Sunday, December 14, 2014

How's YOUR Advent Going? Hearts - Before - Calendars Reflection & Encouragement on Gaudete Sunday

Advent is upon us…… Are you ready? How's it going? I don’t mean are the crafts, the Jesse Tree activities and the advent wreaths. The advent storybooks,the feast day fun, recipes and projects. …..I mean: Are you ready?

 Are you emptied and prepared to receive, as head of your domestic church, the beautiful,  the unparalleled, the redemptive power of Christ’s nativity? Of the Gospel message?
 Or are you thinking that you’ll find time for that somewhere, but right now you’re taking care of that adorable advent project you saw on Pinterest? Or looking into recreating your blogger friend’s amazing Jesse Tree ornaments?  

Yeah, that’s all good. It’s all valuable. But still.

 The more crammed our schedules, the less time we have to give others and to offer 
to our Lord. You owe it to yourself, Momma. Because only when we decisively create margins in our days, in this season, can we truly be a part. Can we truly benefit.

Hearts before calendars….. When we only allow shards of space in our days for 
down time, we are left empty of time for prayer and for our loved ones.

Lives ahead of schedules….I don’t need to tell you, Busy Momma, about the need for a slow pace. You know. You know. It’s the only way we as a body…. and as a Body….. can survive, thrive, be who we are meant to be in this hurried, really, this  breakneck  world.
A slower-paced life isn’t just wishful thinking. It’s essential during this season, and each season, for us to accept and truly live our Faith.

In recent years, we’ve strived, and happily, succeeded in paring down our own family activities on the home front during advent and in streamlining our outside commitments so as to savor these days.  For so long, I thought there were innumerable liturgical 
seasons to live out  together. The years spanned out, seemingly endlessly back then when the boys were so, so young. Now I see, all too clearly, how finite our time together  
as a family really is.  And I see that guarding our most precious commodity…… that of time……  is paramount.   I see, too, that protecting my own personal “white space,” so there is more of me to give my family, is essential.
This advent, my kids are involved in non-advent-y, non Christmas pursuits because, well,  the secular world does continue its rhythm even during  our liturgical seasons.   

We're cheering and supporting and chauffeuring to the theatre for rehearsals -  a play to be staged in a few months and a coveted role was earned. And we're 'doing' advent together, on the sidelines of the track. Because whether  the advent wreath burns silently and serenely on our kitchen table after a shared family meal as we whisper a prayer and read from scripture or whether we're gathered in the bleachers in front of the scoreboard  and snapping pictures as we will our runner to grab his Personal Best, we're together. 

This is what advent looks like this year. It's different and I'm not loving the lack of control and  generally that my kids are creating their own lives and footprints and marks in the world.  This evolving of families as the children grow?  It's a tough thing, isn't it?
 It's out of our hands, this growing up thing. But this is what equipping them to navigate a world with fast paced and non religious schedules is, no? Arming them to embrace, hold dear and live out their faith in a secular world whose ways are not necessarily out ways. 

God bless YOU, Moms, in your vocation throughout Ordinary Time and throughout this season of Advent.

A recent round up with loads of advent ideas, really none of them requiring too much time, effort and expenseis right here It's the .:Most:. Wonderful Time of the Year! 10 of Our Traditions for Advent and Christmas~ Wreaths, Trees, Recipes,  Crafts, Stories, Santa, Science If you're halfway through advent and would like quick and simple, I think there's something for you in the mix!

Before I close, may I share some good news and ask a favor!?
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  1. This year, I scheduled Adoration time for myself once a week during What you write about rings true...I planned our Advent this year with Adoration time for myself once a week - treating it as doctor's appt might be. I also planned margins for breathing and living with the kids. Those margin filled quickly though. (So much for discipline and intention!) As I found us eating and praying our St Andrew Christmas novena prayer in the car between one activity and another thing that cropped up, it hit me: "Mama, pu on the brakes - not the literal ones, the life ones. I did a bit yesterday and today and plan to defend the white space more in the coning two weeks. :) Wishing you and yours peace and space as you prepare!

    1. Wow, loving the praying in the car between events! What a great idea!But really, while you're recognizing the importance of using every bit of time with the kids, you're still seeing the need to slow down!Good for you. You need it!

      And yes, those margins do fill up fast! Good point.

      Scheduling adoration....wonderful...I need to do that as well. Thanks for the tip, Martianne!

      Thanks for stopping over as well...xoxoxo

  2. Great thoughts Chris! I savor the times our family can all sit down and experience Advent together with our traditions without interruptions from schedules and sibling rivalry! Love Martianne's comment about adoration! I so need that now and always! :)

    1. Yes, those interruptions are something, and they do lessen the family time!
      I agree, scheduling alone time for ourselves, esp for adoration is a wonderful idea!
      Thanks friend, for stopping by!


  3. Love this:
    "Hearts before calendars….. When we only allow shards of space in our days for down time, we are left empty of time for prayer and for our loved ones."
    So true.
    xx oo

    1. Took me a long time to see this too, Em! Thank you for stopping by, my friend.....and for your kind comment.

  4. Great reflection. We've been all over the map with this as the years go by. We've been absorbed in sports and extra curriculars and have had years with almost nothing on the calendar. Either way, focusing is tough. Because hearts are not something that can be manipulated like a calendar. And you've made some really good points about how to keep that in sight.

    1. Aw, thanks seems no one "way" to "do" advent is right or can even be attempted each year, with changes and schedules impacting!

      Thanks for your visit and kind words!

  5. Replies
    1. Thank YOU, Jennifer!
      I appreciate your visit :)

  6. Chris,
    Wonderful words of wisdom :-) Yes: "The more crammed our schedules, the less time we have to give others and to offer
    to our Lord. ".....yes to creating margin to be with God and our families...Thanks.

    1. Dolly,
      Thanks so very much for visiting and for your kind words!!

      God bless!


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