Remember when I told you I’d be back on the 29th? I meant to. Really, I did. But stuff happened.

Like a hospital visit, for instance.

Before I get into that, however, I want to say that we had an incredible week with the kids. We celebrated Christgiving in grand style, and even though we were disappointed that our two Bobbys (both the II and the III) ended up not coming (canceled flights, and changed tickets, and airline confusion, oh my!), we received the unexpected gift of having a lot of great quality time as our original family of four. It was really precious, and unhurried, and something I won’t soon forget. Although we will still be getting together with extended family later in the month, Christmas is essentially over for us as I write this on the first day of advent. It made me a little sad at first, but I quickly realized that since we got all the gifty, foodie stuff out of the way before the holiday even started, I could actually spend advent focusing on the Christ in Christmas. With the busy done, and I could relish Christmas in my heart.

And, speaking of my heart…

I went to the ER Friday night with chest pain. Now, I really didn’t think it was my heart, but when you mention chest pain to the ER people, they launch into a cardiac protocol and they don’t mess around, which, of course, is a good thing.

I was wheeled back to a room in seconds, hooked up to myriad machines, and had three nurses hovering about me, while a fourth asked a hundred questions. I was told that I was being admitted so they could test me throughout the night, then they would have a full picture to present to a cardiologist the next morning. In the end, we found that my heart was healthy, as were my lungs, and they diagnosed me with early bronchitis, sending me home with antibiotics and an inhaler.

But, laying there in a hospital bed, IV drip in your arm and wired to monitors where you can watch the rhythm of your heart, you think about a lot of things. You consider the speed with which your husband reacted, and the way he refused to go home to sleep, as you watch him snooze uncomfortably in a chair at your bedside. You think about each of your children, and grandchildren, their faces turning over and over in your mind. And you think about your life up to this point, what you’ve accomplished and what you still hope to. Like a turn of a microscope, your mind casts away the superfluous and focuses in tight on what’s important.

And you realize that the only important things are matters of the heart.

Like love and family.

Like friends and faith.

Like the Christ in Christmas, and the gifts given through the Savior of the world wrapped in human flesh.

I’ll be walking through each day of advent, this year, with fresh perspective, and my (healthy!) heart and I would love for you to join us.


“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 ESV

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 ESV