Monday, December 2, 2013

Three Reasons

You know I love Advent, right?  I think I may have mentioned that a time or twenty.
And I've talked about it so much already but when Micaela asks us for Three Reasons I Love Advent, how can I not participate?  So the following are three of my perhaps less than obvious reasons for loving this holy season:

1.
I love that it limits me.  
I love that Advent sets some parameters about the preparation for Christmas.  When I'm fully living Advent, I don't have the time or energy to drive myself into a whirlwind finding the right gifts, decorations, food, parties.  And I would.  I would be constantly going, fretting, shopping until Christmas Day and enter into Christmas exhausted and completely missing the point.  Other people can do the whole shopping and malls and crowds and find meaning and life in it.  I am drained by it.  Advent gives me the permission to not make everything materially rich and abundant in order to focus my energies on the far more important things.


2.
I love that it's slow and highlights the beauty of each tradition.
Yesterday we took out our Nativity sets and set them up.  Michael was practically doing flips in excitement unwrapping each character and proclaiming who he had found.  David asked to "know more about the Christmas story."  John Paul explained different aspects of the story then snuggled with him on the couch with the Bible for a full telling.  Luke, well Luke tried to make the sheep have a battle and then threw them across the room with gusto... 

I have to wonder if we set up all our Christmas decorations in one day if I would miss these moments.  If we hurried up already the day after Thanksgiving and put up the tree, the lights, the creches, the stockings, the candles, the wreaths...if somehow the beauty and meaning of each of those things would be lost a bit.  I love that we do things slowly, unpacking their meaning and reveling in their beauty once again.  It allows us to appreciate it for its own sake and not just to get it done.  It reminds us that preparing our homes, and more importantly our hearts, is not just a one day bam! and your done process.  It's slow and it takes time and fortitude and patience.  And it helps us all to enter deeper into the mystery.



3.
I love that it's not just about Christ's birth.
I think this is the part that I forget far too often.  The first two weeks of Advent are focused on preparing for when He comes again.  A reminder that this whole story isn't done yet.  We get to be a part of it.  How awesome is that?  Awesome and slightly terrifying.  But I need that reminder.  I need to remember that He is coming again and soon.  I will stand before Him and He will peer into my heart knowing whether I used this time He has given to "cast off the deeds of darkness" or if I spent the time eating cookies and waiting in line at the mall.  Advent reminds me that waiting and being ready for Him is far more important.


Head on over to California to Korea for more...


--------Yesterday, I started on my own little goals for this Advent which I'll attempt to record here, for both accountability and prosperity, I suppose.  I'll still be attempting usual posts but just maybe slipping these in at the bottom or in a separate daily post.  So, without further ado, onto day two.--------

Day TwoToday I will turn off the noise.  Literally.  I have a thing for talk radio both secular and Catholic, and I often fill several hours of my day listening in the kitchen and in the car.  I guess part of me finds some company in the adult conversation and it's pretty much the only way I get news of current events anymore (besides that Yahoo mail page which is always chock full of groundbreaking and relevant news ;).  But there are times when I turn it on out of boredom or habit just to fill the air.  Times when it's on and I'm not even listening or if I am it is to something really inane or not all that helpful to me.  It becomes just another distraction in my head keeping me from the greater things.  It's funny that I can sometimes feel myself beginning to lose it from all the noise that four boys create in a normal day and then when I'm gifted with some moments of silence I almost immediately attempt to fill it with different noise.  How often am I just truly silent?  How can the Lord speak to the depths of my heart if the quiet makes me so uncomfortable?  So today there will be no outside noise in my home or car.  I'll try to embrace the quiet (if any is given me) as uncomfortable as it may be at first.  Steep myself in it and give Him a chance to speak.



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7 comments:

  1. I love your idea of posting something new to work on each day. Today's is great...learning how to appreciate silence is a wonderful thing and I have definitely found in my life that the noise from radio's or TV's or other things is distracting.

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  2. I agree with Amelia…your Day 2 "One Day Less" post is a great reminder that we can't really hear Christ's whisperings if we're always listening to something else. Newest follower! Lovely blog.

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  3. I completely agree. I often have on Catholic radio while fixing meals, or doing laundry (sooo...all day?) and then I find myself feeling a little overwhelmed and realized it's because I'm just constantly hearing noise.

    Great reflections as usual. :)

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  4. Love your day 2. So important for me. I think in Advent past I have turned off the car radio, CD's etc. as a "noise fast" and it was highly profitable both for my mind and my soul. Don't think I have what it takes to do that this year, but it is something little I can work on. Thanks for the reminder.

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  5. Yes...the noise can be too much at times.

    And I love your reason #3...that's really what this time is about. Preparing ourselves for something far greater!

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  6. Oy. So so much to say today. First of all, thank you for linking. Your posts always fill me with such joy. I haven't been reading many blogs lately, which is why I haven't commented on yours, but reading here always feels like coming home. So happy to be back.

    I think you and I are just so so similar. Every one of your reasons apply to me as well. I truly love the limits Advent puts on my normally hectic self, I love the slow preparations, and focusing on the next coming of Jesus is... terrifying. Good, of course, but so so scary.

    As for your Day 2... I have a similar relationship to the Internet. I need to take a break, and I think tomorrow is the day. Thanks for the inspiration.

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