This Advent has proven to be a time of immense trial for our family and home. Yet I am reminded that we have had it far worse than we do at present. The Advent of the Lord is not meant to always be a time of ease. As Americans, we tend merely to view this time as a time to get all of our shopping done. We forget-even Christians-that this period should be a time of prayer, reflection, and preparation for the coming of the Lord.