Tuesday, November 27, 2012
I have been thinking of Advent as it fast approaches this year. Everyone, it seems, is in such a hurry to get to Christmas. Stores had decorations up before Halloween, neighbors had lights up weeks before Thanksgiving, and the commercials and mail ads have been hitting our home en masse!
Living in a warm climate, the liturgical seasons really help to provide a natural pause to life, a natural season that we might not have without the weather to remind us of what month it is on the calendar. 80 degree Halloweens, with 80 degree Thanksgivings, followed by sudden temperature drops plunge us right into our 50 degree winters/Christmas. Advent is an after thought, if considered at all.
I rather enjoy the gentle warmth of Thanksgiving and fall and then lean into the season of Advent, slowly, intentionally, and purposefully.
Reviewing past blog posts about Advent, this one from my older blog seemed to bring me back to simpler times. Funny thing is, I remember how "stressed" and "too busy"; "too worldly" we seemed to be. I suppose it always seems that way.
This year, Advent will be a time, once again, to focus our lives on the simple beauty of Christmas, through the preparational time afforded to us through our Heavenly Father. How wise and wonderful He is to give us these times and seasons of preparation!
I have learned in the last many years that living simply does not mean sitting around doing things. It does mean that in having less, we may do more work. For instance, having convenience foods sitting in the pantry may seem to make meal prep go faster, but it does not do anything to remove clutter from our lives. Pie crust mixes, pre-packaged cookie and cake mixes, may seem handy, but they take room and don't we already have all of the ingredients needed to make these things?
What we don't have is the time. Living simply, to me, means stripping away the busy-ness of life that keeps me from making homemade cookies and cakes, and delicious made-from-scratch meals that my family loves. When I am too busy answering calls, texts, emails, etc, to be "with" my family, my children, then something must change. Yes, it means once again saying "No" to outside comittments and no one likes to hear "No". I know I don't like saying it. But it is necessary for the life I aspire to have.
New Year Resolutions for 2012 were simple. No activities were going to be allowed into our lives if they did not help these five areas of my family's life.
1. Relationship with God
2. Relationship with spouse
3. Relationship with children
4. Health and fitness
5. Becoming free from Debt.
As we approach the close of the liturgical year and the year of 2012, we are closer than ever to these goals. There have been a few detours and bumps in the road, but all in all, we are on the right path.
May you each be blessed by the season of Advent and may you always for the joy and peace that God has for you.