arm’s reach.

I read again the story of Mary and Martha and ask Him to explain it to me, to teach me, to change me.

The quiet begins to seep inside.

Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you.

Happy Advent, dear friends.  May we choose the better portion.