Immensity Cloistered in Thy Dear Womb

We made it last night. At least a little. It was not a hot chocolate bar and twinkling lights (I’m shooting for that next year!), but we read the Elf on the Shelf book and we talked about Advent. We paused, at least for a moment.


We set up the little red Christmas tree in the youngest two’s room. There were giggles and delight as they put the ornaments on and watched the tree light up the room.


Wednesdays are notoriously hectic for us. The older boys were up until ridiculous hours finishing work for their tutorial. We are always, always, surprised when we hit Wednesday and the work is not completed. Last night was not stellar. We were up quite late, although the mood was good. Still, we meet Advent morning waking before dawn and rushing out the door.

The younger ones will do some coloring with me from Ann Voskamp’s resources. We will talk about this season. The older ones will have to get caught up tomorrow. Right before we leave for the hockey tournament.

So Advent is forced to come in the midst of life. We seek that pause and that moment to wonder, but we have to find it in the midst of Chemistry assignments and Ancient History. There is something right abot that, though: the pause of Advent is accentuated by the busyness of the season.

The pause reminds us of the enormity of this coming. I love the line from John Donne: “Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.”  Sitting with that thought today, holding it near and thinking of the anticipation of the Savior come. How incredible this had to be for Mary, how beyond her imagination.

We need to hear it afresh, every year. We need to sit with the knowledge that the King of all Glory came to meet us, came to be present with us so we could know Him. So we could be known and salvation could come. 

Whatever your morning has looked like…the hectic sprint out the door, or quietly watching the day unfold…pause and think on the immensity of this wonder we celebrate.


Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He will wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death’s force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son and Brother;
Whom thou conceivst, conceived; yea thou art now
Thy Maker’s maker, and thy Father’s mother;
Thou hast light in dark, and shutst in little room,
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.

John Donne

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