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Day 2: Wait

Advent Blog Headers 2022 (2)

Editor’s note: On this second day of our Advent blog series “His Light Would Not Go Out,” DC Service Corps alum and former House Manager Amanda MacMillan shares how a newfound interest in baking is challenging her to be a more patient person who “waits with purpose.”

I do not like to wait. I am impatient by nature and I hate when I have to wait for things to happen. I listen to my audiobooks on at least 1.5x speed because I don’t have the patience for slow audiobook narrators. I will pre-order my coffee on my app to save time, and if the drive thru line has more than two people in it, I am walking inside and getting my coffee because I cannot bother to wait. I have a desire to live a slower life, to not rush through every moment that is slightly longer than I want it to be. I want to find the beauty in the here and nowI just want the beauty to come quicker. 

I recently got into baking, and no one warned me how much waiting happens before I get to enjoy whatever I baked! I have to wait for dough to rise, butter to soften, desserts to bake, and those same desserts have to cool before icing and cutting, etc. The kicker is that in baking, the waiting is an essential part of the process (trust me, I have tried skipping it). The waiting makes the baked good what it is meant to be. I have tricked myself into being more patient by calling this “waiting with purpose.” At least at the end of this waiting I will have something great. When I am baking, I have to be fully present otherwise I miss ingredients or measurements. I miss the steps that make up the entire recipe.  Baking has given me an opportunity to challenge my impatience and embrace the process. 

One of my favorite authors, Sue Monk Kidd, wrote “To create newness you have to cover the soul and let Grace rise.” When I rush through life I miss the moments when God is trying to make Himself known to me. Instead, I am rushing to the next meeting, rushing to check the next thing off my never-ending to-do list, rushing to get dinner finished, and trying to rush the waiting on the dessert I am making. I miss God’s grace when I am rushing through life. When I miss God’s grace, I miss the opportunity to be a better version of myself. A version of myself who is more kind, more generous, and more patient. I miss the moments God is trying to use to make me who I am meant to be.

Advent is a season of waiting, which is probably why I have never felt very connected to the season. Many people embrace the season by focusing on silent prayer, a time of pause. As you can imagine from whom I have painted myself to be in this blog post, being silent in prayer is not easy for me.  I am challenging myself this Advent season to wait with purpose in the Lord. I want to sit in the morning with a hot cup of coffee and be present with God. Wait with purpose in silence, presence, patience, and grace. I invite you to find your way of waiting with purpose so that you can allow grace to rise in your life. 

Question for reflection: What is something you are waiting for this season? How can you invite God into the stillness of that waiting by waiting with purpose?

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With a passion for service and Franciscan spirituality, Amanda Saunders joined DC Service Corps in June 2016. Having served on short-term immersion trips herself, she brought this excitement to her role as Programs Associate. Originally from Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, Amanda graduated from Neumann University, studying Theology, Psychology, and Youth Ministry within a liberal arts program. She is now the Director of Campus Ministry at Bishop MacNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland.