Monday, December 24, 2012

A Quiet Influence

By Elisabeth K. Corcoran

This holy season comes in all shapes and sizes, doesn’t it?

This year, Advent has looked particularly different for me than in years past. As a woman who has walked through the grief and healing that comes with an ending of a marriage, this Advent — this waiting season – has been quieter and slower. My influence has intentionally been more pulled in.  I’ve allowed myself to not go all out. I’ve allowed myself to focus on fewer people and less activities. The shopping is finished. No baking has been done.  E-cards were sent. 

My fireplace has been lit often. I have drunk tea and apple cider and hot chocolate. I have sat on my couch with a blanket and a book and looked out the window at the swirling snow.  I have prayed and waited for Jesus in ways I haven’t done before, out of a desperation and longing I’m not used to. 

This year, I taught my children that quiet is worth pursuing. We made new traditions. We snatched moments here and there, and cherished them. I captured many mental pictures, not only because time is sparse, but because so much in these pictures is changing. In just a few years, they will be on their own. 

This year, I needed Jesus. I needed him to show up in new ways.  I needed to experience his presence and the peace that he promises. I needed to feel him at my side, the shadow at my right hand.  I needed to see him not just as a baby but as the Savior, the one who saves me over and over again in little splinters and morsels throughout each day.

And my children needed to see me needing him, my vulnerability guiding them on how to wait for him and on him. They needed to see my dependence. They needed to see me quiet and still in the middle of still-hard times. They needed to see me reach out for God. 

Only I can teach them these things. Only I can teach them, truly, how to wait for Christ to come.

And now Christ has come.
“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:  to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2: 8-14 NRSV)

Elisabeth Corcoran is the author of several books including At the Corner of Broken & Love and Renewal for a Mother’s Heart. Visit her website at, follow her on Twitter at ekcorcoran or friend her on Facebook.


  1. I'm sad the your year held so much heartache, but heartened by the fact that you pursued quiet and waited for Jesus in ways you "haven’t done before." I like that concept and made a note in my journal today to explore how this would look in my life. Praying that the new year will hold special surprises for you!

  2. I kept this in my inbox since I received it. I'm glad i finally took the time to read i. God bless you and yours Elisabeth. I pray 2013 will be a year of renewal for you.