All The Preparations

For whatever reason, the theme of preparation has been really prevalent in my life lately. Not necessarily personally, but all around me.

The past month or so has been particularly busy for me since I’ve been spending a lot of my weekends helping my parents prep their house so that they can put it on the market to sell. They’re wanting to downsize and reduce expenses since everyone but my parents has moved out of the house. My grandparents, my bro, and myself. Just not my dog.

I’m not as handy as my dad, but I still helped do minor home improvement tasks, cleaning, and packing. Most upsetting for me was not the packing or cleaning, but the total repainting of my bathroom which took me weeks to do originally, but only a weekend to paint over what I originally did. That’s okay. Maybe sponge effect is a hard sell for potential homebuyers.

In program management terms, my parents’ house is way behind schedule in putting it on the market. But, despite the months and months of repairs, pacing, and cleaning, I think the end result is quite a sellable abode. In other words, the preparation, delspite how stressful, time consuming, and wallet consuming that it was, indeed was worth it. The end result is a surprisingly presentable house. I’ve never seen that
house so clean and organized!

Over the break, my parents were able to finally put their house on the market AND find a rental house as a temporary solution. All the preparation in packing and cleaning has culminated in this moment.

On the other hand, one of my housemates just got married after the turn of the new year. Over the past several months, I would often be chilling at home and see him and his now-wife come in and start working on wedding preparations. Sometimes I wouldn’t see him many nights during the week because he’d be out doing wedding prep with her. I guess I take for granted just the amount of hard work wedding planning requires, especially for them because they’re getting married out of state (she’s from Arizona). But interacting wth my housemate and hearing him talk about the wedding preparations helped me realize how stressful that can be. BUT! Oh man. Don’t get me wrong. He was so anxious and so joyful that he’s marrying the girl of his dreams. All the preparations are worth it, even if it sucks at the moment in preparation. The wedding was freakin’ awesome because I know, from a close perspective, how much work they put into it. Please pray for them! That their marriage is truly a beautiful sign of love that is free, total, faithful, and fruitful!

On an even different note, I spent a recent chunk of 33 days doing a devotional. I blogged daily with reflections for it. This devotion makes an act of total consecration to Jesus Christ through His Blessed Mother, Mary. Before making that act, I went through weeks of daily prayers and reflections focusing on different themes. After the fact, it’s been pretty awesome. It’s easier for me to see God’s grace working in my life. And it’s a little easier to respond to that grace.

I guess these are the few ways that have really highlighted the notion of preparation for me lately.

That’s very fitting, considering that Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, is a time of preparation. Preparation for what? Celebrating the arrival of the Word Made Flesh. The Birth of Christ.

Big deal, truly.

These preparations helped me be more aware of the importance of preparation when anticipating something major. And I begin to appreciate the season of Advent in a real and practical way.

Merry Christmas (still)!
– JD

“Adoration of the Shepherds” by Van Honthorst // Wikipedia