I believe that "time" might be the word I hear most right now: "I don't have time, I'm running out of time, where has the time gone?"... you've heard it too. This clock hangs on the wall in my sewing room, it's a replica of a Swiss railroad clock, a souvenir of our days living in Geneva years ago. As you might imagine, being that it is a Swiss timepiece, it keeps perfect time. During this Advent period, the weeks of preparation and waiting before Christmas, how do you mark time? Rather than get out all the decorations at once we prefer to stretch it out and focus on one item at a time: the window candles one day, the tree on another, tomorrow I will be hanging our garlands. This morning our grandson helped me to put out our cherished nativity. Together we unwrapped each figure and Gregory identified it and placed it in the stable; he was deliberate in his actions to see that every figure and animal were securely under the roof, even as it became more and more crowded. "Why?" I asked. "Because it can rain in Bethlehem" was his simple and logical response. We couldn't fit the camel underneath, but being covered with a towel satisfied his desire to keep everyone dry and comfortable..."just in case it rains"! I doubt that I will ever forget the sweet time spent together with Gregory this morning when I place this nativity scene in the years to come. How are you spending your time in preparation? Even though time seemingly flies, try and make the timeto slow down and really examine the gifts that surround you today; I guarantee it may just be the best time you'll spend in these hurried and hectic days of preparation. This is the time that God has given to us: gifted time; more perfect than any Swiss clock could ever measure!