First Monday of Advent – Live in Expectation by Tara Malouf

photo by Tara Malouf

Our second reflection for the day for the series Jesus Is Near How do We Draw Close comes from Tara Malouf.  She makes her home in the Seattle area with her husband and two kids. She loves images and words, quiet and beauty, walking and prayer. She sees with“connectedness” eyes and thinks life is lived in story. She aspires to be a professional friend.  You can check out her photography at and her occasional musings at

Live in Expectation

When a woman is pregnant we often refer to her as “expecting”.  Expecting….is that just a nice way of saying “growing outwardly large”?  Indeed there is much expectation with pregnancy though.  We expect a baby to arrive and we expect cuddles and kisses; we expect little toes and fingers.  But ask any woman who has been a mother for any length of time and she will tell you that she has also entered into many things she did not expect.

To live in expectation and yet to be handed what you did not expect is what Advent is all about.  The story of God in the scriptures is a mix of this strange dichotomy – expecting Him and yet being surprised by His ways.  Often His people live with a strange mix of hope and bewilderment.  They live in the reality of today’s happenings and yet in the promises declared for the future.  Even the idea of coming Messiah was a deep, pregnant expectation but when He arrived, there were many events and happenings those around Him did not understand.

Maybe expectation IS about growing outwardly large.  It is making room for something that is about to happen and watching…listening for strange rumblings.  It faces out and waits.  Its opposite would be illusion which turns us in upon ourselves, creating stories about what we think should happen.  Illusion does not wait, but rather makes up what it thinks to be true.  It doesn’t face outward and expand us, but rather curls inward and causes us to shrink.

Advent is about getting rid of our illusions and living in expectation.  It is about telling the familiar story of waiting, desiring, growing and birthing and also entering in to the waiting for a Second Arrival.  Advent is a time not only to read about Mary’s pregnancy and the prophet’s declarations, but also to expect the Spirit to birth something new in us.  To live in Advent is to be enlarged, feel the quickening for the Spirit’s work and to groan with the pains of labor.  It is to shed illusion, live with unanswered questions and simply say with Mary…”Let it be done to me as You have said.”


7 Responses

  1. […] about the difference between living in illusion and living in expectation.  (You can find the post here on Christine Sine’s blog.)  And as is often the case after I write something, I am all the more challenged with the […]

  2. […] has a series of blog posts that will published throughout Advent at Godspace.  Yesterday’s post by Tara Malouf included these words: Advent is about getting rid of our illusions and living in […]

  3. Tara – That was a beautiful reflection as we begin the journey of Advent.

  4. […] Monday: Live in Expectation – Tara Malouf […]

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