Sunday, December 1, 2013

One Day Less - An Advent Resolution

I mentioned in my Advent post the other day that I had the rough sketch in my mind taking shape of a little goal of mine for Advent.  God is asking me to continue to let go.  Rather than desperately grasping at the things of this world and the sins and vices that keep me from fully living in His grace, I want open hands that are free to praise and give and love.  I want a heart detached from those things that will provide no lasting satisfaction and often only tempt me towards selfishness, coldness, and misery.  I want room for Him to have His way with me.  I want my heart a humble but beautiful manger for Him to rest.  It is only when I relax my grip on those things and habits and allow them to be taken away or place them down willingly, that my hands can be free to accept the gifts.

Each day until Christmas I hope to focus on one thing less.  One little way as we inch toward that holy night, be it tangible or in the depths of my heart, that I can let go and let Him.  One less distraction or even barrier towards the life of love that He calls me to.  Decluttering and cleaning to make room in the inn of my soul, if you will.  This won't be an empty, puritan pursuit of simplicity for its own sake but rather an attempt to bring the pruning hook to my own soul and home, leaving room and space for the fruit to grow and breathe.

I don't have a plan or a schedule.  I'm not sure where this is going or how much I will share.  But you're welcome to work and read along with me as I try to give myself some much needed accountability on these pages here.  I hope that it will be daily concrete resolutions and offerings written out in the morning and fulfilled that day but I hesitate to promise that.  I'll do my best.

And so today I begin.

Day One:

"They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks"

My words cut sometimes far too often.  I'm fast with the sarcastic comeback or the reproach for work that doesn't meet my standards and slow with the kindness.  Today, I will let go of the sharp words.  I will hold back when that caustic reply or criticism finds its way so quickly to my tongue.  Heck, I really will bite, if need be.  And then I will try to replace that poison with words that enrich and sow and give life to the people around me.  Today as we hustle off to Mass and set up our house for the holy season, the words I use to critique my husband, children, those around me, shall be turned around and used to prune myself.


Have a blessed first day of Advent, friends!





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6 comments:

  1. This was beautiful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Thank you! To me, it really reflects a commitment to living Advent as a season that is for so much more than preparing our hearts to celebrate Christ's birth. I guess it's no coincidence that the Church uses the first weeks of the "new year" to prepare for the "end" - Advent is for preparing our hearts for Christ's second coming. Thanks for the reminder and for sharing how you're doing this in practical ways :)

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  2. This is beautiful! May God bless your efforts. And might I be so bold as to recommend when times get tough to "go to Joseph." I had a meditation one year that carried me far---imagining St. Joseph doing all he could to make that stable ready receive our King. From dusting cobwebs in the corners (me--Lord you don't really see those in my soul do You?) to shoveling manure (me--but that is hard work Lord!) while meeting Mary's every need (me--how can I be more generous?), I learned much from St. Joseph that year, and still have so much more to learn.

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    1. Ah, that IS beautiful to think about! Thank you so much! I always think of him as a "man's saint", you know? But your thoughts are really helpful in stretching that for me!

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  3. Good day to you...I have wandered over from LMLD and enjoyed your posts...we use similar curriculum choices and I am in the middle of a pruning season.

    I thought I would recommend a book that I thought was just fabulous.
    By Barbara Duguid, "Extravagant Grace." She is a ministers wife, mother and grandmother and had homeschooled all her children. The words follow John Newtons letters on Sanctification, what it is, what it isn't. It is a highly encouraging book, not a self help or work harder book, but a "take great comfort" book in the one that said "it is finished!" and had the power to back up His words, Jesus Christ our Savior.I was recommended the book and it turns out it is a wonderful advent book, without having much to do with advent.

    Just a disclaimer: She is a Presbyterian but there is nothing in the book that is against Catholicism.

    Anyway, This is the day the Lord made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
    In Him,
    Ginger

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation! Will definitely look into it!

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