Two more days. Advent begins on Sunday!
I know that I have been harping on this theme. I have been pestering. I have spent far more time on this this year than ever before, and probably more time on this than any other theme on the blog…at least for writing on one theme over several days. Other than maybe the theme of wonder.
There is a reason.
I need the harping and the pestering myself. Even with all this, I still feel slightly unprepared. I fall into a trap fairly often in my parenting: I want to make things perfect. Pinterest worthy. Picture perfect.
Rarely do they work out that way, and often I become stressed.
So, that is part of the harping as well. Advent is absolutely, non-negotiably, emphatically NOT about being stressed.
Whatever we do, this season is about stilling ourselves so we can listen and we can wait. Wait with anticipation, and wait with hope. Wait with joy.
Advent is about the awareness of our need for a savior, yes. There is in the history of Advent the element of penitence, but it is more I think about this anticipation of the arrival of the Christ child. And that should be filled with wonder and awe.
In the midst of of struggles with jobs and with life and with raising kids and with being tired and with laundry and with family dynamics and with the turmoil around us in the world…and it is great…we need moments when we focus on wonder and when we focus on hope. When we still ourselves and we wait.
So I pester and I harp and I poke you, and myself, to pause over the next four weeks and pay attention. Do something to make this season stand out.
Light candles. Sing songs. Read poetry.
How is this going to look in our family? Steve and I decided we would not ask for the technology to be completely shut off, because that would feel more like punishment to the kids. We are, however, pulling it back. We will only have one tv show a day (and one a week for mom), and the tech time is being cut in half…down to just an hour and half a day. And it has to be off by 6pm. At 6pm we’ll have dinner and light the Advent candles and we’ll talk and sing and be with each other.
Not drastic, but something to make this season stand out. In the midst of the days there will be other activities that draw our attention toward the coming of the Christ child. We will keep pointing and focusing and making room to think about the wonder of Christmas.
And we will pray that God will meet us in this season. That He will enlarge our imagination and He will infuse this season with His Spirit. I hope you will come along with us!
Here are a few more links with ideas and resources…
Ideas for Adults:
I posted a few links Wednesday here which will help the adults with some devotionals and focus, and I will be posting poetry each day through Advent here on the blog.
Poet and musician Malcolm Guite last year posted sonnets from his book Sounding the Seasons. Each of the seven sonnets is accompanied by art.
SimpleLiving has a fantastic list of ideas on ways to make your Advent season and Christmas stand out from the commercialized season it has become.
Ideas for Families:
No Panic Advent – with a bunch of great book suggestions
Simple Kids – Great ideas on how to make Advent simple and kid-friendly
Homeschooled-kids has an $8 printable packet with activities and crafts and lots of ideas.