I lit a candle for the first time this morning as I started to write and am using it as a reminder that this season of Advent doesn’t have to be one of endless celebration and loud, flashy joy. Advent can also be a place of quiet expectation, an acceptance of the darkness that surrounds us. My heart is sad this season for lots of reasons, mostly small in the grand scheme of things, and my first instinct is to run away from the heartbreak towards all the distractions that this season provides. But I’m choosing instead to draw nearer to the part of Advent that looks like waiting. Looks like hope that is not yet filled. Darkness that is kept back by the light of a single candle. For me that means soft music and twinkly lights, small times of quiet reflection and reading, and a general slowness that pushes back the hustle and bustle. It’s not what I typically spend the month of December doing but this year it feels called for and I’m thankful there is a season of Advent that makes room for the brokenness I’m feeling.